- Lead-organizer: Norwegian Refugee Council
- 10:00 - 11:30
- Date: 19 Jun 2012
- Room: P3-4
- 197Launch_global estimates report_disaster displaced_press release 19June.pdf
Press release-14.9 million displaced by natural disasters
- 208Side Event Rio_invitation-programme.pdf
Side event invitation/programme
New report: Global estimates 2011- disaster displacement
New report: Global estimates 2011- disaster displacement
Tackling displacement by natural disasters in the sustainable development
Organizing partnersNorwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (lead)
Asian Development Bank
RAED (Arab network for Environment and Development)
IntroductionEach year, millions of people are forced from their homes and places of livelihood by the impact of disasters associated with natural hazards. Development gains may be wiped out in a moment or eroded if communities are not resilient and prepared. Disaster-induced displacement undermines sustainable development and inhibits a community’s ability to recover by depriving it of its most important resource: its people. Rio+20 provides an opportunity to address the challenge of disaster-related displacement as part of renewed political and operational commitments to sustainable development.
With climate change, the frequency and intensity of weather and climate-related disasters is expected to increase. The governments of affected countries, together with civil society and international actors, are challenged to respond and adapt. The achievement of sustainable development goals requires strengthened policy and operational responses to address the displacement risks and related protection concerns for especially the poorest people, and durable solutions for displaced persons as integral to development efforts.
Detailed programmeThe event will take form as a panel discussion followed by plenary discussion, with the following speakers;
Welcome by Elisabeth Rasmusson, Secretary General, The Norwegian Refugee Council
Introduction/facilitation by Manuel Bessler, Assistant Director-General of Swiss Development Cooperation, Head of Humanitarian Aid Department and Head of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA), Government of Switzerland.
Displacement by disasters- a sustainable development concern, by Elisabeth Rasmusson, Secretary General, The Norwegian Refugee Council, presenting a new report: “Global estimates 2011: People displaced by natural hazard-induced disasters”
Taking up the global challenge of disaster-induced displacement, by Heikki Holmas, Minister for Development, Government of Norway
Climatic changes and displacement in Egypt, by Mostafa Hussein Kamal, Egyptian Minister of State for Environment
A regional policy perspective from Asia and the Pacific, by Seethapathy Chander, Director General, Regional and Sustainable Development Department, Asian Development Bank
Closing remarks by Heikki Holmas, Minister for Development, Government of Norway
Displacement by disasters is not a new challenge, but it is a growing and increasingly complex one that is directly linked to the effects of unsustainable development practices, such as: ecosystem degradation, increased poverty and inequality, as well as climate variability and extremes on disaster risk, and posing a threat to lives and development efforts.
In addition to disproportionately affecting the poorest countries, disasters disproportionately affect the most vulnerable communities within countries. This is a key symptom of un-sustainable development. People displaced by disasters face particular risks requiring assistance and protection of their rights, and experience shows that the longer displacement continues unresolved, the greater these risks may become. Impacts also extend to people amongst whom the displaced take refuge and who may be vulnerable themselves, or who are left behind in places of origin. People caught in protracted displacement situations are unable to fully engage in rebuilding their lives and communities and to contribute to national prosperity. Others may return home following evacuation, only to face huge hurdles to their recovery and the continued risk of further displacement. More often than not, such populations are not systematically identified and their specific needs and rights incorporated into sustainable development policies and planning.
The vast majority of displaced persons remain within their countries of origin, and a smaller number may cross-borders in search of refuge. While government responsibility for those displaced by disasters and remaining within their borders is clear, the scale and complexity of the challenges related to displacement often require strengthened capacity, knowledge and resources to enable effective and rights-based responses. For those who cross-borders, there is a normative gap in the international protection regime that has yet to be addressed and no mechanisms for cross-border cooperation between relevant actors. In all cases where an international response is requested or required, the protection of disaster-displaced persons has often been ad hoc and unsystematic. A robust response requires closer coordination between emergency response, early recovery and development efforts, as called for in the zero draft (87).
Many governments have recognised that disaster risk reduction and risk management, through concrete action and political commitment, can accelerate development, protect investments and reduce poverty. Greater political attention to disaster risk reduction within the context of sustainable development is needed?and must include particular measures to ensure that populations displaced or at risk of displacement are protected and achieve durable solutions. Community-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation must be supported and gaps in the legal frameworks, capacities and responses to protect and assist displacement-affected populations addressed.
Strengthened knowledge and access to information about who is at risk, where, the specific displacement-related concerns for development actors and options towards durable solutions in relation to different types of disasters and contexts are needed. As called for in the zero draft (110), strengthening of the capacity of all countries to collect and analyze data and information is needed to monitor progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, supported through global partnership amongst donors, UN, international organisations, NGOs and other entities. This is also understood as a contribution to implementing commitments within the Cancun Adaptation Framework (Paragraph 14f) and the implementation of agreements made in Durban at COP17 (zero draft, 88).
To ensure that displacement does not continue to set back development gains, the challenge demands concerted and collaborative action on the local to global levels amongst actors from multi-disciplinary fields of expertise and across organisational mandates including disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, humanitarian action, human rights, and disaster management. Examples of initiatives promoting such collaboration are growing, but more is needed to reduce risks of displacement, during displacement and ensure durable solutions through integrated sustainable development planning across sectors that ensures respect for the rights of the displaced.