Interfaces between the Sendai Framework, the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals

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Date produced: 30/03/2020

Can you prepare a high-level overview of the links between the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals?

Advice:

Introduction

The year 2015 saw the adoption by the international community of three landmark regimes: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 , the Sustainable Development Goals within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. Whilst establishing three distinct regimes, each with its own goals and review mechanisms, they shared the objective of setting the world on a path towards a sustainable and climate-resilient future.

The Sendai Framework (SF) adopted by UN Member States in Sendai, Japan, on 18 March 2015, sets a 15-year, non-binding and voluntary pathway aimed at:

“The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, business, communities and countries.”[1]

The SF established voluntary commitments and has four priorities for action:

1.To understand disaster risk in all forms of capacity, vulnerability, exposure of persons and assets, hazard characteristics and the environment;

2. To strengthen disaster risk governance at national, regional and global levels to manage disaster risk;

3. To affirm the importance of public and private investment in disaster risk reduction;

4. To enhance disaster preparedness for effective response to “Build Back Better” in recover, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The SF contains seven global targets and 38 global indicators that will measure progress made by all countries on disaster risk reduction (DRR) by 2030. In addition, Member States set their own targets and indicators to measure progress against the four priorities. They will reflect countries’ respective priorities and will be set out in national DRR reports.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) followed on from the Millennium Development Goals, which covered the period 2000-2015, and a recognition that these goals had only been partially achieved. On 27 September 2015, at a special UN summit, the UN General Assembly adopted Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development[2] as a commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030 worldwide. The 2030 Agenda consists of a political declaration, a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets, means of implementation and a framework for follow up and review of the Agenda. The SDGs entered into force on 1 January 2016. They integrate the social, environmental and economic dimensions of development and are universally applicable, with each country setting its own national targets guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances. Countries are to formulate National Sustainable Development Strategies (NSDS’s) for implementing and achieving the SDGs and Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) for reporting on progress.

The Paris Agreement (PA) was adopted at COP21 on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016. Its central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change and to make financial flows consistent with a low GHG emissions and climate-resilient pathway. It is important to note, that whilst the PA shares some characteristics with one or both of the other frameworks (e.g. guiding principles, nationally driven actions and reporting mechanisms), it is the only one that is a legally binding agreement, although the climate commitments made by Parties (nationally determined contributions or NDCs) are not themselves legally binding. Countries are only required to maintain their NDCs, report on progress made in meeting them and scale up ambition over time.

Linkages between the three processes

It is generally accepted that the climate change, sustainable development and disaster risk agendas are inextricably linked. Yet there is no formal inter-relationship between the three international processes, and each were negotiated through separate fora. This is not to say that there are no linkages between them, however. There is ample evidence to show that they are in fact intertwined. Some of those links are identified below:

1.the COP Decision adopting the Paris Agreement, Decision 1/CP.21, makes an explicit reference to both the 2030 Agenda and the Sendai Framework[3].

2.The PA itself contains many references to sustainable development, as providing the context in which parties are to implement their actions.

3. SDG13 relates directly to tackling climate change and its impacts but the targets under various other SDGs also integrate climate change considerations, making it clear that development and climate change are intimately related.

4. The PA and SDGs share similar architecture regarding implementation planning, with a forward oriented pledge process, and backward-focus of follow-up and review to allow for tracking of achievement.

5. The similarity in means of implementation (finance, technology development and transfer and capacity-building) between the PA and SDGs suggests an expectation that implementation of the PA should take into account the SDGs.

6. The SF recognises climate change as ‘one of the drivers of disaster risk’. Section I para.13 of the Framework states that “Addressing climate change as one of the drivers of disaster risk, while respecting the mandate of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, represents an opportunity to reduce disaster risk in a meaningful and coherent manner throughout the interrelated intergovernmental processes.”

7. There are 25 targets related to disaster risk reduction in 10 of the 17 SDGs. This highlights the role of disaster risk reduction as a key strategy for development. SDGs with targets related to disaster risk can be viewed here: https://www.preventionweb.net/sendai-framework/sdg/target

8. The SF indicators used to measure progress in achieving each of the seven targets were designed to ensure coherence with the measurement of progress towards relevant targets of the SDGs.[4]

 The links between the adaptation and the loss and damage provisions of the PA with the SF and SDGs are of particular importance. Climate change brings an increasing exposure to extreme weather events, sea level rise etc., with potentially devastating impacts on vulnerable communities and ecosystems. Therefore, making the connection between building resilience, disaster preparedness and development is crucial.

