International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Issue: 13/2006- 12/2006 - 11/2005 - 10/2005 - 9/2004 - 8/2003 - 7/2003 - 6/2002 - 5/2002 - 4/2001- 3/2001

Partners in Action


PREANDINO Regional Andean Program for Risk Reduction and Disaster Prevention

Starting in November 2000 based on a joint decision by their presidents, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela launched the Regional Andean Program for Risk Reduction and Disaster Prevention (PREANDINO).

The 1997-1998 El Niño affected significantly the welfare and economic development of these countries. The Andean Development Community (CAF) received a first mandate from the presidents of member countries, who met in Guayaquil in 1998, to carry out an assessment of the socioeconomic impact of the disasters that resulted from el Niño, with a view to strengthening prevention. Many institutions from each country participated in the effort, producing a set of policy recommendations and suggestions for projects to respond to future events. Later, based on the results of the assessment and the evident lack of a disaster reduction component in the Andean nations’ sustainable development policies, CAF was entrusted once again in 1999 by the presidents with the task of supporting the institutional strengthening required at the regional level to achieve this objective and build capacity in risk management by promoting collaboration across national borders.

With this purpose in mind, and based on the recommendations presented by the countries themselves during their joint meetings on the El Niño phenomenon, it was decided to launch PREANDINO.


The general objective of the program is to promote and support the design of national and sectoral risk mitigation policies and of institutional arrangements aimed at incorporating prevention into development planning.

Specific objectives include the following:

  • Promoting and supporting the definition of national risk prevention and reduction policies and the development of institutional arrangements to respond to these challenges.
  • Promoting, guiding and supporting cooperation programs among equivalent institutional sectors of the Andean countries in order to strengthen their technical capacity to adopt prevention policies and programs.
  • Promoting the incorporation of both the technical and the political spheres in the development of national policies.
  • Promoting regional risk prevention programs, particularly those related to climate and natural phenomena.
  • Facilitating, supporting and coordinating technical cooperation initiatives among Andean countries.
  • Promoting the participation of supra-regional and international organizations in the design and implementation of cooperation projects at the national and regional levels.
  • Promoting the institutionalization of disaster prevention at the regional level.

The first PREANDINO meeting was held in Caracas on 30 November and 1 December 2000. A series of agreements were reached to launch prevention activities in each of the member countries.

It was agreed that regional and national working groups should be set up from both a territorial and a sectoral perspective, focusing on seven strategic sectors:

1. Knowledge of natural phenomena and their impact.
2. Water, sanitation and health.
3. Agriculture, livestock and fishing.
4. Roads and transport.
5. Energy.
6. Urban development, housing and infrastructure.
7. Financial and fiscal matters.

It was also agreed that the program would focus on six strategic areas:

  1. Institutional development: Sectoral and national planning; standard setting; institutional, technical, and financial aspects; and follow-up and control.
  2. Citizen participation: Linkages with the private sector and local communities and organizations for risk reduction.
  3. Education and Culture: The development of a culture of prevention.
  4. Political networks: The incorporation of risk prevention into the regional, national end territorial political decision-making systems.
  5. Science and technology: Improving knowledge of adverse natural phenomena and the management of their sectoral impact.
  6. Environment and land use management: The impact of environmental degradation and incorrect land use on increasing vulnerability.

The institutions spearheading the program at the national level are the ministries of Planning or their equivalents, since it is considered essential that prevention plans, programs and projects should fall within the sphere of development planning and policymaking.

Guidelines have been set up for achieving these goals. They include the following:

  • In both the national and the sectoral realms, formalizing the objectives, organization, functioning and launch of the PREANDINO Network, so that the Andean countries can appropriate it and ensure its continuity.
  • Striving for a formal commitment from the various participating institutions to the PREANDINO Program, to begin its implementation and make sure that it can become a permanent process at the regional and national levels.
  • Establishing National and Sectoral Committees in each country as the custodians of the process in the long term.
  • With the support of these Committees, developing national and sectoral plans.
    • Defining regional cooperation frameworks.
  • Holding national, sectoral and regional meetings to coordinate and evaluate the application of the Program.
  • Creating and strengthening the communications network required for the Program’s national and regional teams to work effectively.
  • Supporting the development of methodological instruments for hazard, vulnerability and risk analysis and for incorporating prevention into development planning; as well as training officials in the use of these instruments.
  • Seeking cooperation mechanisms with other extra-regional programs involved in risk prevention.
  • Within national institutions, strengthening the existing mechanisms for monitoring and researching natural phenomena and promoting the exchange of information on these issues across the region.

The Next PREANDINO Meeting

The next PREANDINO Meeting will take place on 4-6 July 2001 in Quito. The purpose of the Meeting is to start exchanging experiences in disaster prevention and agreeing on mutual support mechanisms to strengthen national and sectoral capacity in risk reduction and prevention in the following areas: National planning, the knowledge sector, agriculture, transport, and urban development.

The delegates will focus on the following sets of objectives:

1. Exchanging experiences and success stories.

  1. Presenting and analyzing the most current national and sectoral plans.
  2. Exchanging information on risks and on risk reduction through planning, policies, regulation, institutional development and methodological and technological advances.

2. Laying the foundations for horizontal cooperation

  1. Defining the procedures, methodologies and agendas required for each country to advance in the development of national and sectoral plans.
  2. Identifying the areas and sectors in which each country can give or wishes to receive horizontal cooperation from the other countries, depending on the strengths and weaknesses of each in the various fields.
  3. Defining a common regional framework for horizontal cooperation among countries and assigning priorities to the programs and projects that should be promoted in the short term.
  4. Establishing regional agreements and procedures for regional exchange and joint efforts.

3. Strengthening the network.

  1. Finding out the status of international funding for the program and how international agencies will collaborate in the process of institutional strengthening for prevention activities.
  2. Perfecting and strengthening the permanent regional and national communications and information network linking National and Sectoral Committees.
  3. Defining institutional responsibilities for each of the activities decided upon during the meeting.
  4. Agreeing on a Plan of Action for the national, sectoral and regional teams and cooperating international agencies.

For more information, please contact:
Tanya Miquilena de Corrales
Regional Coordinator, PREANDINO
+58 (212) 209-2032
Caracas, Venezuela