Rethinking the global agreement for disaster risk reduction

Rethinking the global agreement for disaster risk reduction

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Date: 5th February 2014
Authors: Tom Mitchell, CDKN
Type: Feature
Tags: disaster risk management, disaster risk reduction, disaster risk reduction, Sendai Framework, Hyogo Framework

Introduction by Dr. Tom Mitchell, Head of Disaster Risk Management, CDKN

CDKN’s work, and that of the governments and institutions we support, can be shaped, supported or hindered by the international policy landscape within which we all operate. As we edge closer to 2015, we have an unprecedented opportunity to lock in a favourable and multifaceted international policy landscape for tackling disaster risk worldwide. Landmark global agreements on international development and disaster risk reduction - the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) respectively – are due to end in 2015, and consultations and negotiations to agree successor frameworks are well under way.

At the same time, the climate change negotiations process is tipped for a gear shift as pressure builds for a new climate agreement by 2015. Against this backdrop, I am delighted to introduce a new blog series, hosted by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network. The series is titled 'Rethinking the global agreement for disaster risk reduction' and presents innovative ideas from international experts for the post-2015 disaster risk reduction (DRR) agreement. This is due to be signed at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan in March 2015, following intensive regional consultations and international preparatory meetings during 2014.

While there is much to be admired in the 2005-2015 Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), including its success in improving early warning systems and its promotion of disaster risk reduction as a development concern, the risk of disasters continues to grow in many regions and predictions to 2030 and beyond, point to greater financial losses and destroyed livelihoods. Building on the HFA will be vital, but undoubtedly the post-2015 DRR agreement (the ‘HFA2’) will need to (i) address the failings of the HFA, such as foregrounding efforts to tackle the drivers of risk and strengthening the agreement’s accountability mechanism, and (ii) address contemporary challenges, such as the interface with climate change, conflict and the post-2015 development agenda. It will also need to provide all stakeholders a clear platform to work together to achieve disaster resilience and speak just as much to communities, local governments and business as it does to national governments.

This blog series will sharpen some of the ideas for where the post-2015 DRR agreement needs to innovate.  Amy Kirbyshire, the blog editor, and I have asked contributors to be short, sharp and present language for inclusion in the agreement wherever appropriate. New blogs in this series will be posted on the CDKN website on a regular basis in the coming months in the lead up to the World Conference in Sendai, and we encourage readers to comment on the suggestions put forward in these blogs. We welcome further inputs, so please do get in touch if you would like to offer your thoughts to a global audience. CDKN’s staff will be present in many of the key consultations during 2014 and will seek to share the contents of these blogs with decision-makers wherever we can.

With best wishes,

Dr. Tom Mitchell (

Blog Editor: Amy Kirbyshire (


Governments face further talk to agree disaster risk framework by Elizabeth Carabine, ODI, reporting from the Second Preparatory Meeting for the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, November 2014

In September 2014 Tom Mitchell with a team from ODI and CDKN have published a response to the Pre-Zero Draft of the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the HFA 2: Ambitious and coherent? Reviewing the pre-zero draft of the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

The case for recognising culture in reducing disaster risk by Lisa Schipper, August 2014

The role of environment in the HFA2 by Marisol Estrella, UNEP, August 2014

Lessons from the African Risk Capacity for the new international disasters framework by Joanna Syroka, ARC Programme Director, July 2014

How can the international disasters agreement encourage businesses to manage for disaster risk? by Rowan Douglas and Sophie Abraham, Willis Group, April 2014

New disasters agreement must learn from peace-building and state-building by Katie Peters, Overseas Development Institute, February 2014

Reducing the risk of disasters: the road from Geneva to Sendai by CDKN's Kashmala Kakakhel, LEAD Pakistan, May 2013

Image: Refugee camp, courtesy Oxfam

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