Day 2 Blog: Disaster Risk Reduction and International Law Symposium 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017

Day 2 of the Disaster Risk Reduction and International Law Symposium 2017 has come to an end. Today’s panels saw academics, government officials and the private sector come together to discuss their perspectives on how to address disaster risk. With many thought provoking discussions and reflections the cross-sectoral engagement focused on how to bring international law governing disasters up to speed with the global challenges that we face.

The topic of the first panel was the link between climate change and disaster risk reduction. The discussions focused on the need to synchronise the agendas of the two regimes in order to reduce disaster risk and losses resulting from disasters. The focus shifted to how insurance can play a key role in achieving public and private investment in preventing and reducing disaster risk.

The Keynote Speakers’ panel explored the major role of science in reducing disaster risk and how the emphasis of science and technology in the Sendai Framework represents a forward leap in the understanding of how to grapple with future disasters. The panel also discussed the role of disaster risk reduction in UK risk management, the contingency plans in place to deal with potential disasters, and UK efforts in implementing the Sendai Framework nationally.

The following panel discussed issues pertaining to the implementation of elements of the Sendai Framework at the national level. The issues explored included: 

  • The effectiveness of Asia-Pacific regionalism in managing disasters and its potential as a model to deliver elements of priority 2 of the Sendai Framework in “Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk”.
  • The failure of states to enforce no-build zones and how Sendai Framework relocation references are risky where states cannot prevent repopulation of prohibited areas.
  • The use of information and technologies of early warning systems and the issuing of joint warnings based on agreed assessment of the hazard situation by specialist agencies.
  • How international law governing search and rescue can contribute to implementation of the Sendai Framework and to reduce disaster risk.

As can be seen above, the overarching focus of day two was on how different fields and perspectives can contribute to the implementation of the Sendai Framework. By bringing together a broad range of actors the discussions contributed to our shared understanding of how to prevent and reduce disaster risk. This is crucial in order to attain the goal of substantially reducing losses to lives, livelihoods and productive assets as a result of disasters.

To watch any panels, catch Day 2 here.