Recognition of this link can be found in a number of provisions, including:

1. Article 7(1) of PA: “Parties hereby establish the global goal on adaptation of enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development (…)”. It shows, in particular, that strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability are core concepts at the intersection of adaptation, sustainable development and disaster risk reduction. It has been suggested that “by putting resilience at the core of planning, as opposed to one of adaptation, sustainable development or disaster risk reduction, actors can pursue solutions that contribute to all three global agendas.”[5]

2. SDG13 on climate action calls for “(a) strengthen[ing] resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries”

3. SDG1.5 calls for “build[ing] the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations, and reduc[ing] their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters”

4. Adaptation planning processes and implementation of actions contemplated under Art.7.9, PA, include “(e) Building the resilience of socioeconomic and ecological systems, including through economic diversification and sustainable management of natural resources.”

5. Many actions envisaged under Art.7.9, PA, e.g. the assessment of climate change impacts and vulnerability and monitoring and evaluating adaptation plans and policies align with those for promoting an understanding of disaster risk (Priority 1, SF, para.24)

6. Both the PA and the SF call for a strengthening of early warning systems (Art.7.7(c), PA and paras.25(a) and 33(b), SF)

7. Priority 4, SF ‘Build back better’ contemplates the adaptation and development dimensions of post-disaster recovery e.g. “to (…) facilitate the link between relief, rehabilitation and development … to develop capacities that reduce disaster risk … through measures such as land-use planning, structural standards improvement, sharing of … lessons learned, and integrate post-disaster reconstruction into the economic and social sustainable development of affected areas (…)”(para.33(j). Many of the priority actions of Priority 4, SF are also in line with the measures identified under Art.8.4, PA, on loss & damage, e.g. early warning systems, emergency preparedness, comprehensive risk assessment and management, risk insurance solutions and resilience of communities, livelihoods and ecosystems[6].

Identifying synergies between the different processes is key to promoting coherence of action in implementation at regional, national and sub-national level. The Table below provides an overview of some of the links between the three instruments, with examples of possible actions and policies at national level.

Coordination between different processes will be important too: NDCs are the main mechanism for implementing the PA but can also serve as a vehicle for operationalising sustainable development objectives. To avoid duplication of efforts, NSDS’s should address areas that are not covered by NDCs and updated or new NDCs will need to take into account existing NSDS’s.[7] Countries may also look to National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) as a tool to promote the implementation of an integrated approach to adaptation, sustainable development and disaster risk reduction.[8] Coordination should also involve the early identification of ‘trade offs’ or potential goal and policy conflicts, and how to manage them.

 

Table 1. Links between the three instruments

SDGs (Agenda 2030)Sendai Framework Paris AgreementExamples of domestic actions & policies
Goal 1 End poverty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goal 1.5 Build resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other shocks and disasters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SF goal is to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risk through measures that reduce vulnerability to disaster and strengthen resilience

See also paras.24 and 25

Preambular para.8 – emphasizing intrinsic relationship that climate change actions have with equitable access to sustainable development and eradication of poverty

Sustainable development and poverty eradication provide context to PA goals – see e.g. Art. 2.1 – to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change; Art.4.1 – reduce GHG emissions; and Art.6.8 – use of non-market approaches to implement NDCs

 

Art.7.1 – global goal on adaptation – strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development

Art.7.7 – strengthen cooperation on enhancing adaptation action through sharing information, strengthening institutional arrangements and scientific knowledge, and assisting countries in identifying needs and priorities, challenges and gaps etc.

Developing sustainable forest management and agriculture programmes to reduce GHG emissions will also help reduce rural poverty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depending on specific climate vulnerabilities, review and develop law, policy, plans and programs in areas such as planning, building, coastal protection, disaster risk reduction, food security etc

Goal 2 End hunger, achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture

 

 

Goal 2.4 Ensure sustainable food production and implement agricultural practices that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather and other disasters

SF goal is to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risk through measures that reduce vulnerability to disaster and strengthen resilience

 

Preambular para. 9 – recognising fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger

 

Art.4 – Reduction in GHG emissions

Art.7.9 – build resilience of ecological systems, through economic diversification and sustainable management of natural resources

Art.10.1 – realise technology development and transfer to improve resilience to climate change (e.g. technology to build crop resilience)

Investing in climate-smart agriculture by adopting technologies in land, feeding or manure management that reduce GHG emissions and help increase crop productivity. Also technologies that build crop resilience to climate change and sustainably increase yields.
Goal 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all

 

Goal 3.3 End neglected tropical diseases, water-borne and other communicable diseases

Goal 3.D Strengthen capacity of all and in particular developing countries for early warning, risk reduction and management of health risks

Target A – substantially reduce the number of affected people globally

 

 

Target E Increase number of countries with DRR strategies; Target F Enhance support to developing countries to complement their actions; Target G Increase availability of early warning systems and disaster risk info and assessments

Preambular para. 11 acknowledges the right to health

Although not explicit in the PA, changes in patterns of infectious disease transmissions, health impact of temperature extremes etc are a likely major consequence of climate change

Progress on Goal 3/Target A will increase resilience to climate change

 

Developing health surveillance and early warning systems will contribute to resilience to climate–related health threats

Goal 5 Gender equality and empower all women and girlsPreambular para.11- when taking action on climate change parties should respect and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women

Art.7.5 – adaptation should follow a gender-responsive approach

Art 11.2 – capacity building should be participatory and gender responsive

Ensure full and equal participation of women in consultation and decision-making processes for control and access to natural resources, and for climate change mitigation and adaptation actions
Goal 6 Clean water and sanitation

 

Goal 6.4 increase water-use efficiency and address water scarcity

No explicit reference in PA but clear link between demand on water resources and climate change e.g. climate change can intensify water scarcity.

