2022 is a big year on the disaster risk reduction calendar, with one of the most important regional gatherings taking place in Brisbane in September—the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.
It has been 4 years since the regional gathering last discussed how, in the most disaster-prone region of the world, an inclusive disaster and climate resilient future can be realised that is aligned with the global blueprint of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. As the international community continues to face the challenges of the pandemic and effects of climate change, it is more important than ever that regional opportunities are seized to reduce disaster risk. To build resilience, it will be critical to listen to all voices and leave no one behind.
In May this year, at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction held in Bali, attendees highlighted that the time for accelerated action is now. This action must include traditional and Indigenous knowledge and diverse voices.
The Australian Government, in partnership with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, will host the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction from 19 to 22 September 2022 in Brisbane. The conference theme is ‘From Crisis to Resilience: Transforming the Asia-Pacific Region’s future through disaster risk reduction’. Australia will showcase work already done including the Second National Action Plan to implement the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and Australia’s national Mid-Term Review of the Sendai Framework. It is an opportunity to bring the region together, particularly our Pacific neighbours, in the lead-up to COP27 in November 2022. This is critical timing as the global Mid-Term Review of the Sendai Framework concludes in May 2023 and we work to transform our region to achieve sustainable development goals by 2030.
The conference includes the themes of the Global Platform and adapts these to our region:
- Sharing our region’s progress towards the Mid-Term Review by discussing challenges and solutions identified through national reviews to chart a path for full implementation by 2030.
- Promoting inclusive and locally led disaster risk reduction efforts that take into consideration the capacities and the needs of communities including women, people living with disability, youth, older people, Indigenous peoples and other marginalised and vulnerable groups. Women and people in marginalised groups are disproportionately negatively affected during crises and yet are often agents of change, leaders in risk reduction and frequently the first responders.
- Shining a spotlight on the needs of least developed countries and small island developing states by focusing on their ‘lived experience’ and inviting Pacific voices to be active and participate.
- Accelerating investment in disaster risk reduction through collective action to increase the proportion of government and private-sector financial investment in understanding and reducing systemic risk and its cascading effects.
Bringing expertise together
Conference organisers, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the National Recovery and Resilience Agency (NRRA) and the Queensland Government as well as other partners are working to deliver an inclusive and innovative agenda. The conference has 3 theme pillars designed by international and domestic partners:
- Investing in resilience and preparedness, with an emphasis on understanding existing and innovative financial modalities that enhance disaster resilience, preparedness and recovery.
- Shock-proofed infrastructure and systems, focusing on the nexus between hard, soft and ecological infrastructure; and exploring how they interact to foster more resilient communities and societies supported by smarter infrastructure systems.
- Resilient communities, focusing on the specific contexts in which disasters occur, recognising that disasters affect people differently and exacerbate pre-existing inequalities.
A national narrative
The NRRA’s convening role allows us to champion systemic disaster risk reduction and provide leadership and strategic coordination in developing the national disaster risk reduction narrative. This narrative will be showcased at the Australia host stand at the conference central marketplace where we will highlight domestic best practice. The host stand will be a place where delegates can meet, connect and collaborate with new and existing partners to share and learn from experiences in implementing the Sendai Framework.
The stand will be set among 60 other exhibitors and will be part of a hive of activity. It provides a prominent platform involving representatives from a range of sectors to show how inclusive disaster risk reduction and climate action is being led in Australia.
Conference registrations call
Reducing disaster and climate risk is a shared responsibility and the NRRA invites people in Australia with an interest in disaster risk reduction and resilience to attend or follow the conference. The outcome should be how to reach the goals of the Sendai Framework and the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030.