The Changing Landscape of DRR: Some Reflections on the Past Decade

Bruno Haghebaert, GNDR Learning Coordinator Bruno Haghebaert, GNDR Learning Coordinator
Bruno Haghebaert, GNDR Learning Coordinator, reflects on the changing DRR landscape since 2004, when John Twigg wrote the iconic "Disaster risk reduction Mitigation and preparedness in development and emergency programming" Good Practice Review book, comissioned by the Humanitarian Practice Network. Bruno outlines in this blog the main seven changes he has seen in the DRR landscape since then.

[by Bruno Haghebaert | 3rd WCDRR Sendai | 18 March 2015 | Day 5]

Participation at the Sendai World Conference for DRR over the last week has been a mixed experience for me. On the one hand, the government representatives present showed very little commitment to come to an agreement which would provide adequate international support to finance the framework aimed at addressing the increasing risks which our planet will be facing in the coming decades. On the other hand, luckily, outside the negotiators' rooms, often I have witnessed very interesting side events, thought provoking debates and inspiring sessions.

One such a side event in which I presented was the pre-launch of the Humanitarian Practice Network's new edition of John Twigg's "Disaster Risk Reduction : Mitigation and preparedness in development and emergency programming" Good Practice Review book. I was asked by ODI, the side-event organizers, to present on the changing DRR landscape since 2004, when the book was first published. I highlighted a number of new developments and trends which had gained increased importance:

  1. The strong interlinkages between the DRR and climate change adaptation fields, underlining the increasingly dynamic nature of risk.
  2. The prominence given over the last decade to the resilience discourse, creating the potential for a better connection and stronger cohesion between the DRR, climate, livelihoods and sustainable development agendas.
  3. A rapidly urbanizing world, leading to a reconsideration of some of the current approaches and methodologies in a context of enhanced complexity and informality.
  4. Increased links between environmental risks and social crisis and conflicts, often related to an enhanced competition for natural resources.
  5. Increased role of the private sector and businesses in DRR, responsible for the majority of the risk-sensitive investments in both developed and developing world.
  6. Substantial advances in knowledge, technology and innovation, especially in the field of information and communication technologies, leading to, among others, an enhanced role paid by social media in the field of risk reduction.
  7. Stronger attention paid to the inclusion of a wide variety of marginalised and at risk groups related to gender, age, disability, ethnic and religious background, etc...

These and many other topics will prominently feature in the new edition of the Twigg's DRR publication, which will be launched by ODI in May-June 2015 and will be available in several languages. A link to the publication will be posted on the GNDR website.


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