Talk about disasters to better achieve dev’t – UN
MANILA, Philippines – The Asia-Pacific must talk about disaster risks to better achieve sustainable development, the United Nations said on Tuesday, October 27.
Asia-Pacific is the world’s “most disaster-prone region of the world.” It has been swept by over 1,600 disaster in the past 10 years, making up for 40% of the world’s total. This means 1.4 billion people have been affected – this is 80% of those affected globally.
The UN called for a “collective political commitment from the regions' leaders to mitigate risks posed by disasters.”
In November, Filipinos will be commemorating the second anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the strongest recorded typhoon in Philippine history. Yolanda claimed over 6,000 lives and ravaged billions-worth of losses agriculture and infrastructure.
For many, the super typhoon served as a wake-up call: Climate change is causing more extreme weather events, and the Philippines must act and prepare.
Meanwhile, the Asia-Pacific region lost over $500 billion in the past decade. Lack of investment in disaster and risk management could lead to economic risks too, the UN warned.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is an inter-agency group taking the lead in disasters and emergencies. The NDRRMC works closely with local governments and disaster response groups.
The Philippines also has a separate Climate Change Commission, the lead policy-making body in charge of mainstreaming climate change plans.
“It is a grave concern that disasters are becoming more frequent, much larger and more intense. As the [UN] report highlights, the majority of the disasters in our region are cross-border in nature,” Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, said in a press statement.
The UN advised governments to integrate disaster risk reduction into sustainable development plans, policies, sectoral programs and budgets. Every sector, it added, should also be “disaster resilient.”
The UN also observed that Asia-Pacific existing risks are worsened and new risks are created because of rapid economic growth, rising population, and burgeoning cities.
The region is advised to work together by sharing technology and information on disaster preparedness. “Only by coming together in the spirit of cooperation can the Asia-Pacific region hope to become truly disaster resilient,” Akhtar added.
Governments are then advised to use multi-hazard early warning systems and maps to provide “right information to right people at the right time.”
The Millennium Development Goals are set to expire in 2015, replacing them are the Sustainable Development Goals. Of the new 17 goals, at least half of them are tied to the environment, disasters, and climate change. – Rappler.com