• Lead-organizer: Saudi Arabia
  • 13:00 - 14:30
  • Date: 22 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-8

Sustainable Development: The Critical Role of Disaster Risk Management

Organizing partners

1. Presidency of Meteorology and Environment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2. The World Bank
3. The Islamic Development bank
4. Organization of Islamic Cooperation
5. Islamic Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization


The impact of natural disasters is increasing over time in parallel to the expansion of human activity. Furthermore, growing urbanization increases exposure and vulnerability of large numbers of people to natural hazards. The escalation of severe disaster events triggered by natural hazards and related technological and environmental disasters is increasingly threatening both sustainable development and poverty-reduction initiatives.

Poverty and hazard vulnerability are integrally linked, thereby increasing both the risk and exposure to disasters. Sustainable and integrated management of natural resources will increase the resilience of communities to disasters by reversing current trends of environmental degradation.

With the aim of reducing risks from natural disasters, the Ministers of Environment of the 57 Islamic countries adopted an Islamic Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, and an its Implementation Plan with the aim of reducing risk from natural disasters which would be presented at a side event during the Rio+20 meetings.

Detailed programme

The impacts of disasters, whether natural or man-made, have human and economic dimensions, but environmental ones as well. Environmental conditions may exacerbate the impact of a disaster, and vice versa putting into question the sustainability fo development.
Many of the losses triggered by disasters can be avoided or strongly reduced. The importance of environmental management can be illustrated through the consequences of logging, both legal and illegal: it is now demonstrated that the incidence of flooding and landslides can be directly linked to this otherwise innocuous effects of deforestation.
Around the globe, land use and land cover changes are eroding the natural buffers that protect communities from hazard risk. These same changes often erode people?s capacity to recover from disaster. Other environmental changes, such as anthropogenic global warming will be as many new challenges to the security and sustainability of communities around the world. There are, however, opportunities to reduce disaster risk, and enhance community resilience.
It is now globally understood that taking care of natural resources and managing them wisely is critical to ensure the future of the generations to come, but also that it can reduce the risks that natural and man-made hazards pose to people living today.
Emphasizing and reinforcing the centrality of environmental concerns in disaster management has become a critical priority, requiring the sound management of natural resources as a tool to prevent disasters or lessen their impacts on people, their homes and livelihoods.
The executive work plan to implement the Islamic Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and management addresses these concerns; the two stage strategy aims to mainstream Disaster risk reduction and management across the Islamic World, to mitigate the impacts of disasters through supporting governments and non-governmental actors in preparing for natural hazards. The guiding principle of this work plan is a country led process, driven by the governments of Islamic countries with technical guidance and support by international partners.
Phase One of the work plan will (i) strengthen Disaster risk reduction and management capacity in Islamic countries; (ii) improve understanding of risks and access to data (iii) advance regional initiatives for disaster risk reduction; (iv) promote disaster risk financing and insurance strategies; (v) help countries prepare for disasters and strengthen post-disaster response and reconstruction capacity; and (vi) lay the groundwork for the second phase implementing comprehensive disaster risk management programs at the country level
Phase Two will see the implementation of disaster risk management programs tailored to the specifics of each Islamic country at risk from natural hazards. The success of the Executive work plan will require the highest level of coordination and cooperation between ministries, regional organizations, development partners and civil society.
The proposed side event will present the executive work plan to implement the Islamic strategy for disaster risk reduction and management as an example of cross-regional collaborative efforts between Islamic countries who consider disaster risk management essential for achieving sustainable development, and demonstrates that any future framework for sustainable development needs to include a clear prescription and practical application of disaster risk management.
The executive work plan will be presented by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) of the World Bank.
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