United Nations Development Program
Disaster Risk Reduction
Jenny Qi, Forest Hills Northern High School
Disaster Risk Reduction is an issue that every nation has dealt with, and is a problem that nations still constantly face. To begin with, the definition of disaster risk is potential loss from a disaster expressed in lives, health status, assets, and services that can happen in particular societies from the impact of a natural hazard. Disaster Risk Reduction is a systematic approach to identify, assess, and reduce disaster risk. According to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, floods are the most common form of natural disaster followed by tornadoes and earthquakes. Each nation’s goal is to reduce the damage done by certain disasters, and though there have been many advancements in technology to help reduce disaster risks, many nations still suffer from the long-lasting effects of natural disasters.
Earthquakes, floods, heatwaves, and forest fires are the most common natural disasters that occur in Greece. As a result of being located on the Aegean Sea Plate, Greece is one of the most seismically active countries in the world resulting in earthquakes and tsunamis. Because of this and many other natural disasters, Greece has a lot of experience dealing with disaster risk reduction. In the past 365 days, 185 earthquakes with a magnitude of 1.5 or greater have occurred, and in 2018, a series of wildfires that were the second deadliest in the 21st century also occurred during a heatwave that began in the coastal areas of Attica, Greece. From 2005-2015, Greece implemented the Hyogo Framework for Action, carrying out many actions that would reduce the risk of natural disasters. In more recent years, Greece has started undergoing the Sendai Framework for Action, a successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework that runs from 2015 to 2030. Moreover, the Hellenic National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction has been focusing on reducing the risk of disasters without having large economic impacts on the country.
Greece notes that the UN is taking many initiatives towards the issue of disaster risk reduction, but there is still much to be done in the future. Greece is currently following the Sendai Framework for Action, and encourages other nations to do so too. The Sendai Framework is an action oriented framework with seven global targets all to be completed by 2030, focusing on four priority areas. While the Hyogo Framework focused more on how to respond to disasters and the losses, the Sendai Framework strives to focus on preventing or stopping natural hazard issues before they happen.
Greece believes that other nations can reduce the risk of disasters by setting up different warning systems and disaster programs for relevant disasters in the area. While these network systems in Greece are effective at providing an early warning to local civil protection authorities, it has proven more difficult to broadcast warnings to the general population. Greece suggests installing more sirens or developing effective warning systems, in hopes of reducing disaster risk. Finally, the committee should continue undergoing the Sendai Framework and working towards achieving its yearly goals. Greece believes these solutions will be able to help reduce the risk of natural disasters. Greece looks forward to working with all nations to minimize risks and damage caused by disasters.
- Jenny Qi