The global private sector alliance for resilient societies, organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, was set up to support the achievement of the global targets under the Sendai Framework. But what exactly is the Sendai Framework and why should the private sector help to achieve its global targets?

Endorsed by the UN General Assembly after the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015, the Sendai Framework, takes off from the previous instrument, the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015).

Like its predecessor, the Sendai Framework was a product of stakeholder consultations and inter-governmental negotiations that started in 2012. When it was finally endorsed, it became the first major agreement out of the post 2015 development agenda providing member states with a blue print for concrete actions aimed at protecting development gains from the impact of disasters.

The framework pursues the following goal – prevent new and reduce existing disaster risk through integrated and inclusive (economic, structural, legal, social, health, cultural, educational, environmental, technological, political, and institutional)  measures that strengthen resilience through prevention and reduction of hazard exposure and vulnerability; and increased preparedness for response and recovery.

The framework is designed to work with the other 2030 Agenda agreements such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With its four (4) clear priorities for action and seven (7) global targets for substantial reduction of disaster risks, the framework recognizes the primary role of governments in driving disaster risk reduction and the critical need for sharing the responsibility with  the private sector and other stakeholders.

Four (4) Priorities for Action

The Sendai Framework, adopted by 187 countries, outlines four priorities for action.

  1. Understanding disaster risk
  2. Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk
  3. Investing in disaster reduction for resilience
  4. Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to build back better in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction

While the framework is not legally-binding, countries that have adopted it have manifested their respective commitments to comply with it on a voluntary basis.

Why follow the framework?

Aside from being very concise, the framework outlines practical targets that any government or state, whether a member of the UN or not, ought to achieve or aspire to achieve, as these targets are critical in ensuring long term socio-economic development and sustainability.

The seven global targets can be grouped under two strategic approaches – reduction and growth.

Reduction Targets

  1. Reduce mortality
  2. Reduce number of affected people
  3. Reduce economic loss
  4. Reduce damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services

Growth Targets

  1. Increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies
  2. Increase international cooperation to developing countries

7. Increase availability and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments

The Sendai Framework and the Private Sector

While the framework recognizes the state as the primary driver of disaster risk reduction, it also acknowledges the reality that for any community or country to achieve true disaster resilience, every stakeholder must play its part. This includes the private sector.

In the Philippines, where on top of our disaster risks, the government is aggressively working at addressing sustainability and development challenges, the private sector can substantially contribute to achieving disaster risk reduction targets.

Even with businesses adopting disaster resilience strategies for its own operations, it already contributes to achieving our overall disaster risk reduction targets. By ensuring that it is able to bounce forward better after a disaster, businesses are able to extend protection to its employees, contractors and business partners, who draws income from it.

At the end of the day, disaster resilience is everybody’s business. As stakeholders of a truly resilient Philippines, we all have a role to play. Join ARISE-Philippines, as we forge a better path forward for all us.

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