Supporting Climate and Disaster Resilient Development in the Pacific - Forum Secretariat involvement at the 3rd World UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Sendai, Japan

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat recently attended the 3rd World UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. At the meeting, the focus of many Forum island countries has been on promoting disaster and climate resilient development. Pacific islands representatives made many interventions during the meeting in the plenary sessions, multiple side events and high –level ministerial sessions of the vulnerabilities of the Pacific to hazard risk.

“Disasters, climate variability and extreme weather, and future changes in climate, are becoming increasingly recognized as a core development challenge as these adversely impact our social and economic development, as well as the natural and built environment,” says Ms Cristelle Pratt, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Recognizing the clear overlaps between Climate Change adaptation and Disaster Risk Management (DRM), and the similar tools and resources required to assess and address climate and disaster risks, most PICs have started taking concrete steps to manage these risks in a more integrated manner. For example, many have developed Joint National Action Plans for DRM and Climate Change (JNAPs), which for some, have joined up their national institutional arrangements for Climate Change and DRM or have adopted integrated measures at programmatic level. To match the developments at regional level the ending of the two regional strategies for climate change and disaster risk management in 2015 has led to the development of a combined regional strategy – the Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development in the Pacific. The Forum Secretariat with the agreement of other Pacific Regional Organisations will be leading coordination of this work once Leaders review and approve the Strategy.

“Most of the region’s development partners, have operated on a country by country and project by project basis in disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, using numerous entry points. Reflecting the role of the Forum Compact on Aid Effectiveness, the Forum Secretariat is working with partners to ensure that assistance is coordinated and combines policy support to practice, to ensure that investments are risk sensitive and delivered in the various sectors (such as infrastructure, urban development, agriculture, water and coastal management),” DSG Pratt said.

Coordination of regional agencies and development partners is particularly important after the effects of recent disasters in the Pacific, from extreme natural hazard events such as Cyclone Pam.

“In response to the devastating impacts of Cyclone Pam, the Forum Secretariat will continue to work with its members and with other regional organisations to support discussions and actions, especially relating to those on Climate and Disaster Resilient Development,” DSG Pratt said.


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