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Fourteen actions and six proposals for science and technology-based disaster risk reduction in Asia

Participants at the Second Asian Science and Technology Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction, held on 17–18 April 2018 in Beijing, China, renewed their commitment to accelerated implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 20152030 as the pivotal means to achieve the goals of sustainable development and resilience. This paper describes fourteen actions and puts forward six proposals that will further Sendai Framework implementation and enhance sustainable development efforts.

Frank Thomalla, Guoyi Han / Published on 6 June 2018

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Shi, P., Shaw, R., Ardalan, A. et al. Int J Disaster Risk Sci (2018) 9: 275.


Panelists look at a graphic on global temperature change since 1850 at the Second Asian Science and Technology Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction, held in April 2018 in Beijing, China. Photo: Guoyi Han/SEI

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 20152030 shifts the focus from managing disasters to reducing risks. Such a shift requires a better understanding of risk in all its dimensions of environment, hazards, exposure, and vulnerability; a disaster risk governance that ensures disaster risk is factored into planning and development at all levels across all sectors, as well as into disaster preparedness, rehabilitation, recovery, and reconstruction; and cost–benefit analyses to support the prioritization of investments in disaster risk reduction (DRR) for long-term resilience.

The Sendai Framework clearly identifies the primary responsibility of each state to prevent and reduce disaster risk and emphasizes the role of science and technology. It calls for prioritizing the development and dissemination of science-based risk knowledge, methodologies and tools, science and technology work on DRR through existing networks and research institutions, and a strengthened interface between science and policy to support all four priority areas.

In January 2016, the “Science and Technology Roadmap to Support the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030”1 was agreed on as the outcome of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Science and Technology Conference. The Roadmap includes expected outcomes, actions, and deliverables under each of the four priorities of the Sendai Framework. In support of the implementation of the Science and Technology Roadmap, the Global Forum on Science and Technology for Disaster Resilience 2017, which was co-hosted by UNISDR in Tokyo, approved the “Tokyo Statement” and reemphasized the importance of developing guidelines for strengthening national platforms for DRR and implementing periodic synthesis reports on the state of science and technology for DRR.

Asia has a large population and very uneven economic and social development. It faces all potential hazards in the world, which have featured with high frequency, high intensity, large disaster losses, and a high proportion of global disaster losses. At the same time, Asia has been the world’s hotspot of economic development and innovation in terms of science and technology over recent decades. In the context of global climate change and globalization, disaster risk is increasing. The 2030 global goals on DRR set by the United Nations can be hardly achieved if DRR indicators such as disaster casualties and property losses and their proportions relative to the rest of the world do not decrease in Asia. Therefore, in order to achieve the global targets, there is an urgent need to strengthen the overall science and technology-based DRR capacity in Asia, especially in countries (regions) with high population densities, weak economic and social development, and accelerated urbanization processes.

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SEI authors

Profile picture of Frank Thomalla
Frank Thomalla

SEI Affiliated Researcher

SEI Asia

Guoyi Han
Guoyi Han

Senior Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

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