10-12 September 2014 (Washington D.C., USA)
Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), in cooperation with the International Recovery Platform (IRP), organized a number of the technical sessions at the second World Reconstruction Conference (WRC 2) in Washington D.C., 10-12 September 2014. Hosted by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), a member of IRP, the conference was aimed at building consensus on resilient recovery as an imperative for sustainable development and poverty reduction. It also discussed innovative approaches for post-disaster recovery and reconstruction to further inform the deliberation of Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
At the opening, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, emphasized the importance of including disaster risk reduction in building back better disaster recovery principles, focusing specifically on developing countries at high risk. In that regard, he expected the conference to deliberate on a way forward on disaster recovery, particularly in fragile contexts, and highlight the role of recovery in poverty reduction and shared prosperity.
The three IRP/ADRC technical sessions contributed greatly in the discussions to achieve the objectives of the conference through the recommendations from the panelists and participants. In Session 1: Making Post-Disaster Recovery Efficient and Effective: Elements of Good Recovery for Articulation in Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the recommendations to aid governments in facilitating effective recovery are as follow: (i) having stable fund for recovery; (ii) using scientific information to support policy decisions; and (iii) collaborative efforts among all stakeholders, including the private sector.
In Session 8: Ten Years after Tsunami: A Retrospective, the recommendations to improve recovery operations include the following: (i) ensuring speed and focus on recovery of livelihoods; (ii) creating greater participation of community in recovery planning and implementation processes; (iii) linking recovery from tsunami to long-term development; and (iv) adopting simple measures of impacts of tsunami recovery programs.
In Session 16: Role of Private Sector in Recovery: The Case for Private Sector Engagement in Recovery for Post-2015 Framework for DRR, emphasized that private sector is a key factor in recovery because they understand the context and have the expertise to solve problems. This session recommended that private sector can be effectively engaged through the following actions: (i) providing opportunity for private sector to invest in recovery as means of sustaining businesses; (ii) promoting pre-contract agreements and pre-disaster recovery planning; and (iii) building long-term and sustainable relationship between public and private sector.
Included in the conference was the 15th Steering Committee meeting of IRP which mainly discussed its future role in the implementation of Post-2015 Framework for DRR as well as IRP's preparations for the International Recovery Forum in January 2015 in Kobe and World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015 in Sendai. One potential future role of IRP is to serve as a global mechanism for coordinating recovery policies and recovery processes.
Speakers at the closing plenary imparted key actions to move forward. Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction UNISDR, outlined the following recommendations: (i) bridging the segregation gap between climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) that are exhibited in research initiatives and in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery planning; (ii) reconciling response and recovery approaches for hazards and conflicts; (iii) recognizing of the critical role of local governments and communities in DRR and recovery by encouraging national governments to motivate and support local responses; and (iv) promoting collaboration among multi-stakeholders in recognition of the complexity of recovery process.
Ms. Rachel Kyte, Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, World Bank Group, indicated that: (i) resilience is all about people: the more we understand about people the more we understand about communities and their dynamics; (ii) it's not just about money: while actors need to make sure that there are finances to properly respond, governments must have the capacity to allocate, disperse, and protect funds; (iii) initiatives and messages should be "practical and simple"; and (iv) foster effective partnerships to reduce the burden.
Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Member of Parliament, People's Republic of Bangladesh, delivered the Conference Statement: Strengthen Resilient Recovery and Reconstruction in the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction aimed at advancing consensus, national and internationally, on the critical role of resilient recovery for sustainable development and poverty reduction. He ended his presentation saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail".
The WRC2 will inform the next round of deliberations at the second Preparations Committee meeting in November in Geneva leading to the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan where the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction will be adopted.
For more information, please contact IRP Recovery Expert, Mr. Potutan (email@example.com).