United Nations Development Programme
Disaster Risk Reduction
Republic of Costa Rica
Evan Calderón, Forest Hills Northern High School
Natural Disasters have been an issue throughout all of history. Nearly every part of the world is affected in some way or another by natural disasters, from earthquakes near the San Andreas fault, to volcanic eruptions in Indonesia, to tsunamis in Japan. With natural disasters comes the destruction brought upon civilizations and the resulting economic impact. Natural disasters can obliterate infrastructure, damage agriculture, and even cause death. To minimize these consequences, the international community has taken initiatives in the form of frameworks and accords. The first major development in this issue came in the form of the Hyogo Framework established in 2005 and outlined details and steps taken to reduce the risk of disaster. After it reached its end date, it was replaced by the Sendai Framework which more clearly and cohesively lays out priorities and goals for the year 2030 in order to reduce natural disaster consequences.
Costa Rica is very familiar with natural disasters and reducing their risk, with 77.9% of their population and 80.1% of their gross domestic product lying within areas of a high risk of natural disaster, most of these consisting of two main types: earthquakes and hurricanes. Because of the high risk of the country, Costa Rica has taken initiative to reduce damage brought upon by disasters. For one, the country has built and maintained an effective Disaster Risk Reduction program which deals with educating the public about the issue, creating an early warning alert system to warn the general public, and much more. This program has effectively lowered the cost of damage inflicted upon the nation and has been proven to be effective. Costa Rica is also a firm believer in the Sendai Framework and works to implement it on a national and international level.
Noting that the Sendai Framework is a huge step forward for the international community and reducing the risk of disasters, there is still a huge need for improving it and giving it logistics. The nation of Costa Rica believes in Sendai Framework and believes every country should follow it and implement the policies and suggestions enacted by the Framework. It has four priorities about the issue and seven goals to complete by the year 2030 to reduce those affected by disasters, those killed by them, and the percent of gross domestic product affected by natural disasters.
To reduce the hazards and risks caused by natural disasters around the world, a few steps are necessary. First of all, Costa Rica proposes that other countries follow its initiative by creating their own national disaster program that can effectively predict, warn, and defend against natural disasters. Seeing as Costa Rica’s program has been effective, damage and destruction caused by disasters can be greatly reduced. Next, the committee should take steps to create the specifications needed to carry out the Sendai Framework and add the numbers necessary to complete the goals by the year 2030. With these solutions, Costa Rica is confident that the international community can effectively decrease the danger brought by natural disasters and Costa Rica looks forward to working with this committee.
- Evan Calderon