Canada's Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction: Background

In January 2005, 168 Governments, including Canada, adopted the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters (HFA), under the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR). The HFA is a non-binding international guidance tool, which seeks to reduce the human, social, economic and environmental costs of disasters.

In identifying the concepts of disaster risk reduction, the UN/ISDR describes DRR as a conceptual framework consisting of ways and means to minimize disaster risks by reducing the degree of vulnerability and increasing resilience capacity; and to avoid (prevention) or to limit (mitigation and preparedness) the adverse impacts of natural hazards as a sustainable development approach.

In setting out the objectives for the HFA, the UN/ISDR articulates five (5) priorities for action:

  1. Governance – Ensure that disaster risk reduction is a national and local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation;
  2. Risk Identification – Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks and enhance early warning;
  3. Knowledge – Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels;
  4. Reducing the underlying risk factors in various sectors (environment, health, construction, private sector as examples); and
  5. Strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response.

For more information see the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

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