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Duryog Nivaran at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Sendai (Part II)

Ministerial Round-Table on Governing Disaster Risk

Duryog Nivaran representative and founder member, Ms Priyanthi Fernando, was one of five non-governmental representatives speaking at the Ministerial Round Table on Governing Disaster Risk: overcoming challenges at WCDRR 2015.  The Round Table was chaired by Ms. Maria del Pilar Cornejo, Minister Secretary for Risk Management, Ecuador
Ms Fernando's statement is reproduced below:

“Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, I represent Duryog Nivaran, South Asian civil society network of people and organisations committed to promoting disaster risk reduction in what is the world’s most disaster prone region.

Since our inception in 1995, we have been working directly with people affected by disasters and organisations that represent them, so we welcome the macro level policy and institutional reforms that have been put into place during the period of the HFA., and the commitment to multistakeholder participation that has been evident in the statements of the delegates to this round table.  A little disappointed that there are no South Asian member states represented here.
We would like to reiterate that the way forward is definitely to strengthen local governance processes. In addition to the more dramatic disaster events, there are the extensive risk factors – the droughts, the floods, the landslides, which are highly localized, but which seriously affect the lives of poor women, men and children, and these are trending upwards.  Identifying and managing these risks is best done at a local level,  but in many South Asian countries,  local government institutions often don’t have the capacity, the confidence or the power to do this.

In this context Duryog Nivaran would like to urge member states to:

 -INVEST in enabling local government to assess the potential for disaster loss and damage at local level.  These assessments need to be integrated across sectors, and equally important, they must become an integral component of local development plans.  There will be two gains from this: one is the gain to the local authorities but the other is that the aggregation of this information could improve the quality of national level data sets.
- ENCOURAGE local governments to dialogue with their constituencies.  Local community organisations can sometimes be captured by the more powerful sections of the communities, so it’s important for local government to talk to the more marginalized members of the communities and to women.    There is a lot of evidence to show that women have a good understanding of disaster risk, and capacity to mitigate this risk and that it is important to include them in all DRR activity.
- PROVIDE RESOURCES for local governments and other data collection agencies to collect and analyze data in a dis-aggregated manner
-FINALLY, and this is really important, ensure that national and global political considerations do not undermine/override the efforts of local governments to deal with local risks. South Asia is one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world – and we need to mediate our growth with a clear understanding of the risks at the local level”

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