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Implementing the HFA at a local level in Europe: Towards the Post-2015 Framework 

Patrícia Pires provides an overview local level resilience in Europe, and how priorities set under the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 should be continued and evolve in the future. 


The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disaster, outlines five priorities for action to be implemented by different sectors and actors to reduce disaster risk and achieving disaster resilience for nations and communities. These priorities are to: 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 and enhance early warning; use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels; reduce the underlying risk factors; and strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.

The local-level is mentioned within these five priorities, emphasising its important role in implementing disaster risk reduction.

Within the framework of the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Working Group on Local-Level Implementation of the HFA has been conducting a survey on the state of local-level implementation of the HFA, to provide an overview of how local-level resilience is being addressed in the Europe region.

Considering the consultation process on the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction (DRR), identifying and understanding of how HFA priorities have been implemented in the last 10 years at the local level are useful to highlight good practices that should be continued into the next decade, as well as identifying gaps that need to be filled in the post-HFA.

This questionnaire was focused mainly on the local/municipal level, with the possibility to add information regarding activities performed by other sub-national levels (region, province, district, county, länder, canton, etc).

The survey draws up an overall picture of the results achieved and shortcomings experienced by different European countries. Its main findings show that DRR is a multi-stakeholder process where strong collaboration between the national and the local level is crucial to implementing DRR activities. Good practices that were highlighted included legal frameworks that had been established and co-operation with academia, private sector and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Other important mechanisms and stakeholders involved in fulfilling HFA priorities were the implementation of city networks, and the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient campaign.

Based on the outcome of the survey and the successes and lessons learnt under the current HFA, the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group on Local-Level implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action makes the following recommendations to the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction:

  1. Local-level disaster risk management capacities should be reinforced and harmonised with national development plans. Strong local structures and enhancement of local authorities’ capacities, including dedicated budgets for disaster risk reduction, are essential to improve planning and resilience of cities.
  2. Disaster loss data collection, disaggregated according to the new indicator system of the post-2015 framework for DRR, should be promoted at the local level. In order to improve transparency, accountability and governance, as well as demonstrate the effectiveness of investment in disaster risk reduction, the collection and sharing of comparable data on disaster losses, hazards and vulnerabilities is pivotal.
  3. Stronger linkages with the sustainable development agenda and climate change framework at the local level should be established via the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient campaign. This campaign can serve to integrate the DRR, climate change, and sustainable development agendas at the local level.
  4. Local public-private partnerships should be promoted as the private sector is a major stakeholder in sustainable urbanisation. Insurance as a tool for disaster management involves the private sector and therefore should be involved in exploring ways to use insurance as an incentive for risk awareness, prevention and mitigation.
  5. The science-policy interface at local level should be reinforced, capitalising on knowledge, including innovation and technology. The effective use of science and research is needed to inform policies and operations systematically, and innovative technologies and instruments that support disaster management should be encouraged further.


Patrícia Pires? is Head of the Risks and Early Warning Unit at the National Authority for Civil Protection, Portugal 


Local-level implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action in Europe. Recommendations for the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Working Paper. Working Group on Local-Level Implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2014.UNISDR 2014  

Patrícia Pires, 02/01/2015
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