Today the European Commission lays out its primary vision on how the European Union should contribute to the global efforts to reduce the impact of disasters. The Commission has adopted a Communication on The Post 2015 Hyogo Framework for Action: Managing Risks to achieve Resilience. This document is the basis for upcoming discussions between the Member States, the European Parliament and other stakeholders who will work on a common EU position for the global negotiations at the level of the United Nations. These talks will focus on how to mitigate the impact of natural and man-made disasters and to build a new framework for disaster risk reduction – the so-called post 2015 Hyogo Framework for Action.
During recent years, disasters are increasing both in frequency and intensity and this trend is likely to continue. All countries are vulnerable: developing countries suffer a greater loss of life while developed nations bear higher economic costs. In the EU alone natural disasters have caused more than 80 000 deaths and €95 billion in economic losses during the last decade.
To address these alarming trends, prevention and risk management policies are essential. A renewed post-2015 Hyogo Framework for Action is a significant opportunity to advance disaster risk management across the world.
The European Commission has built the recommendations based upon the past achievements in disaster risk management of a range of EU policies including civil protection, environmental protection, internal security, climate change adaptation, health, research and innovation and external action. These achievements are an important EU contribution towards building a coherent policy on disaster risk management at European and international levels.
What is the Hyogo Framework for Action?
The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) “Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters” is a 10-year plan adopted by 168 UN Member States who voluntarily committed to work on five priorities for action with the objective of making the world safer from natural hazards and to build disaster resilience. Adopted in 2005, the HFA will expire in 2015. A wide consultation process is taking place on shaping the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.
What are the key proposals of the Commission?
1. More transparency and better governance of the new post 2015 Hyogo framework for Action
The European Commission suggests governance standards, periodic peer reviews and the collection and sharing of globally comparable data on disaster losses and hazards.
2. Focus on results
The European Commission proposes the introduction of targets and measurable actions to reduce disaster risks.
3. Disaster risk reduction measures should contribute to sustainable and smart growth
All major infrastructure and projects should be risk-sensitive and climate-and-disaster-resilient.
Innovative technologies and instruments to support disaster management should be further encouraged (early-warning systems, resilient infrastructure and buildings, green infrastructure, risk communication etc) in order to lead to increased business opportunities and contribute to green growth.
4. Special attention to the most vulnerable
The Commission also expects the new Hyogo Framework for Action to be more gender-sensitive and to target vulnerable groups such as children, elderly people, persons with disabilities, the homeless and the poor. Particular attention should be paid to building resilience in all urban and vulnerable rural settings, as well as in coastal areas…Read full text…