This paper presents a detailed overview of ‘The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015', which was adopted at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, held in Hyogo, Japan in 2005. It notes that the Hyogo Framework provides a strategic and comprehensive global approach to reducing vulnerabilities to natural hazards, and represents a significant reorientation of attention towards the root causes of disaster risks as an essential part of sustainable development, rather than on disaster response alone. In determining appropriate action to achieve the expected outcome and strategic goals, the conference reaffirms that the following (among other considerations) needs to be taken into account:

the principles contained in the Yokohama Strategy retain their full relevance in the current context, which is characterised by increasing commitment to disaster reduction
the importance of international cooperation and partnerships
an integrated, multi-hazard approach to disaster risk reduction should be factored into policies, planning, and programming related to sustainable development, relief, rehabilitation, and recovery activities in post-disaster and post-conflict situations in disaster-prone countries
a gender perspective should be integrated into all disaster risk management policies, plans and decision-making processes, including those related to risk assessment, early warning, information management, and education and training
cultural diversity, age, and vulnerable groups should be taken into account when planning for disaster risk reduction, as appropriate.

The Hyogo Framework calls for the following priority actions:

ensure that disaster risk reduction is a national and a local priority, with a strong institutional basis for implementation
identify, assess, and monitor disaster risks, as well as enhance early warning
use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels
reduce the underlying risk factors
strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.

The document concludes that the framework’s implementation is identified as primarily the responsibility of States, with the active participation of other stakeholders such as local authorities, non-governmental organisations, the scientific community, and the private sector. Regional and international communities, including the international financial institutions, the United Nations System, and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), are called upon to integrate disaster risk reduction considerations into their sustainable development policy, planning, and programming at all levels, to provide an enabling environment, and to support capacity development.

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