Disaster Reduction

From life threatening earthquakes in Haiti, to monstrous tsunamis in Japan, catastrophic natural disasters are only getting worse. However, emergency response efforts to Hurricane Matthew weren’t quick and efficient enough, resulting in the recovery and reconstruction to be difficult. The number of natural disasters has nearly tripled since 2000, which indicates that death rates are increasing (2). The purpose of international response is to provide a rapid solution to nations in need of aid, but there is further work to be addressed in order to reach this goal.

United Nations General Assembly

Despite obstacles to find solutions for natural disasters, the UN works towards finding new ways to improve these issues. Called by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989, the International Day for Disaster Reduction was started in order to promote awareness of natural disasters and it’s risks, marking it one of the first of many steps in promoting global awareness. To add, UN leaders thrive to strengthen resilience to natural disasters by emphasizing the importance to address these problems. A great example of this can be presented in the forty-sixth session of the general assembly in 1991 where the assembly strengthened coordination of immediate assistance to natural disasters. During that session, the UN passed Resolution 49/139 which recognized the expanding need for humanitarian assistance. NGOs such as the Red Crescent Movement and International Red Cross are also working to prepare for emergencies and minimize vulnerabilities. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements’ main goal is to protect lives by providing humanitarian aid without any form of discrimination. With the help of organizations and NGOs, the UN is paving new paths to managing sustainable development.

The Increasing Number of Floods

Due to the increasing number of floods and threatening storms, Norway is aiming to construct policies on disaster risk reduction. The first solution that Norway would like to propose is the efforts on improving communication and communication networks. An example of this could be by installing stable communication networks, which can be done under $5,000, including the entire set-up (11). Norway suggests that improvement towards telecommunication networks is fundamental to facilitate communication when natural disasters strike. In 2011, the Gudbrandsdalslågen River flooded due to a heavy rainstorm, and telecommunication networks in that area shut down, leaving civilians with no form of gaining information. Events like these display the significance of building more, efficient interconnection lines throughout the nation, or just by even enhancing the telecommunication system throughout the nation. The second solution that Norway would like to present is to strengthen Norway’s adaptability to climate change. 

Climate Change

Climate change is an alarming issue, yet little attention is given to it. As a result, Norway encourages local knowledge about climate change including recognition of natural disasters prone to certain areas, recognizing societal vulnerability, and acknowledging that division affects adaptation outcomes. With this, Norway can evaluate potential feedback and consider the steps to take in the future. As previously mentioned, the Gudbrandsdalslågen flood in 2011 left massive property destruction, and damaged nearby communities. Citizens were not prepared for a flash flood to strike so rapidly, leaving them absolutely clueless about what to do next. That’s why Norway believes that it’s important to be informed about climate change and incorporate that when coordinating social plans regarding climate change. In addition, Norway encourages coordination and information/skills development to strengthen climate change adaptability.