17/05/2019 - PfR at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Societies through Integration of Climate and Ecosystems into Disaster Risk Reduction  I  The Partners for Resilience promote integrated risk management approaches in countries where vulnerable communities are affected by disasters, mismanagement of land and water resources, and impacts from climate change. An Integrated Risk Management approach integrates current and future risks, and looks at the wider landscape and its natural environment as a system in which risks originate and manifest. As such, Partners for Resilience help to take the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) and the 2030 Agenda to the next level, working alongside governments in achieving target E of the SFDRR: the development of ‘national and local disaster risk reduction strategies in alignment with the SFDRR’ and contributing to ‘leaving no one behind’. Read here PfR's Policy Brief with recommendations to the GPDRR, and PfR's official statement, delivered by Thandie Mwape, Netherlands Red Cross Society, on behalf od PfR. Find here the outcome document of the Global Platform 2019, the Chair's Summary.

Networking event  I  A special networking event took place on Wednesday 15th May: “We Bend We Do Not Break”, hosted by the Partners for Resilience, co-hosted by the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), The Nature Conservancy, and the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR). During the event integrated approaches were presented for building disaster risk reduction and resilience. Work was showcased on enabling multi-stakeholder dialogue and programmes that strengthen community resilience by integrating climate risks and ecosystem solutions. The same day a new publication was launched by CARE Netherlands/ PfR: We Bend, We Do Not Break: Resilient Communities Dealing with Disaster and Climate Change

Interesting speakers and an active audience all contributed to a lively discussion, providing great food for thought. The event brought many actors together: government representatives, civil society, private sector and academia. There are many ways, and may stakeholders involved in contributing to resilience building: engagement of all stakeholders is key, making use of each other’s’ experiences and expertise. Moreover, it is crucial to engage the people most and risk, in order for them to bend and not break in the face of disaster.

Gatkuoth Kai DRR Department of the African Union Commission elaborated on the present progress in developing national DRR strategies, with almost half the African states on track to having DRR national plans in line with the Sendai framework by 2020 (20 out of 55). Raditya Jati, DRR Director of the Indonesian national disaster management authority (BNPB) explained how they are working towards an integrated approach to risk reduction, moving from response to preparedness and prevention, embracing Building with Nature as national approach to DRR, concluding that if we protect nature, nature protects us’.

Henk Ovink, Netherlands Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, , presented how the innovative Water as Leverage programme aims to address urban water-related challenges in an innovative and inclusive way for resilient cities in Asia: Chennai, Semarang and Khulna. He said that achieving a real inclusive approach is extremely complicated but it is the only way to go. “We need millions to spend billions wisely on infrastructure” Mr. Ovink said, but the millions needed to create an enabling environment, ensuring a real inclusive approach, are hard to find. Stakeholder engagement and community participation are crucial and difficult – in particular to sustain the effort to include all stakeholders. Following on this, Bruno Haghebaert of IFRC and Marci Eggers of TNC presented their new partnership, based on complementarity, linking the community approach of the IFRC with the science and environmental expertise of TNC – as there is a need to collaborate, and to really engage with communities in protection and restoration of nature.

Jemilah Mahmood, under-secretary of the IFRC outlined the challenge of localisation, shifting power and resources to civil society at the grassroots. She said: if you tell me, I will forget. If you show me I will remember. If you involve me, I will understand. In the mean time we should be careful to not overburden communities and local organisations.

Finally, Jane Madgwick, CEO Wetlands International, concluded that community participation is the connecting thread through all these contributions; we need to build trust and build with nature, as nature will protect us and help us recover after a disaster.





  • Dialogue and Dissent Strengthening the capacity of civil society to engage in dialogues with stakeholders for improved disaster risk reduction policies, practices, and investments.
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  • Up-scaling Eco-DRR Increasing communities resilience and reducing disaster risks through ecosystem-based solutions.
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