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The latest insights on resilience and disaster risk management
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On the eve of the official opening of the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, three cyclones – including the ferocious Cyclone Pam – were casting a menacing shadow over the Asia Pacific region.

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For coming decades, resilience should be a priority commitment for sustainable and responsible development rather than a buzzword for the development community. There is no better place than Sendai to fully recognize the urgency as well as benefits of investing in resilience.

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Without an overall recovery strategy and the right institutions to carry it forward, a country’s post-disaster efforts are all too often ad hoc and improvised. We realized that recovery was something to plan for before disasters strike.

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“What would it take to reduce disaster risk in your country by 50 percent by 2030?” This question was posed to a gathering of small island developing states leaders and representatives during the Understanding Risk forum in London in 2014. At the time, it probably seemed like an overwhelming question.

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To share their experiences, a number of Code for Resilience participants from across Asia will gather at the Asia Resilience Forum 2015. They will discuss how they are engaging with disaster risk management authorities and developing community-led technology solutions to address local challenges.

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Malawi is no stranger to significant flooding. In January 2012, floods affected more than 10,000 people and caused US$3 million worth of damage to households and infrastructure. But this year’s floods are much larger in magnitude, even unprecedented.

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​Scientists declared this past year as the warmest year on Earth since record-keeping began in 1880, and a series of scientific reports found glaciers melting and extreme weather events intensifying. There can be no doubt that this year world leaders must commit to transforming their economies to combat climate change.

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The Paris negotiations where the world will be writing a new international climate agreement are just a year away, and here in Lima, delegates from around the world are discussing their national commitments and contributions that will largely determine the level of ambition in that 2015 deal.

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Pacific Island Countries (PICs) face critical challenges to attain financial resilience against disasters, and rely on aid as an income stream. This can limit their post-disaster financing options and place constraints on the national budget. Alternatives—such as risk transfers—could be used to reduce the drain on limited public funds.

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The approval of a successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015 will mark the beginning of a new era for the disaster risk management (DRM) community.