Art.7.9(e) – Build resilience of socioeconomic and ecological systems incl. through (…) and sustainable management of natural resources

 

Implement integrated water resource management to ensure water security
Goal 7 Affordable and clean energy, esp. Goal 7.2 (renewable energy),7.3 (energy efficiency) and 7.b (expand infrastructure for supplying modern and sustainable energy in developing countries)No explicit reference in PA but switch from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy and promoting energy efficiency are key mitigation activities – so linked to Art.2 and Art.4.1 goals

 

 

Ensuring access to clean energy in off-grid areas will help reduce biomass (wood) consumption that causes indoor air pollution and deforestation

Electrifying urban transportation systems

Goal 8 Promote sustainable economic growth and decent work for all, esp. Goal 8.2 achieve higher economic productivity through diversification and technological upgrading and innovation, and Goal 8.4 sustainable production and consumption, decoupling economic growth from environmental degradationArt.4.19 – Formulate long-term low GHG emission development strategies

Art.7.9(e) – Build resilience of socioeconomic and ecological systems incl. through economic diversification (…)

Art.10.5 – Enabling innovation is critical to long-term response to climate change and promoting economic growth …

Preambular para. 16 recognises role of sustainable patterns of consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead, in addressing climate change

Develop and implement economic and development strategies that enable climate resilience over the medium and long term – conserve natural resources for sustainable consumption and production
Goal 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, esp. Goal 9.1 Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through financial and tech support to African countries, LDCs and SIDS; and 9.4 upgrade infrastructure, increase resource efficiency and adopt environmental sound technologies and industrial processesTarget D – substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure through proper design, construction and retrofitting

Target E – Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies

Implicit links with climate change mitigation through infrastructure upgrades e.g. improving energy efficiency in existing buildings, and to adaptation through development of resilient infrastructure

Art.10.5 – Enabling innovation is critical to long-term response to climate change and promoting economic growth …

Art.10.6 – support, incl. financial support, to developing countries for implementation of this Article (technology development and transfer)

 

Repair road infrastructure taking into account climate change impacts

 

Develop and implement national and local disaster risk reduction strategies that take into account critical infrastructure such as hospitals, energy generation and distribution infrastructure, food production and distribution systems, etc

Goal 11 Make cities and communities resilient and sustainable esp. Goal 11.2 accessible and sustainable transport systems; 11.2 integrated urban planning; 11.5 disaster risk management; 11b Increase number of cities adopting integrated climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and develop in line with SF disaster risk management; 11c support LDCs in building resilient and sustainable buildings

 

Target E – Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies

Target G – Increase availability of early warning systems and disaster risk info and assessments

Cities account for very high percentage of all GHG emissions so key to mitigation strategies. Cities are also often vulnerable to impacts of climate change and natural disasters

 

Art 8 – loss and damage as a result of extreme weather events

Review building and construction codes and standards

Review planning and land regulations to make human settlements more safe and resilient, incl. relocating away from disaster prone areas

Goal 12 Responsible consumption and production esp. Goal 12.2 sustainable management of natural resources; 12.5 reduce waste generation; 12.8 promote sustainable procurement practices; and 12c rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies

 

Whole lifecycle of goods and services contribute to climate change from extraction of raw materials, production, transportation, consumption and disposal

Art.7.9(e) – Build resilience of socioeconomic and ecological systems incl through (…) and sustainable management of natural resources

Adopting sustainable approaches in agricultural production could increase the resilience of soil quality and reduce water use

Implementing a sustainable forestry strategy can contribute to the sustainable management and income from forests while reducing carbon emissions (and also potentially raise further income, e.g. from international carbon markets)

Introducing taxes on single-use disposable items could reduce waste generation

Goal 13 Climate change action: 13.1 strengthen resilience and adaptation to climate-related hazards and natural disasters; 13.2 mainstream climate change into national policies; 13.3 improve education and build capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning; implement goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020; promote capacity-building in LDCs and SIDsTarget E – Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies

Target F – Enhance international cooperation to developing countries through support

Target G – Increase availability of early warning systems and disaster risk info and assessment

