AsiaPacific nations to boost efforts to curb disaster risk – UN

27 March 2009Nations in Asia and the Pacific – the world’s most disaster-prone region – will bolster their cooperation to share information on disaster risk reduction, a new United Nations-backed commission has agreed. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for 42 per cent of the world’s natural disasters and a disproportionate 65 per cent of global disaster victims.More than 200 representatives from governments, international organizations, non-governmental groups and the private sector attended the first-ever meeting of the Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction (CDRR), set up last year by the 62 member nations of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).The participants noted that knowledge of disaster risk reduction is dispersed and out of reach from those who set policy.The Committee asked that ESCAP promote partnerships with UN entities such as the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), along with regional organizations, to better assist member countries.Such cooperation “provides the opportunities to respond jointly to the needs of governments and communities to reduce the risks and vulnerability to extreme weather events, which is becoming more urgent with the impacts expected from climate change,” said Salvano Briceño, UNISDR Director.He added that the Committee will promote the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action, a 10-year plan to bolster the ability of nations and communities to respond to disasters agreed upon by 168 nations in 2005.