Incorporating climate change and growth into the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction


Headline issue

The economic costs of natural disasters have continued to rise since the early 1980s and are expected to rise further given the challenges of climate change and population growth. This presents yet further challenges for Disaster Risk Reduction. As decision-makers move towards the preparation of a Post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, there is now an opportunity to address these risks. This paper sets out a number of specific recommendations for the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which will supersede the Hyogo Framework for Action and highlights a number of challenges for decision-makers that will need addressing in the development of a new framework.

Key points

  • The economic and human costs of disasters are rising. Since 1980, total economic losses from natural perils globally have increased in real terms by $34 billion a decade.
  • Increasing damages have been seen in most countries and particularly on developing countries. Unless the impacts of natural disasters can be systematically reduced, past development gains could be put at risk.
  • The Strategic Goals and Priorities for Action of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015 provide the right foundation for tackling these challenges. But to address the emerging risks requires a scaled-up and more urgent implementation of the HFA’s Priorities for Action, particularly those concerning the integration of disaster risk reduction into sustainable development policies and planning.
  • The Post-2015 Framework needs to go further. It should place a stronger emphasis on the need to manage the underlying drivers of long-term trends in risk, as opposed to just current risk factors, and a strategic goal that emphases disaster risk management as a progressive, flexible, learning process, rather than a one-off.
  • In some areas, the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction will need to strengthen or extend the priorities of the HFA, including:
    • a stronger emphasis on the need to manage the underlying drivers of long-term trends in risk (as well as current risks), including providing practical guidance;
    • Greater recognition of the need to understand and deal with changing and uncertain risks within HFA Priorities 2 (on risk assessment and early warning) and 3 (on using knowledge to build resilience);
    • a strategic goal that emphasis disaster risk management as a progressive, flexible, learning process, rather than a one-off.
  • Climate-resilient development is central to managing disaster risk over the long-term, as core development decisions today will influence risk substantially for decades to come.
  • Achieving this goal requires a greater integration of disaster risk and adaptation into core development policy at all levels.
  • The successor to the HFA needs to be more strongly integrated with the structure and processes of the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda and the successor to the MDGs.