The Head of the Emergencies Committee under the Government of Tajikistan, Rustam Nazarzoda heading a Tajik delegation is participating in the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR), which being held in Matosinhos, Portugal from November 24 to November 26.

According to the Emergencies Committee press center, the forum participants are discussing issues related to the need to address the systemic, cascading and compound nature of risks, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate emergency.    

Organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Europe, Portuguese National Authority for Civil Protection, and  European Commission, and Council of Europe, the forum forms the regional platform structure of Europe.

The triennial EFDRR has established itself as an important vehicle to address the regional disaster risk challenges.  It serves as a forum for other stakeholders to take a shared responsibility and make actionable commitments to reduce disaster risk.  The conference, true to the multi-stakeholder spirit of the Sendai Framework, reportedly enables governments and stakeholders to exchange experiences on successful practices and innovative approaches to prevent, reduce and manage disaster risk.  This results in forward looking action plans based on a mutual sharing status of DRR implementation.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge the countries in Europe and Central Asian region have faced.  They are particularly exposed to the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. This exposure, along with regional vulnerability to natural and technological hazards, including earthquakes, floods, landslides, mudslides, debris flows, avalanches, droughts and extreme temperatures, and the effect of climate change means that a holistic approach to disaster risk is of critical importance to mitigate the worst impacts of biological hazards, including COVID-19.

This year’s EFDRR is reportedly built on the outcomes of the 2018 EFDRR held in Italy and the 2019 Global Platform for DRR held in Switzerland.  The forum aims to address key issues that can move forward through in the implementation of the Sendai Framework in coherence with the SDGs, New Urban Agenda and Paris Agreement.

According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the 2021 EFDRR is structured along a threefold approach: 1) taking stock of lessons from COVID-19 crisis, showcasing good practices in Europe, and Europe’s role in the world; 2) reviewing progress to date in implementing the Sendai Framework and articulate what changes are needed for a transformative agenda on disaster risk reduction; across the pillars of economic recovery, good governance and for social equity; and 3) committing to ensuring that a disaster impact is never again so severe as the COVID-19 pandemic, articulating new commitments to achieve deliver greater resilience in Europe.