23 July 2014, Geneva, Switzerland - The first meeting of the Preparatory Committee of the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction opened in Geneva on 14 July, convened by UNISDR as part of the preparations of the World Conference scheduled for March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. The preparations started in 2012 and are to include over 100 regional and technical meetings to draw input from all stakeholders and players involved in disaster risk reduction.
A new UNITAR on-line tutorial is helping delegates and experts engaged in the international preparatory process navigate through hundreds of documents and meeting summaries and understand the essentials of the preparatory process and the basic elements of DRR.
The strategic framework to be adopted in 2015 will be the third in a string of global strategies and will need to take in account the preceding strategies as well as the developments since the 1990s. The tutorial is an attempt to facilitate the preparations of the Post-2015 DRR Framework by guiding delegates and national experts along the process and provide technical information on DRR. The new DRR Framework comes in a series of strategic documents that began in 1994 with the Yokohama Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction. Since then DRR principles and practices have developed constantly. In addition the preparatory profess towards the Sendai Conference is complex and distributed around the world.
The new tutorial is free of charge and open to all although it has been designed mainly to benefit experts and national delegations participating in the meetings of the Preparatory Committee and in the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. There are two Preparatory Committee meetings planned before the conference in Sendai, one in July and one in November 2014. The tutorial can benefit also other professional categories interested in learning the basics of DRR and the structure and schedule of the preparations towards WCDRR.
The tutorial was designed by the team of the new R3 Project (Resilience and Risk Reduction) at UNITAR. The contents were developed in consultation with UNISDR, which is mandated with organising the Sendai Conference and its preparations. Parts of the tutorial are video lectures by DRR experts, giving participants a unique opportunity to learn from recognised experts. The tutorial doesn’t feature tests but each participant obtains a UNITAR Certificate of participation after going through all the modules.
Image: Above: delegates at work during the first Preparatory Committee in Geneva; below: The e-tutorial can be reached via UNISDR websites as well.