From March 14 to 18, the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) was held in Sendai, Japan, attracting the participation of over 25 Heads of State, Vice Presidents, and Heads of Government. 6,500 delegates from 187 countries, 42 intergovernmental organizations, 236 non-government organizations, and 38 UN entities attended the intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder events. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addressed the opening ceremony. The conference consisted of the plenary session, ministerial roundtable, HL partnership dialogue, and over 30 working sessions.
On the morning of March 15, CAS-TWAS Centre of Excellence on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation (SDIM) co-hosted the working session “Earth Observations and High Technology to Reduce Risks” with the other international partners such as the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Group on Earth Observations (GEO), Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), European Space Agency (ESA), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM).
The session, with over 400 participants from the field of Earth observation for disaster risk reduction (DRR), was aimed to 1) showcase how Earth observations and high technologies have contributed to HFA key priority areas and how they are actually used at national and regional levels and identify the areas for improvement, 2) identify the areas where these technologies will be able to further contribute to the post-2015 framework for DRR. Especially, providing the DRR community with relevant data and knowledge, including geospatial information, to monitor the implementation of the post-2015 framework, 3) present and discuss voluntary commitments including partnerships as a way to materialize those voluntary commitments.
At the session, whitepaper titled “Earth Observations in Support of National Strategies for Disaster-risk Management” was co-released by UNOOSA, GEO, UNISDR, CAS-TWAS SDIM and etc., aiming to provide guidance on how to move forward in the next decades promoting the use of Earth observation and Space-based technologies in DRR at the global, regional and national levels. Prof. Guo Huadong, Director of SDIM, and Prof. Chen Fang, Executive Deputy Director of SDIM, attended the working session and participated in the work related to the whitepaper.
WCDRR is held once every decade and the first two editions of it produced the “Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action for a Safer World” and the “Hyogo Framework for Action:2005-2015(HFA)”, respectively. In the 3rd WCDRR, having completed the assessment and review of and considered the experience gained under HFA’s implementation, the “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015-2030” was adopted.
Figure 1: WCDRR working session “Earth Observations & High Technology to Reduce Risks”
Figure 2:Earth Observations in Support of National Strategies forDisaster-risk Managementwhitepaper