After hours and hours of negotiations, the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction has finally come to an agreement, and the new framework is now called “Sendai Framework for Action: 2015-2030.” Some of the topics that concerned some states during the negotiation have been around inclusion or deletion of certain words, such as conflict and technology transfer, and whether ‘predictable funding’ will be mentioned in the document.
These concerns are few. There is a feeling generally among civil society groups like CWS that the new framework does capture essentials we need to move forward. First of all, the new framework captures both natural and man-made disasters. Second, it emphasizes the role of stakeholders more than ever. And lastly, the framework recognizes the need to proactively assess the risks in order to address them.
As being among the founding members of the Japan Civil Society Organizations Coalition for 2015WCDRR, CWS Japan has been pushing for the new framework to include addressing industrial disasters such as the one in Fukushima. This is only possible when there is consensus that proactive risk assessment and transparent disclosure is done in communities that are accepting the dangers around high-risk installations, such as nuclear power plants. Japan’s government has clearly indicated that they are breaking away from the myth that nuclear power plants are completely safe; a strong statement that should be applauded. However, if there isn’t full disclosure of all the risks to communities, it may actually be the same as spreading ‘safety myth’ once again.
Therefore, the question now is how we, as part of global community, implement this new framework that actually lead to risk reduction for vulnerable population in the world.
Our journey has just begun.
In parallel to this process, JCC2015 has been organizing various civil society events in Sendai as part of public forum segment of WCDRR. JCC2015 has mobilized over 4,000 participants to its events, and collected hundreds of voices of citizens that came to Sendai. These voices then have been turned into a declaration by citizens. The declaration is as below:
Dreams for 1,000 years
4 years have passed since that once in a thousand year disaster that caused so much pain. We’ve seen cars, houses, and humans swallowed by the tsunami. The disaster from the nuclear power plant accident is still ongoing. Many were lost looking for family members. We truly wish that those who were lost are found as soon as possible.
We need to cherish the lives that survived. We will help each other and gather strength and compassion to overcome challenges so that we don’t experience such sorrows again. How shall ensure that fear we felt was not in vain? We shall prepare ourselves, in calmness, helping each other to overcome. Preparation, this is the key.
We will never forget. Because, it will come again. Please don’t ever forget. We are all weak in the face of mother nature, yet with our combined powers we can become strong.
Thank you to all our friends from all over the world. We truly thank you for all the assistance we have received. We were deeply touched by these relationships that know no borders. We will treasure the bonds that we have built.
Therefore, we commit to help each other. We will think about others in every small decision we make each and every day. We will collaborate, with clear intent and purpose. After all, we are all here because of cooperation during the hour of need.
We will never forget.
We will recover. We will show you our recovery. Disasters will come when we forget, so we will continue to share our knowledge and memory to following generations. We must live with smiles on our faces but keep disaster risk reduction in mind. “Don’t panic, be calm and take action.” We will nurture our preparedness and a spirit that can withstand the impact of disasters. We will not rely too much on what we cannot see, but focus upon building our community and our capacity through cooperation, living our lives suffused with compassion.
You and I are both leaders. With a common dream, let’s take this on together.
Life is something we all share, and is something that cannot be replaced. We will cherish each and every life that we have. After all, happiness can be found in our everyday life.
“It’s OK. Listen, my heart and your heart are connected.” Let us build a bright future with a gentle spirit that carries us forward like a gentle wave or a beam of light.
Love and peace. It may seem clichéd, but we hope that everyone in the world can live together in solidarity. We all pray for this. And for this, we commit to cheerful cooperation, overcoming all the differences we have.
May our loved ones always return home safely.
March 17th 2015 Participants of Global Civil Society Conference on DRR
With intense week long activities in Sendai, and with the end of WCDRR, JCC2015’s journey for this world conference has concluded. There would be further discussions on whether a new network will be formed for the future, especially to continuously share lessons from Fukushima and link that to actual risk reduction of communities in close proximity to nuclear power plants, and to monitor the progress of the implementation of the new framework. World Humanitarian Summit, which takes place in 2016, is another occasion JCC2015 members are looking into.