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Monitoring agriculture-related indicators under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

Monitoring agriculture-related indicators under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction


FAO’s methodology on agricultural damage and losses caused by disasters will be used to monitor agriculture-related indicators under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR).

The decision came out of the Third Session of the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Expert Working Group on indicators and terminology relating to disaster risk reduction. During the five-day meeting in Geneva in November, country delegates and experts from international organizations, non-governmental organizations and civil society selected 38 indicators to monitor progress towards achieving the SFDRR’s seven global targets.

The country delegates and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Secretariat expressed their readiness to work closely with FAO, especially on monitoring the indicator related to direct agricultural loss attributed to disasters.

Sendai Framework

The SFDRR, the successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action, aims to substantially reduce disaster risk and losses in lives and livelihoods, as well as damage to critical infrastructure and disruptions of basic services, including health and educational facilities.

It also seeks to reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to gross domestic product, increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies in place and enhance international cooperation. The SFDRR, which will run until 2030, was the outcome of three years of negotiations coordinated by the UNISDR.

Strengthening linkages between indicators for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation was a key consideration, as was aligning with other international agreements and instruments, particularly the Sustainable Development Goals.

FAO approach

In 2015, FAO published The Impact of Disasters on Agriculture and Food Security. The publication, while showing that 22 percent of the total impacts of natural disasters in developing countries were in agriculture, also raised concerns over existing data gaps and the lack of harmonized and systematic impact assessment procedures in agriculture. As a result, FAO has been working with member countries, experts and relevant stakeholders to develop the methodology and set up a global information system. 

The indicator on direct agricultural loss attributed to disasters measures the monetary damage to agricultural assets and infrastructure, as well as the value of production losses attributed to disasters in the crops, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry sectors. This indicator is part of a compound indicator that measures progress towards reducing direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product by 2030.

Noting what they called “a fairly well established and robust methodology developed by FAO”, the Working Group and UNISDR Secretariat said they believe it “can be applied with data available to actually make this indicator work.” The same compound indicator can be used – together with other indicators – to monitor achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal’s target to build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations by 2030, and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters (SDG Target 1.5).

Ongoing support

FAO has been engaged in this process since July 2015, participating in the Working Group’s formal and informal sessions, and providing technical inputs and methodological guidance on agriculture-related indicators and terminologies. The new methodology will not only help evaluate progress towards the SFDRR targets, but also support evidence-based decision-making towards more resilient agricultural livelihoods.

Collaboration between member countries, FAO, UNISDR and other relevant stakeholders is essential. This includes strengthening capacities of countries to systematically collect, archive and report damage and losses data in the agriculture sectors.