Sendai Framework - Disaster Risk Reduction

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was approved at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015, held in Sendai, located in Japan. It is the successor to the Hyogo Framework that came into effect from 2005 and ended in 2015, with the approval of Sendai Framework.

India is susceptible to natural and man-made disasters, hence it is an important topic for budding civil servants. This article gives a brief introduction to the Sendai Framework and throws light on its objectives and high priorities.

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Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) – Introduction

  1. The Member States of the United Nations Organisation approved the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015, held in Sendai, Japan.
  2. This treaty is voluntary and not binding upon the member states.
  3. Under the framework, the primary role of the Member States is to reduce the identified disaster risks.
  4. The framework has a time frame of 15 years, i.e., 2015-2030.
  5. United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) is tasked with the implementation, follow-up, support and review of the Sendai Framework.
  6. The predecessor to Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015), an all-inclusive international accord on disaster risk reduction. The Hyogo framework was successful in galvanizing many stakeholders including the commercial sector, NGOs, scientists and governments in making progress towards disaster risk reduction.

To know more in detail about Disaster Management in India, visit the linked article.

SFDRR – Objectives

  1. SFDRR aims at achieving a substantial reduction of disaster risk and disaster losses in lives, livelihoods and health; in the environmental, cultural, social, physical-economic assets of people, communities, businesses over the next 15 years.
  2. The framework comprises of a set of standards, an all-encompassing framework containing achievable targets and an instrument with a legal basis for disaster risk reduction.
  3. The framework calls for the sharing of responsibility among the stakeholders including the private sector, the government and the other stakeholders.
  4. It highlights the concerns on human health and well-being that are common to disaster risk reduction, climate change and sustainable development.

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Sendai Framework – High Priorities

  1. Understanding the disaster risk.
  2. Strengthening the governance of disaster risks for managing disaster risks.
  3. Investments in disaster risk reduction for resilience
  4. Improving the disaster preparedness to ensure effective response, recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Major Departures regarding the Sendai Framework

In the domain of disaster management, the Sendai Framework provides the way forward for the period ending in 2030. There are some major departures in the Sendai Framework:

  • For the first time the goals are defined in terms of outcome-based targets instead of focusing on sets of activities and actions.
  • It places governments at the center of disaster risk reduction with the framework emphasizing the need to strengthen the disaster risk governance.
  • There is significant shift from earlier emphasis on disaster management to addressing disaster risk management itself by focusing on the underlying drivers of risk.
  • It places almost equal importance on all kinds of disasters and not only on those arising from natural hazards.
  • In addition to social vulnerability, it pays considerable attention to environmental aspects through a strong recognition that the implementation of integrated environmental and natural resource management approaches is needed for disaster reduction
  • Disaster risk reduction, more than before, is seen as a policy concern that cuts across many sectors, including health and education.

Difference between Hyogo Framework and Sendai Framework

Hyogo Framework

Sendai Framework

  • The Hyogo framework was the first plan which explained, described and detailed the work that is required from all different sectors and actors to reduce disaster losses.
  • The Sendai Framework (2015-30) is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-15).
  • Sendai framework recognises that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders
  • The Hyogo Framework sets five priorities for action, the first two being: governance and risk identification.
  • The Sendai Framework sets four priorities for action to be implemented at national & local levels and at global & regional levels-
    • Understanding the disaster risk.
    • Strengthening the governance of disaster risks for managing disaster risks.
    • Investments in disaster risk reduction for resilience
    • Improving disaster preparedness to ensure effective response, recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation.



India’s Initiatives for DRR after signing Sendai Framework

  • India released the first-ever National Disaster Management Plan, a document based on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • The plan is based on the four priority themes of the Sendai Framework, namely: understanding disaster risk, improving disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness, early warning, and building back better in the aftermath of a disaster.
  • The plan has a regional approach, which will be beneficial not only for disaster management but also for development planning.
  • It is designed in such a way that it can be implemented in a scalable manner in all phases of disaster management.
  • It also identifies major activities such as early warning, information dissemination, search and rescue, medical care, transportation, evacuation, etc., to serve as a checklist for agencies responding to a disaster.

As per the Sendai Framework, in order to reduce disaster risk, there is a need to address existing challenges and prepare for future ones by focusing on monitoring, assessing, and understanding disaster risk and sharing such information. The Sendai Framework notes that it is “urgent and critical to anticipate, plan for and reduce disaster risk” to cope with disaster.

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