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Implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Agriculture Sector in Asia and the Pacific

Regional Conference on Strengthening Resilient Food and Agriculture Systems
©FAO/Farooq Naeem
15/03/2018 - 16/03/2018

Date: 15-16 March 2018
Place: Ha Noi, Viet Nam
Organized by: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Hosted by: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Viet Nam

More than 2.2 billion people in Asia solely rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Agriculture sector (encompassing crop, livestock, fisheries and forestry sub-sectors) accounts for 23 percent of total disaster losses and 26 percent of losses caused by climate-related disasters in developing countries. FAO estimates suggest that between 2003-2013 losses due to disasters to the agriculture sector in Asia was 47 billion USD. Disaster impacts on the agriculture sector are rising in the region, driven by increased hazard exposure that is not matched by a reduction in vulnerabilities and a limited understanding of the evolving nature of risks facing the food and agriculture systems and dependent livelihoods.

Risk-informed and climate smart agriculture has ample, yet largely untapped potential to strengthen resilience of the most vulnerable in Asia. A shared understanding amongst key stakeholders of risk perceptions and drivers of risks is essential for developing strategies and interventions to manage risks, both at the primary production site (farm, river, grazing land, and forest) and throughout the value chains. A simple “technological fix” is not going to solve the problem; instead a reorientation of agricultural sectors’ and rural development as well as urbanization policies is needed that resets incentives and lowers the barriers to the transformation of food and agricultural systems toward disaster and climate resilience.

Global frameworks such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement and related SDGs that for the first time explicitly recognize the coherence between poverty eradication, disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation (CCA) and sustainable agriculture, provide unique opportunities to build this shared understanding and promote policy reforms. Yet, the agriculture sector is often either not well informed or engaged in national implementation of these frameworks.

On this backdrop, a two-day regional conference is planned to facilitate multi-stakeholder deliberations to identify workable pathways for the agriculture sector to play a proactive role in implementing the Sendai Framework for DRR and related frameworks in order to strengthen the resilience of food and agriculture systems and dependent livelihoods in Asia.

Co-chaired by MARD and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry of Mongolia (tbc), the Conference aims to:

  • Raise awareness on the importance of the agriculture sector in reducing risks and strengthening resilience and reinforce its commitments for more proactive role in the same. 
  • Strengthen the understanding of existing and emerging risks facing food and agriculture in light of rapid urbanization and the intertwined urban and rural risks’ context.
  • Take stock of on-going efforts in Asian countries on DRR and CCA in the agriculture sector and share innovations.
  • Identify priority actions and the ways forward for the agriculture sector to proactively implement the Sendai Framework, the Paris Agreement and related SDGs to safeguard food and nutrition security and strengthen resilience of agriculture and dependent livelihoods against disaster and climate change.

The identified priorities and recommendations of the Conference will inform the deliberations at the 2018 FAO Asia-Pacific Regional Conference as well as the 2018 Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR), hosted by the Government of Mongolia in July 2018 and taken forward for implementation.

For more information about Regional Conference, please contact hangthithanh.pham@fao.org and agrisendai2018@gmail.com 


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