Atsushi Koresawa United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) Director of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Japan
Er Shambhu K C Ministry of Urban Development of Nepal Joint Secretary, Urban Development and Physical Planning Division Nepal
Hans Guttman Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) Executive Director
Henk Ovink United Nations Special Envoy for International Water Affairs Netherlands
Jacques Bienaime Government of Haiti Director, Relocation and neighborhood rehabilitation Division, Housing and Public Buildings Construction Unit Haiti
Jean-Louis de Brouwer Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), European Commission Director of Europe, Eastern Neighbourhood and Middle East Belgium
Marc Forni World Bank Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist, United States of America
Neil Buhne United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Coordinator Pakistan Canada
Robert Glasser UNISDR Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISD Australia
Sofia dos Santos Ministry of public works and housing National Director for urban development and housing Mozambique
Sri Husnaini Sofjan Huairou Commission Programme Administration and Strategist Malaysia
Xavier Castellanos IFRC IFRC Head of Region for Asia Pacific Ecuador
The philosophy of “Build Back Better” (BBB)after disasters has been practiced for decades and was finally enshrined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework) as one of priorities for action.
However, the practices of ‘Building Back Better’ have never been consolidated into a document that can be used as a guideline. Evidence-based analyses have not yet materialized and specific methodologies and means underdeveloped. Therefore, this session aims to bring the key actors together with the objective of examining how BBB has been practiced in real recovery efforts from large-scale disasters in recent years and exploring how this approach can become more doable and effective.
The process of recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction from disasters provides an opportunity to Build Back Better (BBB), that is, to create a safer, more resilient society.
BBB was a philosophy conceived from desperate efforts of the people, who were in despair, lost their beloved ones and hard-won properties, to recover from disasters and struggles to restore hope for the future. In some cases, recovery process was also expected to be used to bring pre-existing conflicts or social unrest to an end as evidenced in Ache, Pakistan, Myanmar and Haiti. Hence, BBB was expanded to encompass elements of post-conflict recovery or even peace-building recently.
After decades of practice in various countries, most notably the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, this approach was finally enshrined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 as one of priorities for action, i.e. “Priority 4. Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction“. It further states “the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction phase, which needs to be prepared ahead of the disaster, is a critical opportunity to build back better, including through integrating disaster risk reduction into development measures, making nations and communities resilient to disasters.
Under SDG11, a specific target is set out to “significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters …by 2030)”.
The New Urban Agenda reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction proclaiming “(w)e commit ourselves to strengthening the resilience of cities and human settlements, including through the development of quality infrastructure and spatial planning …. In line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 …”
Against these backdrops, a special session “Restoring hope: Building Back cities and communities together after disaster” is held at WUF9 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which sits on the conjunction of the Pacific Ring of Fire and the Alpine Belt. This session is planned to bring the key actors together with the objective of examining how BBB has been practiced in real recovery efforts from large-scale disasters in recent years and exploring how this approach can become more doable and effective
Q1: What are the most pressing challenges they have faced in recovery efforts?
Q2: What are means and tools proved to be successful or unsuccessful?
Q3: What are the most important lessons to be shared with other partners?
Q4: What are suggestions to further align recovery efforts in line with the Build Back Better approach, and;
Q5: What follow-up actions are required hereafter?
2030 Agenda, Build Back Better (BBB), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), New Urban Agenda, People’s Process, Resilient(ce), Sustainable Development Goals.