On 16 October, the EU and Morocco as co-chairs of the Group of Friends of the Platform on Disaster Displacement welcomed 33 UN Member States to the first Group of Friends meeting of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD). Broad representation from Pacific Small Island Developing States, African, Caribbean, and European countries showed the extensive interest on the topic of Disaster Displacement and wide-ranging commitment to our common goal to better protect those displaced by disasters and climate change.
At the outset of the meeting, Ambassador François Rivasseau, speaking on behalf of France's current chairmanship of the PDD reminded of the reach and impact of the Disaster Displacement: "The number of people displaced by natural disasters is larger than of those displaced by conflict - and it is only increasing. We all are here to start preparing an answer to this challenge now."
Concluding the successful outcome of the first meeting, the Group of Friends will convene biannually in Geneva and biannually in New York with the purpose of raising awareness of disaster displacement at the global level. As co-chair, the EU will use the Group of Friends platform for building coalitions and showcasing good practices and policies in the area of disaster displacement with links to the climate change and disaster risk reduction agendas.
The meeting followed a week of strong EU engagement for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in light of the annual Disaster Risk Reduction Day 2019. Observed annually on 13 October, the international day promotes a global culture of risk-awareness and encourages exchange of best community practices. To these ends, the EU Delegation attended a seminar on the nexus between "Environment, Gender and Disaster", hosted by the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR) on Friday, 13 October.
The seminar shed light on how gender-inclusive and ecosystems-based approaches reduce exposure to disasters and help protect people. PEDRR organised the session to specifically look into the role of women as stewards of the vegetation of ecosystems-based infrastructure. It concluded with valuable take aways regarding gender sensitive leadership for policy maker.
The EU places strong efforts into disaster risk prevention to adapt to the increased scale of disasters that will continue to affect Europe in an era of rapid climate change. The EU seeks to increasingly incorporate disaster risk reduction into its development cooperation activities, and is for example developing a civil protection knowledge network.
Moreover, the EU stands ready to assist any country in need, as building resilience is at the heart of our international engagement. We hence support the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, as the largest donor in disaster risk reduction worldwide.
Disaster preparedness – DG Echo Factsheet
Disaster Risk Reduction Policy – DG Devco