Article 7 – Adaptation

Article 11 – Capacity-building

Article 12 – Education and public awareness

Decision 1/CP.21, para.114 – urges developed countries to scale up financial support to achieve goal of jointly providing $100 billion annually by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation

Integrate climate change and disaster-risk reduction in development policies and plans and implement them

Enhance participation of women and youth in activities related to adaptation and environmental conservation

 

Goal 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources esp. 14.2 sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, incl by strengthening resilience; and 14.3 minimize and address impacts of ocean acidificationTarget E – Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies

Target G – Increase availability of early warning systems and disaster risk info and assessment

Para.28(d) – promote cooperation for implementation of ecosystem-based approaches with regard to shared resources, to build resilience and reduce disaster risk

Preambular para. 12 – recognising importance of conservation of GHG sinks (see also similar provision in Art.5.1) and para. 13 – noting importance of ensuring integrity of all ecosystems, incl oceans

Art 7 – e.g. 7.5 – adaptation action to follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems; and 7.9 – build resilience of ecological systems, incl through sustainable management of natural resources

Art.8 (loss & damage) – areas of cooperation to enhance understanding action and support include resilience of communities, livelihoods and ecosystems

Adopt or enhance measures for coastal management and protection, incl. mangroves, and sustainable use of marine resources
Goal 15 Life on land esp. 15.2 sustainable forest management and halting deforestation; 15.1 conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems; 15.3 restoring degraded land and combating desertification; and 15.9 integrate ecosystems and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes and poverty reduction strategiesTarget G – Increase availability of early warning systems and disaster risk info and assessment

Para.28(d) – promote cooperation for implementation of ecosystem-based approaches with regard to shared resources, to build resilience and reduce disaster risk

Art.5 – Sustainable management of forests, as carbon sink and more broadly importance of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)

Art.7 – adaptation esp. 7.9(c) assessment of climate change impacts and vulnerability to prioritize action, taking into account vulnerable people and ecosystems; and 7.9(e) – build resilience of ecological systems, incl through sustainable management of natural resources

Promote sustainable management of forests e.g. by implementing a sustainable forestry strategy. This can contribute to the sustainable management and income from forests while reducing carbon emissions (and also potentially raise further income, e.g. from international carbon markets)

 

Restore degraded land and enhance rural livelihoods

Goal 17 – strengthen means of implementation, i.e. finance, technology and capacity-building and revitalize partnership for the goalsPara 17 – SF goal requires enhancement of implementation capacity of developing countries, incl through int’l cooperation for the provision of means of implementation

Para 18(f) – enhance int’l cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support

Para 19(m) (one of the guiding principles) – inter alia developing countries need adequate, sustainable and timely provision of support incl. through finance, technology transfer and capacity-building

See also Priority 3 – Investment in disaster risk reduction for resilience and Priority 4 – Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and ‘to build back better’ esp. para.43 – African countries require adequate support to help enhancing resilience of infrastructure, health and livelihoods

Art.3 – support developing country Parties for the effective implementation of PA

Art.4.5 – support for developing countries

Art.7.6, 7.7 and 7.13 – strengthen regional cooperation on adaptation where appropriate, continuous and enhanced support to developing countries

Art.9.1, 9.3 and 9.4 – provision of financial resources by developed countries to developing countries

Art.10.6 – support, incl. financial support, to developing countries

Art.11.3 – all parties should cooperate to enhance capacity of developing countries to implement PA, developed countries should enhance support for capacity-building actions in developing countries

 

Identify requirements for finance, technology and capacity-building for disaster risk reduction and resilience to climate change and use provisions in the PA, e.g. as part of the transparency framework or when updating NDCs, to communicate these

 

 

 

 

[1] United Nations, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, UNISDR, http://www.unisdr.org/we/coordinate/sendai-framework

[2] https://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E

[3] Preambular paragraph 4, Decision 1/CP.21 https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/10a01.pdf

[4] Opportunities and options for integrating climate change adaptation with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai framework for Disaster Risk reduction 2015 -2030, Technical Paper by the Secretariat, 2017, p.9 https://unfccc.int/files/adaptation/groups_committees/adaptation_committee/application/pdf/techpaper_adaptation.pdf

[5] Opportunities and options for integrating climate change adaptation with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai framework for Disaster Risk reduction 2015 -2030, p.16

[6] For a more detail analysis of the interfaces between the Paris Agreement, Warsaw International Mechanism and Sendai Framework, see https://legalresponse.org/legaladvice/interfaces-between-the-paris-agreement-warsaw-mechanism-and-sendai-framework/

[7] A. Dzebo et al, Connections between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda, Working Paper September 2019, Stockholm Environment Institute. For more information on how climate actions formulated in NDCs correspond to the SDGs see https://klimalog.die-gdi.de/ndc-sdg/

[8] Opportunities and options for integrating climate change adaptation with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai framework for Disaster Risk reduction 2015 -2030, p.24.