Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sendai Framework

In the wake of climate change and increased pollutions, natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and more, are becoming more common across the globe. The United Nations Office for Disaster and Risk Reduction state that these events are more about disaster hazards, and as a result are working towards reducing the damage caused by such events. These disasters can have a serious impact on not only environmental but also infrastructure and societies as a whole. Depending on the severity of the disaster, it can have major impacts on how individuals live their lives. For instance, Puerto Rico is still struggling to regain power. Furthermore, this disaster left families with little to nothing as their homes and belongings were completely destroyed.  Disaster risk reduction works to reduce the risk of disaster by examining its causes. These include:

-exposure to hazards

-minimizing vulnerability

-land management

-improving preparedness

-increased detection of warnings for disasters.

Risk reduction for disasters is about not only reducing risk after disasters have already happened but also mitigating disasters by improving preparedness for populations.


The Sendai Framework is a 15-year agreement that discusses the role of multi-stakeholders in disaster risk reduction. Work for this framework began in 2012 and proceeded with negotiations in 2014-2015. It focuses on practical and evidence-based guidance. There are 7 global targets that include: reduce disaster mortality, individuals affected, economic loss, infrastructure, increase international cooperation and availability and access to resources to disaster risk information. Furthermore, there are 4 priorities of action:

  1. Understanding disaster risk
  2. Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk
  3. Investing in disaster risk reduction
  4. Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction calls for guidance on implementation support and works to continuously engage multilateral stakeholders, strengthen accountability, and overall reduce disaster risk. The framework wants to capitalize on the opportunity of mutual reinforcement between states and international agreements. It works to increase reporting by state actors, continued collaboration. Goal setting and target indicators, and cooperation across the multiple actors involved in the framework.  

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