Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean
Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Platform for the Promotion of Early Warning
EWC-II reviewed the state of early warning and set out a detailed set of priorities for the future. It concluded that a significant increase in coordinated support and action was needed and that a “Platform” – an organizational capacity – should be created, preferably under UN leadership, to stimulate the development of early warning and the implementation of the conference recommendations.
The concept is that of a small organizational capacity located at the UN campus in Bonn and under the direction of the ISDR secretariat that will spearhead and coordinate a new thrust of concerted international action on early warning to reduce the risks and impacts of disasters.
The goal of the platform will be the reduction of the growing impacts of disasters, through the development of more systematic approaches to the use of early warning. The platform’s work will be guided by the substantive outputs of the Second International Early Warning Conference (EWC-II) - see www.ewc2.org). It will address improvements to the whole early warning value chain, including (i) capacities to understand, manage and reduce risk, (ii) the generation of early warnings, (iii) the communication of early warnings to those affected, and (iv) the capacities of those affected to respond to warnings.
Partnerships will be critical to the success of the platform. It will seek to build networks, promote active dialogue and shared agendas, stimulate new partnerships and launch new activities. It will encourage coordination among the major stakeholders concerned with early warning and related risk management, including UN bodies, such as WMO, UNEP, UNESCO, FAO, and the many organizations that attended EWC-II that were concerned with policymaking, civil protection, risk reduction, hazards prediction, natural resources management, education and training, sustainable development, etc.
Activities will include such things as advocacy events and lobbying at international meetings; the production of information products, databases, and a web site; organizing of workshops and studies on critical issues; the development of policy papers and tools such as benchmarks and targets; and networking and partnership development.
Early warning systems help people avoid death, injury and loss of assets and livelihoods. Good early warning systems are people centered and systematic, and include well informed communities that know what warning means and what to do in response to them. EWC-II called for improvements to the whole early warning value chain, including:
capacities to understand, manage and reduce risk,
the generation of early warnings,
Top priorities for 2005 are likely to be the consolidation of work started in 2004, and the follow-up on outcomes of the WCDR related to early warning. Other priorities under consideration include the enhancement of early warning coordination across the UN, and the development of tools for better early warning systems definition, such as benchmarking and cost-benefit analysis.
The ISDR Secretariat acknowledges with appreciation the support for the Platform from the Humanitarian Aid Department of the German Federal Foreign Office. This office allocates nearly 10% of its budget to disaster reduction activities – aiming to address root causes as well as relief needs.
The platform in Bonn will also enable the ISDR Secretariat to expand its relationships and activities with important groups there – such as the Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations Volunteers, and the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security.
more information contact: