Every two years, disaster management leaders and high-level political representatives from around the world gather at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. At the conference, participants share their knowledge on disaster management, disaster risks, and strategies to reduce the impact of disasters. This year CWS was represented by Dino Satria, our country representative for Indonesia, and Takeshi Komino, our country representative for Japan. The event was attended by 3,200 participants and hosted 150 speaker moderators and co-chairs.
CWS has been attending this conference since it began in 2007. Takeshi stated the importance of attending the conference as CWS “continues to advocate for the role of local leadership/communities in reducing disaster risks.” He added that one of the main purposes of this conference is to discuss how to reduce disaster risks “so that everyone can protect the safe place they call home.” Dino further elaborated that “the role of faith leaders in the communities cannot be overlooked during the COVID-19 crisis. That is why as ACT Alliance we pushed for a statement by faith-based organizations to recognize the role of FBOs to promote risk-informed development. This was done to address climate change, pandemic risk, conflict and other forms of disaster risk.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this conference is the first time that many participants were able to meet their partners in person. Takeshi explained, “it is an occasion to connect with colleagues from our alliances such as ACT Alliance, GNDR and ADRRN.” Prior to this event, meetings were limited to Zoom and virtual calls, making it more difficult to collaborate with our partners.
This year’s conference marks the mid-term review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The UN Member States established the Framework as a guide for protecting communities from the effects of natural disasters. One of this year’s panel events focused on the importance of the Sendai Framework in protecting vulnerable communities. Takeshi, who participated as a panelist stated, “it is our duty to ensure the voices and realities of communities are conveyed to policymakers.”
The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is an opportunity for our staff to expand their knowledge on managing disaster risks and building partnerships. We welcome and look forward to the insights and action that we hope will arise from this important event.