We asked the Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction in the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Ms Mami Mizutori how the 2020 Asia-pacific ministerial conference on disaster risk reduction in Brisbane, will contribute to the much-needed acceleration towards risk informed development.
Fiji’s Emergency Medical team (FEMAT) is now ready for International Deployment becoming the first team in the Pacific accredited with this unique capability.
As a result, disaster and other medical emergency situations have gained significant assistance thanks to the partnership between the World Health Organisation and the governments of Fiji, Australia and New Zealand.
With 11 disasters and 26 outbreaks during 2018 in the Pacific alone, this mobile and self-sufficient team with its medical expertise, infrastructure and supplies will save lives in Fiji, the Pacific and elsewhere internationally.
UNIC Canberra spoke to Sean Casey, WHO Pacific Health Cluster Coordinator, who was in Vanuatu this week, and started by asking him about the nature of the teams.
Tsunamis are rare but devastating. I saw this first-hand during my recent visit to Sulawesi, Indonesia, shortly after the earthquake and tsunami of 1 October. More than 2,000 people died and thousands more were harmed or displaced.
As well as struggling to deal with the losses and trauma, the people of Sulawesi will need to recover from the economic losses caused by this disaster. Reducing economic losses is a key target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and is vital for eradicating extreme poverty.
Over the past two decades, tsunamis have accounted for almost 10 per cent of economic losses from disasters, setting back development gains, especially in countries that border the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
World Tsunami Awareness Day is an opportunity to emphasize again the importance of disaster prevention and preparedness, including early warning, public education, science to better understand and predict tsunamis, and development that takes account of risk in seismic zones and exposed coastal areas.
On 23 June, resilience in the face of Climate Change was in the spotlight with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office Country Director, and Head of Pacific Regional Programme and Policy, Mr Bakhodir Burkhanov, giving presentations in support of this key global issue as part of European Climate Diplomacy Week.
Titled UN in the Pacific; working together to build resilience and reduce vulnerabilities, Mr Burkhanov’s presentation raised this key global issue with the Diplomatic Corps at the UNIC Canberra Office, and again with the academic community in an address at the Australian National University.
Mr Burkhanov discussed building resistance to climate change and natural disasters, and resilience from a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) perspective, examining how this might drive sustainable development more broadly.
He also spoke about how action to adapt to climate change, manage disaster risk, and reduction in development-related carbon footprint all work towards the broader goals of sustainable development and poverty reduction.
By Andy McElroy
BANGKOK, 23 August 2016 – Scientists and researchers were today urged to provide “solutions and guidance” so that policymakers are able to effectively address the challenge of escalating disaster risk.
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr Robert Glasser, said successive record-breaking hot months because of climate change were a “frightening development” that makes the need for risk-informed policymaking even more pressing.
“This is a critical time in the history of the planet when many look to the science and technology community for solutions and guidance. Politicians and policymakers are challenged on a daily basis by extreme weather events, poverty, environmental decline, population growth, rapid urbanisation and – most fundamentally – climate change. In short, the major drivers of disaster risk,” Mr Glasser said.
Margareta Wahlström, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction has said in a statement on the launch of the International Year of Small Island Developing States that SIDS face some of the most extreme negative impacts of disaster and climate risk. But too often, the narrative fails to also capture the other side of the story: their strong will, leadership and ingenuity in tackling risk.