Concept Note

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The Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the Americas is the main venue that brings together key stakeholders and actors involved in DRR from throughout North, South and Central America and the Caribbean.  It is a multisectoral participatory forum which reflects the commitments and concerns of governments (national, subnational and local), intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), international organizations (IOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community organizations, scientific and academic institutions, the private sector, donors and the media.  It offers the opportunity to exchange knowledge and information, while promoting processes aimed at planning, monitoring progress, collective and strategic decision-making, as well as actions to strengthen the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA); with a view towards linking efforts with the international and national level.  Besides defining the trends and priority areas for advancing in the region, the results of the Regional Platform serve as inputs to the Global Platform for DRR.

The Fourth Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas (RP14) is being co-organized by UNISDR's Regional Office for the Americas (UNISDR Americas) and by the Government of Ecuador through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Risk Management Secretariat.  The offer to host the RP14 reflects Ecuador's continued support to the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and its commitment to the objectives of DRR and the HFA.

The PR14 will therefore be held in Guayaquil, Ecuador from 27 to 29 May, 2014.  Based on the experience of the previous session, the structure and contents of this fourth session are defined by the Advisory Council which is comprised of representatives of intergovernmental organizations from the region of the Americas - CAPRADE, CDEMA , CEPREDENAC , REHU and OAS; key ISDR system partners in the region - World Bank, IDB, IFRC, OCHA, WHO/PAHO, UNDP, Technical Donor Group, the Government of Ecuador as host country, the Government of Chile as host of the previous session held in Santiago, Chile, a representative of Civil Society through the Global Network of Civil Society Organizations represented by "ITDG Practical Action", a representative of the private sector represented by "Business Forum" , a representative of the technical-scientific community represented by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Regional Office for the Americas.


  • Results of the Previous RP Sessions


The first session of the Regional Platform for DRR in the Americas, organized by UNISDR Americas and the OAS, was held in Panama City, Panama from 17 to 19 March, 2009. This first session sought to bridge the gap between National Platforms and the Global Platform by establishing a mechanism for broad participation at the hemispheric level.  It focused on defining responsibilities and priorities in order to move forward with a hemispheric agenda in the coming years, based on the trends, challenges, areas of progress and opportunities in the region. The results of this first session included the consolidation and institutionalization of the Regional Platform for the Americas, strengthening partnerships and alliances, increasing knowledge surrounding the mechanism to monitor progress in the implementation of the HFA, the promotion of opportunities for cooperation and on the dissemination of information on DRR throughout the region.

The second session of the RP was carried out in Nayarit, Mexico from 15 to 17 March, 2011 and for the first time was supported by the Advisory Council as a formal support mechanism. The main results of this 2011 session were captured in the Communiqué of Nayarit regarding the need to prioritize DRR at the highest level of action and the development of a hemispheric agenda to promote DRR. The main focus areas of the RP11 were: Acceptance and application of DRR within adaptation to climate change (CCA); measurable increases in investments for DRR; Disaster resilient cities, schools and hospitals; HFA Mid-Term Review; and the message that was to be taken from the region to the Global Platform. This session permitted a reaffirmation of the commitment to the guiding principles of DRR and CCA, with a set of recommendations that were brought to the Global Platform.

UNISDR organized the Regional Platform in Santiago, Chile from 26 to 28 November, 2012.  Throughout the three days of the Platform, 400 representatives of intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society, community organizations, private sector and academia from 43 countries and overseas territories participated in six thematic sessions, a high-level panel and four parallel sessions aimed at identifying experiences and progress as well as defining the priorities for strengthening the DRR agenda throughout the region.  The Regional Platform was recognized by participants as the ideal venue to discuss how we can further promote the integration of disaster risk reduction into policies and planning processes. It has also served to reveal significant progress in the region in terms of strengthening governance for disaster risk reduction through new legal frameworks and the integration of risk reduction in investment policies and development planning in the countries of the Americas.

The growing interest generated by the Regional Platform can also be measured by the number of organizations, a total of 43, which presented their experiences in the "Ignite Stage" during the three days of the RP.  As a result of this, participants agreed on the following priorities to advance in the development of an agenda for disaster risk reduction in the Americas:

  • Strengthen the political commitment and encourage collaboration of all sectors to further integrate policies for disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change in the context of development planning.

  • Recognize and strengthen the role and capacity of the various members of civil society and ensure that communities and organizations participate in decision-making processes with regards to disaster risk reduction and resilience in the Americas.

  • Recognize and reinforce the link between the public and private sectors as a key factor in developing disaster resilient societies and support the integration of private sector efforts in a disaster risk reduction program in the region.

