Kristalina Georgieva, European commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response, delivers the opening speech of the Asia-Europe Meeting Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, where they endorsed the Tacloban Declaration. Photo by: European Commission

Development stakeholders attending last Friday’s Asia-Europe Meeting in Manila adopted the “Tacloban Declaration,” a new framework for disaster risk reduction and management that draws on lessons learned from response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

The brief 5-page document underscores the important role of a private sector that should be more responsible and “respectful” of international standards for DRRM, which for instance were not observed in the case of the temporary housing units built for survivors just weeks after the storm.

Here are some of the key highlights of the declaration:

     1.   Identify local governments as first responders and builders of local resilience in times of

     2.   Improve governance within all DRRM stakeholders.

     3.   Introduce a DRRM perspective in development planning and efforts, including in
           economic and financial decisions and strategies.

     4.   Ensure affordable and accessible science, innovation and engineering methods to the
           needs of disaster-prone situations.

     5.   Protect and empower vulnerable groups including indigenous people, women, children,
           displaced and the elderly.

     6.   Support a people-centered approach to DRRM.

     7.   Scale up education and develop systematic actions on DRRM and climate change.

     8.   Ensure availability of reliable and real-time information in every emergency response

     9.   Acknowledge the power of national government to consider “possible contribution” of the
           military in early response in case of mega disasters.

   10.   Recognize the role of the media in raising awareness, distributing early warning and
           disseminating best practices on DRRM.

The Tacloban Declaration is expected to be an integral piece for a post-2015 DRRM framework expected to be crafted in Japan next year to replace the decade-old Hyogo Framework for Action.

Disaster risk reduction, resilience and other major development issues in the Asia-Pacific region will be among the key topics June 10-11 at the Devex Partnerships & Career Forum in Manila.

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About the author

  • Lean Alfred Santos

    Lean Alfred Santos is a former Devex development reporter focusing on the development community in Asia-Pacific, including major players such as the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. He previously covered Philippine and international business and economic news, sports and politics.