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Key Elements of Legislation For
Disaster Risk Reduction
Second Meeting of Asian Advisory Group
of Parliamentarians for DRR
5-7 February, 2014, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Entitling the law
Objectives and scope
Definition of key terms and concept
Principles and guidance in the law
Integration of disaster risk reduction into
Governance for disaster-resilient development
Institutional arrangements and responsibilities
Compliance and enforcement
Entitling the law
It is highly recommended to make two separate laws, each of which
reinforces the other:
A Disaster Management Law which mainly focuses on emergency
management, humanitarian assistance and recovery, and
A Disaster Risk Reduction Law (or ‘disaster-resilient development
Law’) which mainly focuses on managing disaster risk through
development planning and practices to ensure that socio-economic
development will not generate exposure and vulnerability of countries
and communities to natural hazards and reduce disaster risk to the
The title ‘Disaster-Resilient Development Law’ is recommended as it
indicates more clearly that the law is about resilience and
development, and not about disaster management.
Objectives and scope
The objective is to make new socio-economic development
resilient to natural hazards and climate extreme events to
protect people, promote social equity, sustain economic
growth and protect the environment and natural
resources in the respective country.
The scope of the law will cover all major areas of socioeconomic development policies and initiatives so that
disaster risk assessment will be used as a precondition
for development planning and programmes, with more
attention to public facilities, including schools, health
facilities, power plants and bridges – so that these
facilities can continue to provide services, including
humanitarian services, during disasters. for effective
Definition of key terms and concepts
Group one includes the terms hazards, exposure to natural hazards,
vulnerability to disasters, hazard mapping, vulnerability assessment
(from the perspectives of gender, social equity, and economic
capacity of each community to deal with imminent disasters), disaster
risk assessment, disaster risk reduction, disaster risk management,
disaster risk transfer, disaster risk insurance and reinsurance, risk
sharing, risk monitoring and risk resilience.
Group two includes the terms climate change, extreme events, climate
risk, climate change adaptation and climate change mitigation.
Group three includes the terms national development plan,
sustainable development, social equity, environment protection,
gender equality, disaster risk-sensitive development, disaster riskinsensitive development, government liability for sustainable
development, governance, accountability to risk resilience,
transparency, empowerment and inclusion.
Principle guidance in the law
The disaster risk reduction or (Disaster-resilient development) law
may consider whether to:
Establish a national committee for coordinating and providing
policy guidance for disaster-resilient development
Strengthen or develop a institutional framework for disasterresilient development which enables a multi-hazard approach and
multi-sector cooperation and collaboration for reducing risk and
building resilience through development planning and activities
Set-up a scientific and technical committee to ensure that national
policies and plans for disaster-resilient development will be
scientifically sound
Allocate adequate resources for the coordination, compliance and
enforcement of the law and national policies and regulations for
disaster-resilient development.
Integration of DRR into development
Focus on reducing the underlying risks of disasters, old and new,
through risk-sensitive development policies and regulations,
requiring development agencies and ministries to make a paradigm
shift from disaster risk-insensitive development to disaster riskresilient development planning and practice,
Integrate DRR into development planning process supported by
multi-hazards mapping, evaluation of population exposure to
natural hazards, human and economic vulnerability analyses and
disaster risk assessments – done in a coordinated and coherent
manner, with the technical support of national experts and
technical institutions,
Provide policy guidance, regulations, benchmarks and indicators
for disaster-resilient development planning and programmes,
based on vulnerability analysis and risk assessment,
Integration of DRR into development
Request the national committee for disaster-resilient development, in
cooperation with national disaster management agencies, to coordinate
the collection and dissemination of disaster risk information from and to
each line ministry involved in development, and to other organizations,
Request each line development ministry or organization to develop
measures and indicators on DRR that enable them to make their
respective development sector resilient to natural hazards and thus to
advance development sustainably,
Hold the national committee for disaster-resilient development
responsible to coordinate and ensure coherence in risk-sensitive
development policy,
Request the national committee for disaster-resilient development to
coordinate a review of long-implemented development policies and
regulations to ensure their effectiveness for nurturing the new
development paradigm – risk-sensitive and disaster-resilient
Governance for disaster-resilient
Governance describes the pathways of authority through which
nations and communities make their risk-sensitive choices in
development planning and programmes. Governance for
disaster -resilient development can be enhanced by applying
universal principles of accountability and transparency, through
rule of law, inclusion, participation and equality.
Governance for disaster-resilient development is crucial for
risk-resilient development planning and implementation. The
success of governance for disaster- resilient development will
be the substantial reduction of human and socio-economic
losses to disasters, as well as the considerable reduction of
new exposure, vulnerability and risk of natural hazards in the
development process.
Institutional framework/arrangements
and responsibilities
Establishment of a national committee for disaster-resilient
development, with officially designated representatives from
each line development ministry.
The coordinator of the national committee for disasterresilient development will be an integral part of the National
Authority for the coordination for national five or ten-year
development planning, who is better positioned for the
Institutional framework/arrangements
and responsibilities
The main task of the national committee for disaster-resilient
development is to provide policy guidance on disaster risk
reduction in development, including mechanisms,
procedures and roles and responsibilities….
The main task of the committee members is to coordinate
his/her respective ministry-wide actions and indicators to
ensure that disaster risk assessment is an official
requirement for any development project under the
Ministry’s authority in which the principle of governance will
be applied, including transparency, accountability, inclusion
and empowerment.
Institutional framework/arrangements
and responsibilities
The national committee for disaster-resilient development will :
organize evaluation and monitoring missions with the participation
of government officials and experts.
carry out advocacy and public awareness on disaster risk reduction
in close cooperation with the existing national committee for
disaster management, with its accumulated experience, and thus
contribute to the paradigm shift from disaster management only to
disaster risk reduction.
coordinate information sharing and exchange of knowledge and
experience in pursuing disaster risk-resilient development towards
sustainable development.
ensure the similar institutional arrangements and responsibilities
will be set up at provincial/local levels to ensure the legislation and
policy guidance for risk-resilient development will be endorsed at
local level and implemented.
Compliance and enforcement
The following elements, among others, are suggested for
Conduct advocacy among development policy makers and raise
awareness among the public on disaster risk reduction for
disaster –resilient development legislation to create an enabling
environment for ‘risk-investigative development’.
Provide training for capacity building for the compliance and
enforcement of the legislation for disaster risk-resilient
Develop new regulations and measures as necessary to enhance
the legislation on disaster risk-resilient development and
promote good practices in compliance with the legislation and
insist upon accountability for noncompliance.
Political leaders and legislators hold the primary
responsibility protecting the lives and livelihoods of
their country's citizens from disasters
Thank you