Because one blog post on disasters this week simply wasn’t enough…
Here – in a mere six minutes – Karen Pierce, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UK Mission to the UN, outlines the UK’s example-setting commitment to disaster risk reduction (DRR) both nationally and internationally.
And there’s plenty to be proud of.
For one thing, there’s the UK’s willingness to be the first country to have its DRR policies peer reviewed, and its plea for other countries to follow suit. Then there’s DFID’s commitment to building disaster resilience into its 28 country programmes by 2015, and Secretary of State Justine Greening’s co-chair role in the Political Champions Group for Disaster Resilience. What’s more, the UK is also joining the dots between DRR and the wider post-2015 development agenda (introduced here), and placing its emphasis on helping the most vulnerable.
But one theme that pervades Ms Pierce’s words – and one that has dominated recent DRR discussions – is multiplicity. The key to effective DRR, many believe, is the consideration of multi-hazards (health-related, weather-related and geophysical) at multi-scales (local, national and international), involving multi-sectors (governments, NGOs, the private sector, academia and civil society) and multi-approaches (development work and humanitarian assistance).
There are times when throwing everything but the kitchen sink at a challenge is counterproductive. But when it comes to the complex task of reducing the risk of disasters globally, it seems a multi-faceted approach has its merits.
The UK might not be sitting in prime hurricane territory, on a tectonic boundary, or predominantly below sea level. But it certainly is sitting up and taking note of the importance and multi-faceted nature of DRR.