• Lead-organizer: Philippines
  • 15:30 - 17:00
  • Date: 19 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-6

Defying Disasters: A Tri-Continental South-South Dialogue

Organizing partners

Government of Philippines - Department of Environment & Natural Resources, lead of Cabinet Cluster on Environment and Climate Change with the ITI - Earthsavers UNESCO DREAM Center as Coordinating Secretariat; Govt. of Kenya -Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources; Inter-American Centre for Peace and Security (Colombia); NGO Partners - South East Asian Institute of Strategic Studies; Pimentel Center for Local Governance (Philippines), Climate Institute (USA), Philippines Climate Change Commission


Philippines, Kenya and Colombia have joined forces through their public and civil society sectors, to address the pressing issues of disaster mitigation, adaptation and risk management as a novel example of South-South Cooperation. The ultimate goal is to replicate solutions to problems to other countries in three continents of developing world. The process known as ?Cartagena Dialogues? hopes to assist response to disasters so that resources can be utilized for sustainable development purposes instead of diverting them to respond and recover from disasters.

This Cartagena dialogue addresses the key issues on the UNCSD agenda of making some of the poorest communities, including countries with largest number of displaced people and of refugees, more resilient to disasters. Special emphasis is paid on the role of local authorities, use of indigenous techniques, creative cultural communications and strengthening of financial mechanisms to generate some resources at local level for immediate response to disasters.

Detailed programme

Three vulnerable countries , Philippines (in lead), Kenya and Colombia have joined forces through synergized public, Governmental, and civil society sectors, to address the pressing issues of disaster mitigation and risk management as a unique example of South-South cooperation and a vivid model of the MDG?s goal 8 of partnerships for development. The ultimate goal is to replicate solutions to problems to other countries in three continents of the developing world.

This Rio+20 tri-continental dialogue combines interdisciplinary, imaginative and inter-related response to issues of food, health, water, oceans, forests, jobs-livelihood, energy, critical to poverty alleviation, sustainable development and peace by combining forces that do not always work together, emphasizing resilience of developing countries and also enhancing green economies. While some countries have managed to make disasters less deadly, the costs, especially in material damages, are growing exponentially. Reducing risk to natural hazards is therefore a priority investment to reduce the social and economic impact of disasters and ensure that resources available can be utilized for sustainable development purposes and not have to be diverted regularly to respond and recover from disasters.

The anticipated outcomes of the dialogue are as follows:

? To render participating countries, and through them, their neighbours in South East Asia and Pacific, Africa and the Americas, more resilient and self-sufficient in dealing with disasters through climate change mitigation and adaptation.
? To engage Finance Ministries to develop cost-benefit analysis and probabilistic modelling to estimate the cost of disasters and of prevention and mitigation measures, and that these are included in regular accounting and budgeting systems, not as contingencies. For this, the probabilistic risk assessment methodology, developed by the UN and the World Bank, would be used in these countries.
? To recommend special measures to deal with disasters in areas with high percentage of displaced people (Colombia, Philippines) and refugees (Kenya).
? To place emphasis on indigenous techniques of response to disasters, such as use of coconut fibres as a response to landslides in the Philippines.
? To demonstrate where policies are being advanced that result in reducing mortality and economic impact from disasters to which governments committed in Kobe in 2005 when adopting the Hyogo Framework for Action.
? To assess, on the basis of work already done, present risk reduction (prevention, preparedness mitigation and adaptation) tools, methods, success stories and failures in Colombia, Kenya and the Philippines.
? To address health impact of disasters, with special emphasis to cholera and dengue.
? To devise a transfer scheme for good practices, and existing global, regional and national models, including information and communications technology, methodology and equipment for, among other, floods preparedness, evacuation, marine natural park management and port/industry/commerce development.

? To propose concrete capacity development activities in this field, especially at the level of local authorities, using Makati (Metro Manila), Mombasa and Cartagena as examples
? To recommend management structures for development and best use of financial resources that are expected from the climate change pledges of the Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban UNFCCC conferences
? To devise and present a South-South cooperative system for disaster reduction and management for the UNCSD Rio+20 Conference as well as financing mechanisms with a creative communications approach harnessing an international army of artists and media practitioners to popularize science data in cultural symbols people understand to inform and motivate multi-sectorial and multi-stakeholder participation in an action agenda.
? To make an enhanced use of culture as a tool for bio-cultural diversity protection in accordance with UNESCO Resolution for World Arts Education Week for social transformation and the MDG?s.

The process, the Cartagena Dialogue started in Manila in March 2012 at the first preparatory committee, the second preparatory meeting will be held in Cartagena back to back to Rio plus 20, and the post Rio side event will be held back to back to 18th COP of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Doha.

Commissioner Heherson T. Alvarez as the Chairman
The Chairman of the Preparatory Committee is Commissioner on Climate Change within the Office of the Philippine President, Heherson Alvarez, acting with Department of Environment and other Governmental Agencies. And the Committee also includes Mr. Ali Mohamed, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources of Kenya, Ambassador George Owuor, Ambassador of Kenya to UNON and Dr. Viktor Sebek, Executive Director of the Inter-American Centre on Peace and Security in Cartagena, Colombia. The principal adviser is Dr. Salvano Briceño, former Director of the United Nations International Strategy on Disaster Reduction, as well as Mr. Mario Palacios, former Scientific Director of the Permanent Commission on South East Pacific. The coordinating secretariat is the Philippine Earthsavers honored as UNESCO DREAM Center and UNESCO Artists for Peace of the Philippines directed by Cecile Guidote Alvarez who is in liaison with other UN Agencies and NGO?s.
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