Reducing risk together: Engaging communities in disaster risk reduction

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Europe & Central Asia Ministry of the Interior (Finland)
Beautiful winter cityscape from drone. Helsinki. Finland
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Call for action on diversity and inclusion in resilience building

European civil protection stakeholders will meet in Helsinki over the next two days for an Action Oriented Dialogue on “Reducing Risk Together – Community Engagement in Disaster Risk Reduction”, hosted by the Ministry of Interior of Finland with support from UNDRR.

Spurred by the findings of the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the event seeks to amplify the voices and contributions of diverse groups in disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies and decisions.

86% of persons with disabilities remain excluded from community-level DRR decision-making and planning, according to respondents to a recent UNDRR survey.

While language on inclusive approaches to resilience building, development and planning is often incorporated, these words are not always put into practice. For example, 56% of respondents to the UNDRR survey reported not being aware or not having access to disaster risk information. These figures are a stark reminder to policymakers on shortcomings to enact the goal of the 2030 Agenda to leave no-one behind.

The event will culminate in an outcome document, curated during a roundtable discussion including 9 Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS), outlining key priorities, and calling for concrete actions for enhancing inclusive approaches to resilience building in the region. These priorities and actions will be shared with political leaders and national governments and inform the agenda of the next European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2024. During the event, representatives for persons with disabilities, youth advocates, women’s advocacy groups, volunteer groups, the scientific and technological community, the private sector, civil society, and international organizations, as well as local and national authorities, will discuss actions for improving the accessibility and inclusivity of early warning systems and strategies to support enhanced risk communication that counters mis- and disinformation. 

They will explore the role of volunteering organizations in disaster preparedness, prevention and response, and strategies to mitigate risks associated with industrial accidents. 

Participants will also visit an underground civil protection shelter in Helsinki to learn about their dual use for both the protection of civilians in exceptional circumstances, as well as for recreational activities in normal times.   

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