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Pacific Countries to Develop Integrated Regional Disaster Risk Management/Climate Change Strategy by 2015

PPDRM-and-PCCR12 July 2013: The first-ever Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management (PPDRM) and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable (PCCR) convened under the theme 'Strengthening Resilience: An Integrated Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change in the Pacific.' The meeting was organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

In 2011, the Pacific Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and climate change communities agreed to combine efforts to develop an integrated regional DRM and climate change strategy by 2015. Pacific leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum in 2015 will consider the regional strategy and, if endorsed, the Pacific will be the first region in the world with an integrated plan to tackle disaster risk and climate change.

Within this context, the Joint Meeting, which was held from 8-11 July 2013, in Nadi, Fiji, aimed to: progress discussions and commitment on developing an integrated regional strategy by 2015; leverage the expertise of the DRM and climate change communities and gather views and aspirations of all stakeholders regarding the formulation of such a strategy; and facilitate sharing of experiences and lessons learned on DRM and climate change among all stakeholders the region.

The meeting outcomes will also contribute to the development of: the global post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction (DRR), to replace the current Hyogo Framework for Action; and the post-2015 development agenda. Participants also discussed: the importance of partnerships; the role of the private sector; the need to mainstream gender considerations; preserving and using traditional knowledge; and the contribution of vulnerable groups to building resilient communities.

During the meeting, SPREP Director-General David Sheppard stated that while changes to existing systems can seem threatening and discussions have occurred regarding implications of an integrated strategy for funding, and the roles and responsibilities of different agencies, at national and regional levels, 'integration is not a threat – it's an opportunity.' Sheppard highlighted four key points from the meeting: any strategy must enable and support national action; ownership and inclusion is essential; good governance must underpin any strategy; and work in the region must inform international efforts on DRR and climate change.

Jerry Velasquez, UNISDR Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific, said the region has “demonstrated its global leadership” by placing the future of DRR work explicitly within a holistic and overarching approach to sustainable development, and emphasized the potential of the Pacific to move from “a culture of creating shared risk to one that creates shared value.” [Joint Meeting Website] [SPREP Press Release] [UNISDR Press Release] [SPREP Website] [SCP Website] [UNISDR Website]