The United Nations Experts Group on the “Global Risk Assessment Framework” (GRAF) held its 2nd meeting at the premises of the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, Switzerland during the period of 8-9 November, 2018.
Khaled AbuZeid, CEDARE Regional Director for Water Resources, and member of the GRAF Experts Group, indicated that the adoption of The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 on 18 March 2015 articulated the need for improved understanding of risk in all dimensions and created new requirements for building societal resilience to environmental and technological shocks.
The (2005-2015) Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) was an important instrument for raising public and institutional awareness and generating political commitment, yet over its ten-year duration, disasters continued to affect more than 1.5 billion people with total economic losses of more than $1.3 trillion. The exposure of people and assets in all countries increased faster than vulnerability decreased, thus generating new risks and a steady rise in overall disaster-related losses and damage.
The decisions that are taken at all scales, across interdependent social, ecological, economic and political systems in increasingly diverse and correlated ways have made the United Nations Member States adopt a broader scope for the Sendai Framework, to include man-made, as well as natural, hazards and risks.
They recognised the challenge for urgent action to better understand the multi-dimensional nature of risk; increase accountability for disaster risk creation and propagation; collectively identify inter-dependent solutions enabling prevention of new risk; reduce existing risk, create risk informed decision making; and strengthen resilience at all levels.
In response to this challenge, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) – mandated to support the achievement of the outcome and goals of the Sendai Framework and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – was called upon to establish an Experts’ Grroup to develop a Global Risk Assessment Framework (GRAF) to inform decision-making and transform behaviour.
The GRAF Vision is: “To improve understanding of complex risk behaviour and where relevant and applicable, to transform behaviours and catalyse a proactive decision-making culture incorporating everyone’s understanding of the systemic nature of risk”
The GRAF Objectives are:
1. To improve understanding of complex risk and vulnerabilities in disaster environments.
2. To provide decision makers with actionable insights and access to products, tools, demonstrations and scenarios to better understand impacts and consequences to prevent risk creation, manage and reduce existing risk
3. To support decision-makers to maximise synergies across the implementation, monitoring, as well as achievement of the targets and deliverables of the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, the New Urban Agenda and the Sendai Framework
4. To build, and increase trust and confidence in, multi-sectoral risk, evidence-based assessments, building on existing processes and data
5. To foster a culture of inclusive, collaborative, and proactive behavior based on interdisciplinary systems thinking and decision science
6. To mobilize finance and de-risk investments to enable risk-informed sustainable development