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The 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (14-18 March 2015) and
International SABO Symposium 2015 in Sendai (18 March 2015)

The following is a brief summary of the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (14-18 May 2015) and the International SABO Symposium 2015 in Sendai (18 March 2015) for information to ISN members following my previous messages of January 2013 and January 2015.

Global issues of "Disaster Risk Reduction", "Climate Change" and "Sustainable Development" have been pursued rather independently over the past decades, however, in view of the mutually supportive and dependent nature, these issues will be pursued integratedly for the overall sustainable development starting from the three high-level meetings in 2015 (Ref.1(PDF: 59KB)): The 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction :WCDRR (March, Sendai), Summit on Sustainable Development (September, NY) and COP 21 (December, Paris). The 3rd WCDRR being the first in the series, UN Secretary-General stated on the opening day "Sustainability starts in Sendai".

The 3rd WCDRR reviewed the achievement of Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA 1995-2005) and adopted "Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030" with 7 targets, 4 priority areas, and a number of actions under each priority area (Ref.2(PDF: 33KB)).The targets will be integrated into Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Summit in September.

From the viewpoint of sediment disasters, it should be noted that Sendai Framework pointed out that disasters were increasing due to climate change, and recurring small-scale disasters constituted a high percentage of all losses (paragraph 4). It called for more dedicated action to address underlying disaster factors in particular unplanned rapid urbanization and poor land management (paragraph 4, 6). Increase in "investment" to reduce disaster risk and to enhance resilience (paragraphs of Priority 3) and "Build Back Better" through preparedness ahead of disaster (paragraphs of Priority 4) were also emphasized.

Let us see how the Sendai Framework will be discussed and integrated into the SDGs at the Summit in September, then in the climate change agreement at COP 21 in December.

International SABO Symposium 2015 was held as a public forum of the 3rd WCDRR, with the subtitle: "Protect human lives and communities against sediment disasters for sustainable development" and the theme: "Challenges to reduce the risk of sediment disasters caused by climate change and urbanization".

Through keynote speeches, country presentations and the panel discussion, the symposium noted that sediment disasters were occurring frequently across the world causing huge human loss and impeding development; serious damage were especially to vulnerable people such as the poor; climate change and urbanization were main causes of sediment disasters as highlighted by recent disasters in Japan, Brazil and others. Symposium concluded sediment disaster reduction was essential for the sustainable development.

The symposium adopted "Recommendation" based on the discussions at the symposium and referring to the recommendation of INTERPRAEVENT 2014 in Nara. It called for promotion of sediment disaster risk reduction in each country with priority on twelve actions (Ref.3(PDF: 32KB)) ,mostly in the same line as the Sendai Framework. Recommendation 10 "Promotion of information exchange" is most relevant to International Sabo Network (ISN). This point is mentioned in the Sendai framework in paragraph 25 (d),(e),(g),(h) etc. Editorial staff of International Sabo Association (ISA) is discussing what we should do to further promote information exchange among ISN members. Cooperation of ISN members is essential for whatever initiatives we may take.

In conclusion, DRR is now regarded as a key element of global development agenda through integration with climate change and sustainable development. Likewise, sediment disaster DRR should be regarded as an important part of DRR at national and international levels. 2015 is a good opportunity to do so as the importance has been well recognized and emphasized at the 3rd WCDRR as well as at the International SABO Symposium.

I expect ISN members will play a key role in preparation and implementation of strategies and plans for sediment disaster DRR in each country in accordance with the Sendai Framework (paragraph 27 (b)) and the recommendation of the symposium (No.8). "Recommendation" of the International SABO Symposium 2015 in Sendai and INTERPRAEVENT 2014 in Nara (Ref.4(PDF: 45KB))are attached for reference.

May 2015

Hidetomi Oi

President, International Sabo Association