Accessibility menu

Content for the offcanvas goes here. You can place just about any Bootstrap component or custom elements here.

Photo: UN Women

Side event

SAMOA and Sendai; Twin Pillars for a Resilient and Productive Future in all Small Island Developing States, by harnessing women's leadership

This side event will bring together key SIDS stakeholders to introduce best practices, challenges and lessons learned in promoting women's resilience to disasters in the SIDS regions.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the most vulnerable to natural hazards and climate-related disasters. From 2000-2019, SIDS accounted for 26% of global disaster-related deaths, despite representing only 0.5% of the global population. Due to their unique geographic, socio-economic, and environmental characteristics, these hazards can often have devastating impacts on the economies, societies, and ecosystems of SIDS and can cause long-term damage to their infrastructure, livelihoods, and natural resources. In this context, women, girls, and people with disabilities in SIDS are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of disasters, due to gender, age, and disability inequality of risk as both a driver and consequence of disasters.  The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) has been an important instrument for reducing the risks and impact of disasters for SIDS. The Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework provides an opportunity to assess progress, identify gaps and emerging challenges, and chart a way forward for SIDS, including through the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States.

While the SAMOA Pathway calls for an integrated approach to sustainable development and resilience-building in SIDS, the successor framework of the SAMOA Pathway will need to address the unique challenges of SIDS in the current context of disaster risk reduction: SIDS often have small coastal populations and limited land area, which makes them uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate-related disasters. In addition, many SIDS lack the financial and technical resources to invest in disaster risk reduction, early warning systems, and emergency preparedness and response, as outlined in the recent report “SIDS: Gaps, Challenges and Constraints in Means of Implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction”. At the same time, the IPCC AR6 Report affirms that the intensity and frequency of climate related disasters are projected to increase, with disproportionate impacts on vulnerable communities such as SIDS.

Many Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have made notable progress in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030). As of 2021, 20 SIDS had developed national disaster risk reduction strategies aligned with the Sendai Framework. SIDS have also made developments in loss and damage databases to track the impacts of natural hazards and climate change. For example, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) has developed a loss and damage database that tracks the impacts of tropical cyclones, earthquakes, and excess rainfall in the Caribbean region. The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI) has also developed a loss and damage database to track the impacts of disasters in the Pacific region.

Despite these efforts, SIDS continue to face significant challenges in implementing the Sendai Framework and building resilience to climate-related disasters. SIDS require the means of implementation by way of capacity building, investment in data and risk analytics, as well as the human and capital resources to truly adopt a risk-informed approach to development.  At its core, disaster risk reduction requires a whole-of society approach, including harnessing women's leadership and agency in DRR, and one that recognizes the specific challenges and vulnerabilities during and after disasters, including increased risks of violence, loss of livelihoods, and limited access to essential services. By ensuring that disaster risk reduction strategies and policies are more gender-responsive and inclusive, SIDS can promote more equitable development that benefits all members of society. This is particularly important for the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Sendai Framework, which all prioritize inclusive and sustainable development in SIDS.

The objectives of the event are as follows: 

  • Identify opportunities to mainstream outcomes from the midterm review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction through the successor framework of the SAMOA Pathway
  • Provide a platform for dialogue on the challenges and opportunities for an integrated approach to disaster risk reduction and sustainable development in SIDS
  • Identify potential immediate and long-term deliverables for SIDS that are necessary to accelerate implementation of the Sendai Framework

The Risk Reduction Hub event will consist of a high-level panel discussion, followed by an interactive Q&A session. The panelists will be experts and practitioners from SIDS, UN agencies, civil society, and other stakeholders who will share their perspectives, experiences, and recommendations on the opportunity for disaster risk reduction to accelerate sustainable development in SIDS, including through the implementation of the successor framework of the SAMOA Pathway.

This event can be followed through UN Web TV.

Pacific Caribbean