UN Development Programme, Tohoku University, and Fujitsu Start Joint Project to Reduce Damages due to Disasters

Mar 20, 2017

UNDP is working through its 24 country offices in Asia and the Pacific to support governments and communities to be better prepared for disasters. Photo from Kathmandu Nepal in the aftermath of the Gorkha Earthquake.

Three-way partnership set to contribute to disaster risk reduction around the world by building a new infrastructure for data storage, sharing and analysis

New York, Bangkok, and Sendai. March 2017 – UNDP, together with the International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University (IRIDeS), and Fujitsu Limited have agreed to form a partnership to build and operate an innovative global ICT system, in the Global Centre for Disaster Statistics (GCDS). 

In recent years, disasters have become a major obstacle to sustainable development and economic and social growth. Issues such as poverty, inequality, rapid urban growth, and climate change, risk exacerbating these concerns.  

The GCDS was originally announced in April 2015, shortly after the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, held in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. That conference saw the international community adopt the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which outlines seven targets on DRR, including reducing the number of disaster-related deaths; the number of disaster victims, direct economic losses, and damage to vital infrastructure. The Global Center for Disaster Statistics, it is hoped, will help track and monitor progress against these goals. 

“The GCDS represents an important tool in reducing disaster risk and in tracking progress against the Sendai Framework and the associated resilience targets in the SDGs,” noted Sanny Jegillos, UNDP’s Senior Advisor in Asia-Pacific. “At least six countries are cooperating with UNDP in 2017 to enhance capacities to  establish baseline data and be able to monitor trends in damages and losses. Information that will help guide policy and targeted investments in disaster risk reduction,” he said. 

Through the partnership, UNDP guides the collection of disaster data, information disclosure, and policy making in developing nations. IRIDeS, meanwhile, stores the statistical disaster data collected by Member States in the GCDS, performs data analysis, and provides advice to each State through UNDP. Finally, Fujitsu will use ICT to support the improvement of disaster prevention capabilities in developing nations through the GCDS, while employing its FUJITSU Cloud Service and establishing a platform for the accumulation and efficient analysis of statistical disaster data. 

Currently, the initiative is planned for expansion to twenty nations in the Asia-Pacific region from 2020 and beyond, contributing to reducing the damage from major disasters around the world.

The Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction runs from 2015-2030 and complements the Paris Agreement on Climate change and Sustainable Development Goals as part of Agenda 2030. Countries will next meet in Cancun, Mexico, in May 2017 to discuss progress against the goals of the Sendai Framework.

 

Contact information

 For questions on this partnership and work in the Asia-Pacific region, please contact Cedric Monteiro in Bangkok (cedric.monteiro@undp.org). 

For questions on UNDP’s work on disaster risk reduction and recovery, please contact Carl Mercer in New York (carl.mercer@undp.org). 

 

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