In the 2014 Policy Report Water and Risk: Developing Sustainable and Resilient Communities published by SEI, Research Fellow Ase Johannessen calls upon Sweden to take the lead in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) policy. Sweden already plays a very influential role in international policy and DRR efforts, thus is in an ideal position to strengthen its authority.

The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) plan created in 2005 is due to expire this year, thus creating the need for a new agenda for Disaster Risk Reduction. This new plan will need to reinterpret risk reduction. As Johannessen states, “To create the further reduction of risk, DRR needs to become an integral part of development, and not an add-on separated from it.” In summary, this means building resilience and being able to better predict, adapt to, and learn from disasters rather than simply react to them.

“To build on past efforts and take the opportunity to become a leading player, it is crucial that Sweden develops a policy statement providing a comprehensive approach to resilience building, focusing on the integration of DRR into development aid programming. This is crucial to ensuring that long term development is safeguarded from disasters by addressing underlying causes of risk, and that development and humanitarian programs do not create new forms of vulnerability and risk. Swedish actors with expertise in resilience and DRR need to be actively consulted and involved in the formulation of such policy.”

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