Learning from SIDS at the 5th Understanding Risk Forum

At the recent 5th Understanding Risk Forum, held in Mexico City from the 14th-18th of May, representatives from SIDS shared their experiences and lessons learned managing climate and disaster risks with participants and experts from a range of backgrounds.
The Understanding Risk Forum, held every two years, is a platform for risk management experts, international government representatives, donors, civil society, innovators, and the private sector to interact and share knowledge to advance risk governance and risk mitigation efforts.
As one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to the impacts of global climate change, the Pacific region continues to be an important context for developing innovative approaches to integrated risk management.
Representatives from Fiji, Tuvalu and the Republic of the Marshall Islands shared their experiences in using integrated risk assessment tools to enhance development decision making during a session on convened the Global Fund for Disaster Risk and Recovery (GFDRR) Small Island States Resilience Initiative (SISRI).
Representing the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Ms Jennifer DeBrum, from the Marshall Islands National Disaster Management Officer, explained how modelling and climate change projections are being used to develop resilient coastal infrastructure and how the methods, techniques and learning involved is transferrable and could be applied to a range of future contexts.
This year’s theme ‘Disrupt, Communicate, Influence’, brought forward a strong focus on the use of ‘big data’ for informing risk-informed decision-making and the growing opportunities to further utlise cutting-edge technology to improve disaster risk management practice as well as policy development and communication.
Through the leader’s endorsement of the  ‘Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific’ the Pacific Islands Forum supports regional efforts to advance national and regional resilience-building through integrated policy development, the engagement with innovative financial risk transfer instruments, and deepened coordination between a range of stakeholders and constituent groups.
The Forum Secretariat’s participation at the 5th UR Forum was an opportunity to contribute to a dynamic dialogue on the challenges and tools that are driving innovations in global risk management. Central to many of the discussions and seminars during the forum was the challenges involved when it comes to informing high level policy making, and ensuring that technical data and expertise is considered as early as possible in policy making processes.
The 2018 Understanding Forum was attended 1200 delegates representing 103 countries and 600 organizations, from NASA to civil society organizations. The next Understanding Risk Forum will be held in Singapore in 2020
For more information on the Forum, please click here.
UR is a global community of more than 8000 experts and practitioners active in the creation, communication and use of disaster risk information. Knowledge sharing and collaborations, discussions on innovations and best practices in risk assessments are ongoing. The community meet every two years during which time groundbreaking work from around the world are highlighted, and partnerships strengthened.

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