Workshop Calls for Holistic Approach to Sustainable Development and Disaster Risk Reduction

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  • 2015•02•24     Kobe

    UNU-IAS, together with the Project on Sustainable Transformation for 2015 (sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan) and Tokyo Institute of Technology, organized the workshop on Sustainable Development Goals and Disaster Risk Reduction on 12 February 2015 in Kobe, Japan.

    The first session of the workshop considered the upcoming global framework for disaster risk reduction (DRR), which will be adopted at the UN World Conference on DRR in Sendai, Japan in March 2015. Dr. Masahiko Iguchi (Research Associate, UNU-IAS) presented on the origins and the development of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Dr. Robert Lindner (Research Associate, UNU-IAS) followed with an examination of existing and missing linkages between the post-2015 agenda and the upcoming DRR framework. Dr. Gerald Potutan, Recovery Expert at the International Recovery Platform, concluded the session with a presentation on the practical implications of the Hyogo Framework for Action in the post-disaster recovery of Aceh province in Indonesia.

    An interactive session then further explored possible connections between the SDGs and the DRR framework, and participants agreed on the need for a holistic and interlinked approach to sustainable development that also includes DRR and climate change mitigation. Among several ideas discussed on how to achieve this was building stronger linkages between the frameworks at the target level.

    In the second session, several examples of disaster risk management at the local and community level were introduced. Mr. Takashi Takami (Disaster Management Project Planning Division, Hyogo Prefectural Government) explained how the Kobe earthquake of 1995 impacted upon the DRR policies of Hyogo prefecture. Dr. Yoko Saito (Senior Researcher, Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution) introduced her research on how gender issues influenced the building of typhoon shelters in Bangladesh. Mr. Hirokazu Nagata (Director, Plus Arts) demonstrated how art can raise awareness of disaster and disaster risk management among children and the general public. Mr. Morihiko Shimamura (Director, Iwaki OtentoSUN Enterprise Cooperative) described the difficulties that people in Fukushima are facing, and provided examples of how local communities can reinvent themselves to face these challenges. In a discussion session moderated by Prof. Takayoshi Kusago (Kansai University), the presenters and workshop participants discussed the problems that persist in DRR, including gender and the protection of vulnerable groups.

    Closing remarks by Prof. Ikufumi Tomimoto (Yamaguchi University) called for increased collaboration between scientists and decision makers to address the remaining obstacles to establishing an effective sustainable development agenda.

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    This event was organized by the Project on Sustainable Transformation for 2015 (sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan) and will be held as part of the UNU-IAS Governance for Sustainable Development project’s activities.