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PRESS RELEASE, June 7, 2007

Contact: GROOTS INTERNATIONAL/HUAIROU COMMISSION
+91-9819700825

Grassroots innovators urge policy makers at UNISDR Global Platform for
Disaster Risk Reduction to scale up community led risk reduction strategies.


"Here are all these women who don't have a lot, but they are prepared to give everything they have to disaster risk reduction; to do whatever it takes, because they understand their vulnerabilities and are willing to go the last mile for a safe and secure future for their communities." -- Marcia Antoinette Christian, Construction Resource Development Center, Jamaica.

Geneva, Switzerland
Community leaders with partners from local and national governments from Peru, India and Jamaica converged at the United Nations ISDR (International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) First Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). Representing different aspects of civil society, these representatives contributed to three days of high-level dialogue working towards enacting the Hyogo Framework for Action. The global representatives brought with them a message of gender inclusion and grassroots empowerment, emphasizing the need for national platforms to include community led action in disaster reduction strategies. The community leaders led a formal recommendation setting event of the UNISDR conference with national, local and inter-governmental officials participating. Together these actors developed a Report on National Mechanisms with Action Points, which were later presented to the Global Platform Plenary Session to better ensure community participation while integrating national DRR strategies. These recommendations are attached below.

Report on National Mechanisms Workshop 4.1.4 From
National Frameworks to Local Action:
Implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action

This working group shared and analyzed risk reduction strategies initiated by a range of actors involved in implementing HFA . The panelists - from Peru, India and Jamaica – presented initiatives for hazard mapping, safe construction and sustainable livelihoods which are being scaled up through grassroots women’s partnerships with local and national governments.

Effective community led strategies can be scaled up with the support of local and national government. However, participants recognized the challenges of sustaining quality effectiveness and dynamic community involvement and ownership.

Existing policies and programs do not adequately value the efforts of women and their communities in coping with disasters. Nor do they build on lessons learned, from community actions to cope with disasters.

ACTION POINTS:

Designate Funds

Establish a Global Community Disaster Risk Reduction Facility that channels funds to hazard prone, and at-risk, poor communities and their local authorities to demonstrate and scale up DRR strategies and enable their active participation in realizing the Hyogo Framework for Action.

Engage Local Community Innovators As Technical Experts in Risk and Vulnerability Reduction

Establish community to community exchange and networking mechanisms and technical assistance protocols that enable community experts —to train and transfer their knowledge and skills. Transferring bottom-up sustainable livelihoods, safe/affordable construction methods, asset protection, food security, community wide information sharing and mobilization approaches will capacitate CBOs to partner with local authorities and take ownership of the HFA.

Measurable Targets for Community Participation and Local Action in Reducing Risks

Declare and commit 20% all global/national DRR resources for community based implementation and monitoring initiatives in 2008 and that by 2013  the share will have increased to 30% of global and national DRR investment.

Local Partnerships

Establish local partnerships among community based organizations and local governments that inform regional, national and global efforts to implement the HFA .

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Disaster Watch is an initiative by the Huariou Commission to support
the growth & development of women - centered
community based, post disaster response.

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