  • Continue to strengthen the procedures and instruments, including those of a financial nature, to monitor progress and ensure the integration of risk management and adaptation to climate change in planning processes, knowledge management, development practices and public investment.


In the context of the RP, a consultation was carried out on the new framework for disaster risk reduction post-2015 (HFA2) with representatives of intergovernmental organizations, national governments, local governments and civil society.  UNISDR has consolidated the key trends identified during the RP12 HFA2 consultations along with the inputs received from more than 100 organizations and HFA Focal Points Agencies in response to a survey carried out prior to this meeting in Santiago, Chile aimed at contributing to the discussions held during the RP and from consultations carried out in the context of the 7th annual Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM).  The results of these various consultations are available through the following links:


  • Main Focus Areas of the RP14


In keeping with the suggestions of the Advisory Council and the experiences of the previous sessions of the Regional Platform and the Global Platform, the Communiqué of Santiago as the outcome document of the PR12 and the priorities of the Fourth Session of the Global Platform in 2013, the RP14 will focus on the following aspects:

Thematic session 1: Risk reduction and special segments of society:
Children and youth,
Persons with disabilities,
Ancestral knowledge.

Thematic session 2: Disaster risk reduction, climate change  and the development agenda:

  • Risk construction processes,

  • Public investment policies,

  • Progress in DRR in urban settings: towards resilience-building,

  • Inequality and its impact on the resilience of societies.


Thematic session 3: Governance and public policies on risk reduction:

  • National Platforms: their progress and impact on disaster risk reduction,

  • Regional platforms and regional strategies.


High Level Panel :

Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in public policies.  


Thematic session 4: Regional consultation surrounding the new framework for disaster risk reduction post-2015 (HFA2).


Parallel sessions:

  • Experiences on integrating gender in Disaster Risk Reduction;

  • Land-use planning as a key element for DRR;

  • DRR and south-south and triangular cooperation;

  • The private sector and disaster risk reduction for resilience;

  • The integration of scientific research in support of resilience-building. 



  • Expected outcomes of the RP14

The expected outcomes of the Regional Platform are of particular importance in that they will serve to consolidate substantive and political contributions from the Americas coming from the previous Regional Platforms in the region in 2009 (Panama), 2011 (Mexico), 2012 (Chile) and 2014 (Ecuador) as key inputs towards the development of the HFA2, to be submitted for consideration within the preparatory meetings that will be held in July and November 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland for the organization of the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held from 14 to 18 March, 2015 in Sendai, Japan.

As such, the outcomes of the Regional Platform will be oriented towards:

  • Involving high-level political and executive authorities along with various actors to advance the DRR and the CCA agenda in the region;

  • Generating an increase in the number and diversity of participants in this Regional Platform;

  • Undertaking a joint assessment of the progress in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for the period 2005-2015;

  • Identifying and celebrating the achievements made through the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015;

  • Carrying out a substantive consultation with participants from various sectors on the new HFA2 framework.


The expected objectives of the Regional Platform will be:

  • To identify the achievements and evidence of the progress in the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015;

  • To provide an update on the status of implementation of regional agreements / recommendations for Regional Platforms strategies with a view towards presenting them at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction 2015;

  • To identify specific areas of expertise in the region as a contribution to HFA2 and which could be shared with other regions worldwide through the HFA2;

  • To provide an opportunity for consultation so that participants may contribute to the development of the new HFA2 framework;

  • To recognise the links to other global processes in which the region can make contributions (for example, the Conference on Small Island Developing States, the Water Summit, the Conference on Education for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals  and the COP20).


Annex 1 below provides a timeline of activities to be developed by UNISDR with the support of the members of the Advisory Council regarding the organization of the Regional Platform.

Annex 1








Save the Date message sent to partners for the RP 2014.


Third meeting of the Advisory Council: Approve agenda, thematic and parallel sessions.


Prepare draft scope and concept for Regional Platform with thematic matrix.


Discussion and approval of RP Concept note by Advisory Council.


Uploading of the RP Concept note and agenda in the UNISDR and RP14 Website


Definition of Sessions' Guidelines with members of the Advisory Council and uploading on UNISDR and RP14 Websites


Issue First Formal Announcement through Permanent Missions


High-level guests and speakers identified and invitations sent.




Save the date communication to high-level invitees, partners, address lists and website


First draft schedule of RP 2014 and invitations.


Panels finalized. Invited speakers confirmed and sessions prepared.


Issue Second Formal Announcement (including agenda and timetable for the week).


Preparation of the draft of the "Guayaquil Communiqué"




RP IV outcome document finalized and published



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UNISDR - Las Américas