UNITAR's activities in Resilience and Risk Reduction

The world’s vulnerability to disasters is on the rise. Despite progress made globally on the development front, the impact of disasters continues to be a major obstacle to the world’s welfare. To respond to the growing demand of skills and methodologies to protect lives, livelihoods and development gains from disasters, UNITAR develops research and training to support beneficiaries in UN member states in their quest for resilience and risk reduction so that national and local authorities can turn the principles endorsed at international level into usable policies and practices adapted to the needs of each vulnerable community.

The UNITAR Resilience and Risk Reduction activity area (R3) combines the knowledge and experience of several UNITAR Programmes engaged in supporting governments and local authorities in their respective substantive areas:  

  • the Decentralised Cooperation Programme (DCP) reaches out to national and sub-national authorities with specialised training and through 11 CIFAL centres around the world to connect people and enhance national and local governance;
  • the Operational Satellite Application Programme (UNOSAT) works at facilitating the application of geospatial technologies in disaster prone regions, through hands-on training on GIS and satellite imagery analysis and through the rapid delivery of satellite maps and data for emergency response and recovery;
  • the Multilateral Diplomacy Programme (MDP) has experience in augmenting Member States negotiation skills and supporting multilateral diplomacy through specialised training;
  • the Climate Change Programme (CCP) conducts training and facilitates knowledge-sharing among UN organisations and national actors to strengthen capacities to adapt to climate change and build more resilient communities.

Current Activities

Preparations for the World Conference on DRR

A free-of-charge online tutorial on the process leading to the Third World Conference on DRR will help countries design and adopt the new Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015 in Sendai (Japan). The tutorial is structured in 4 modules, covering the following topics:

  • DRR Essentials;
  • Past agreements and the Hyogo Framework for Action;
  • DRR, development and climate change;
  • How to prepare your delegation to the World Conference.

The target audience for this tutorial are delegations to the Preparatory Committee meetings and to the World Conference. The tutorial is also open to government officers in ministries involved in the process towards the World Conference.

To register for the tutorial, follow this link: http://www.unitar.org/event/e-tutorial-post-2015-framework-disaster-risk-reduction

Participation to the 5th IRDC Davos

The 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference (Davos, 24-28 August 2014), organised by the Global Risk Forum is a global venue for discussing the implementation of DRR. UNITAR is contributing its capacity development experience with two sessions on governance and satellite technology applications.

What is the Conference about?

IDRC Davos 2014 attempts to find solutions to today’s challenges by managing risks, reducing disasters and adapting to climate change. Focussing on a multi-sectors, multi-stakeholders and multi-disciplines approach IDRC helps to build stronger ties with adequate public-private partnership models among risk management communities and sectors, enabling a move towards a truly integrative way of thinking about disasters and risks. The outcomes aim to influence the post 2015 agenda such as the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (HFA2), the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or the replacement of the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol (post Kyoto).

Read more about the conference and find out how to participate here!


Future Activities

Integrated approaches and multi-sector skills development courses.

In theory there exists a continuum linking prevention, preparedness, response and recovery in a seamless cycle. However in practice there are barriers along the cycle that subdivide resources, skills and mandates. Whereas a distinction between prevention and response is a policy reality at international level, within national and subnational reality there is a need to develop integrated approaches and related skills to be able to apply DRR within development planning while understanding preparedness and build response capacity.

Policy and thematic courses in partnership with UN agencies, regional and national mechanisms, and CIFALs.

Reducing risk and enhancing resilience are cross-cutting issues, relevant to a variety of stakeholders in different domains and having linkages in many of the UN agencies and programmes’ mandates. Face-to-face and online courses will be organised in close partnership with actors having a stake in DRR; also, UNITAR will offer training on the integration of DRR into the various focus areas emerging from the Post-2015 Development Agenda negotiation process.

For more information on our resilience and risk reduction activities or general enquiries please email us at: research@unitar.org

Photo credit: UN Photo/UNICEF/Marco Dormino