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ABU praised for leadership in combatting climate change and natural disasters

The ABU has been praised for taking a leadership role in preparing the peoples of the Asia-Pacific to cope with climate change and natural disasters.

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Ms Margareta Wahlström, said at a regional ministerial conference in Thailand that the ABU should be congratulated for its vision and dedication to making the media part of the solution for climate change adaptation, DRR and nations’ development. 

Special mention was made of the Jakarta Statement of Commitment made at the end of the ABU Summit of Climate Changes, ICTs and Disaster Risk Reduction held in Indonesia earlier in June.

The ABU and its members were praised for helping to bring media commitment to the DRR process at the 6th Asia Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction from 22–26 June 2014 in Bangkok.

The Jakarta Statement received special attention in framing the Statement of Voluntary Commitment of the Asia Media Stakeholder Group for the Ministerial Conference, which was annexed to the conference’s Bangkok Declaration on Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia and the Pacific 2014. 

The annexed statement said that, given its unparalleled reach to wide audiences, the media could play a crucial role in promoting disaster risk reduction policies, early warnings for disasters and advancing regional and national disaster risk reduction agendas.

“In order to fulfil the media’s immense potential as an information disseminator and powerful behaviour changer, media should be accepted not as a mere messenger but a partner in developing and implementing DRR policies at regional, national and local levels,” the Bangkok statement said. “As the common denominator for all stakeholders in the DRR processes media could bridge the gaps in communications and dismantle the silos in which most stakeholders work at the moment.”

The main purpose of the 6th AMCDRR was to shape the second phase of the Hyogo Framework for Action, which will be adopted at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. 

The Hyogo Framework for Action is the first plan to explain, describe and detail the work that is required from all different sectors and actors to reduce disaster losses.