Posted on 23 March 2015
From 14 - 18 March the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction took place in Sendai City, Japan. Main issue on the agenda was the adoption of the second Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA2 2015-2030) for a global policy to reduce the damage by natural disasters.
Japan’s special relationship with global disaster risk reduction gave the world conference a strong input, leading to the final adoption of the agreement on 18 March.
The 10-strong official Dutch delegation was led by minister Lilianne Ploumen of foreign trade and development cooperation.
One of the main issues for the Dutch delegation was the reduction of flood risks by prevention and preparedness.
The World Conference was attended by over 6,500 participants including 2,800 government representatives from 187 governments. The Public Forum had 143,000 visitors during the five days of the conference making it one of the largest UN gatherings ever held in Japan.
Below a photo impression of some of the Dutch related contributions to the overwhelming 400 events that took place in just five days.
Lessons from mega disasters
Koos Wieriks of the Ministry of infrastructure and the environment presented the recently adopted long term Dutch policy on flood risk reduction during the working session Lessons from mega disasters.
Blending disaster risk reduction with IWRMJos van Alphen (second left), also of the Ministry of infrastructure and the environment, gave a key note during the working session on Integrated water resource management (IWRM). He suggested a risk-based IWRM.
Building a delta coalition
Mathijs van Ledden of Royal HaskoningDHV urged the Delta coalition to take on board the private sector during the well attended side event on the initiative to form a partnership by countries with large river deltas.
Smart community based DRRDutch princess Margriet (left) and minister Lilianne Ploumen (right) attended many working sessions including the one organized by Partners for resilience on a smart community based DRR-approach combined with climate adaptation.
Eco-based DRRDirector Jane Madgwick (second left) of Wetlands International hosted the working event Ecosystems management and resilience.
Next generationCees van de Guchte (right) of research institute Deltares participated in the Children and Youth Forum to pass on his experiences to the next generation decision makers on disaster risk reduction.
On stageNanco Dolman of consultancy firm Royal HaskoningDHV took the stage and gave a 15-minute presentation on resilient cities, especially on the much-praised urban landscape design by his firm for a flood proof city of Hoboken, New York.
Fierce negotiationsSjef IJzermans (left) and Maurice van Beers (right) of the Dutch delegation that had a hard time negotiating with the G77-countries on the final text of the Sendai agreement. The final ceremony of the conference had to be postponed 12 hours as the last draft version passed only after fierce negotiations.
Dutch exhibition boothTina Dermois (left) and Jurrien Theunisz (right), two Dutch students from Sendai, at the Dutch exhibition booth.
Disability-inclusive DRRThroughout the conference there was much attention for vulnerable groups, especially disabled people. The final Sendai agreement states that DRR-plans should be tailored to specific requirements for disabled persons.
Also read on this website
• WCDRR 2015: Japan and Netherlands join UNISDR in Resilient Cities Initiative, 23 March 2015
• WCDRR 2015: Agreement on seven targets to reduce victims and damage caused by disasters, 22 March 2015
• WCDRR 2015: First international performance for special Dutch water envoy, 20 March 2015
• WCDRR 2015: Dutch flood expertise appreciated in Serbia, 19 March 2015
• WCDRR 2015: Scaling up coastal ecosystems contributes to disaster risk reduction, 19 March 2015
• WCDRR 2015: Colombia, Japan and the Netherlands take lead in global advocacy of river deltas, 17 March 2015
• WCDRR 2015: Royal Dutch field visit to tsunami hit elementary school, 17 March 2015
• WCDRR 2015: Disaster risk reduction makes a perfect blend with water management, 16 March 2015
• WCDRR 2015: Partners for resilience puts communities in front seat of smart DRR, 15 March 2015
• WCDRR 2015: Flood prevention key for Dutch delegation in Sendai, Japan, 10 March 2015
Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction