This section discusses the aims, successes and challenges of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015

The first and overarching global initiative to address disaster risk reduction came to fruition in 2005 when UN Members adopted the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters (HFA). The HFA was a comprehensive plan that set out to establish responses to and guidance for reducing disaster losses in all sectors by all actors. It was developed at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction held in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan and emerged from a multi-stakeholder process with governments, international agencies, disaster experts and many others. Its goal was to substantially reduce disaster losses by 2015 by building the resilience of nations, actors and communities to prevent and deal with natural disasters. In doing so, the HFA set out to minimize the negative impacts of disaster by reducing social and economic losses including the loss of life.


Implementation of the HFA Goals in EUROPE


The HFA set out three strategic goals to guide activities on disaster risk reduction. The following section provides an overview of their achievement in Europe based on the UNISDR collaborative report: Implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action in Europe: Advances and challenges 2005-2015


Goal 1: ‘The more effective integration of disaster risk considerations into sustainable development policies, planning and programming at all levels, with a special emphasis on disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness and vulnerability reduction.’


At the outset of the HFA, 3 countries reported having robust legal frameworks for disaster risk reduction in place. In 2015, 32 countries were found to have legal frameworks in place. Within Europe, a major achievement was the inclusion of resilience measures for disaster risk reduction in binding European Union legislation, thereby effectively making it compulsory for all European Union members to include disaster risk reduction in their national legislation.

As part of the HFA monitoring programme, other subtle successes became evident. Within the EU, the culture surrounding disaster risk reduction shifted from reactive post-disaster response towards pro-active risk reduction and resilience building. This shift is evidenced by the mainstreaming of DRR in European legislation and also the inclusion of DRR in public investment throughout Europe.

Making the link between DRR and climate change has been an extremely important factor that has made some progress. Firstly, within the HFA, climate change was only mentioned in one of the 22 HFA core indicators. However, climate change is increasingly being linked up and mainstreamed with disaster risk reduction efforts. For example, in April 2013 the European Union adopted a regional Strategy on Climate Change Adaptation which explicitly links disaster risk reduction with climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction agendas.


Goal 2: ‘The development and strengthening of institutions, mechanisms and capacities at all levels, in particular at the community level, that can systematically contribute to building resilience to hazards.’


In the ten year period of HFA, Europe has substantially increased its capacity for disaster risk reduction work. It is widely understood that the establishment of units or national platforms dealing specifically with DRR, helps to increase the governmental and institutional capacity of a country to deal with natural disasters and risks when they occur. Within Europe, there has been significant growth in the number of national platforms during the ten year period of the HFA which has grown from 9 in 2005 to 27 in 2015. The establishment of National Platforms has also resulted in improved reporting and communication about DRR. The number of European countries submitting reporting has increased consistently since the onset of HFA with 17 in 2009, 22 in 2011, 26 in 2013, and 29 in 2015. This represents a fifty percent increase in participation over six years.

In countries where national platforms were non-existent and institutional capacity was identified as low, the UNISDR organized workshops and coordination mechanisms to help countries develop National Platforms. For example, the UNISDR through its Programme for the Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Man-made and Natural Disasters held a workshop in the ENPI East Region Sub regional workshop on establishment of National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction for Armenia, Belarus, and Moldova.

Finally, in 2010 the Making Cities Resilient campaign was launched with 650 European cities participating and fifteen serving as role model cities. This campaign highlights the inclusion and importance of incorporating different levels of governance in DRR strategies. Moreover, the report notes that this campaign has been successful in raising awareness about disaster risk reduction at low cost and has facilitated the exchange of information and good practice.


Goal 3: ‘The systematic incorporation of risk reduction approaches into the design and implementation of emergency preparedness, response and recovery programmes in the reconstruction of affected communities.’


Collecting robust data that is consistent and compatible across Europe is a challenge but important extremely important in developing regional responses to DRR as well as sharing of information and resources. Data collection and the accounting for disaster loss is broadly acknowledged as one of the most important and convincing arguments for garnering investment in DRR at any and all levels of governance or within the private sector. The UNISDR Regional Office has therefore been encouraging the establishment of disaster losses data collection within the European Union, South Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and Turkey. In 2013, the European Union took steps towards establishing consistent and compatible data across Europe and published the report "Recording disaster Losses: Recommendations for a European Approach". The report analyses the state-of-the-art tools and methods available by highlighting the efforts of specific countries and regions. Currently, there is not a uniform system for data collection on DRR.

Of particular success was the development of SEEDRMAP or South Eastern Europe Disaster Risk Mitigation and Adaptation Programme  aims to help countries of South Eastern Europe reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards and adapt to climate change. It has also helped create a regional response to disaster risk reduction, particularly among countries with limited capacity and experience in DRR. 


Implementation of the HFA Priorities for action in EUROPE


The HFA also identified five "Priorities for Action" where countries could evaluate and map their progress through quantitative indicators and qualitative self-assessments.

Priority 1 Ensure disaster risk is a national and local priority with a focus on implementation
Priority 2 Identify, asses and monitor risks and enhance early warning
Priority 3 Build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels
Priority 4 Reduce the underlying risk factors
Priority 5 Strengthen preparedness for effective response


In 2015, the RISC-KIT project conducted an analysis of HFA implementation in nine EU Member States combining a review of official national reports for the three reporting periods from 2007-13. These official reports were examined and compared to a perception-based questionnaire completed by project team experts.

Officially, all Member States included in the analysis showed a medium-high achievement of HFA Priorities, except for Bulgaria on Priority 4 (Reduce the underlying risk factors). In particular, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany achieved a high status for most of the Priorities.

However, for several southern Member States (Italy, France, Portugal and Bulgaria) there was a discrepancy between governments reporting positive progress on the implementation of disaster risk reduction measures and the expert judgment. Spain and Belgium submitted no official reports for any of the three periods studied 2007/09, 2009/11 and 2011/13. The expert assessment found the achievement of the HFA Priorities in Spain and Belgium to be far from reaching good status.

For more information see the RISC-KIT report ‘Review report of key challenges and lessons learned from historical extreme hydro-meteorological events.’


Success Story: The Dutch Delta Program (Netherlands)

The Dutch Delta Program is a set of strategies aimed at protecting the Netherlands from flooding and other climate change related threats up to 2100, while also considering socio-economic development. The program is a flood risk management (FRM) strategy that addresses all Hyogo Framework for Action priorities, in particular Priority Action 1: ‘Ensure that disaster risk reduction is a national and a local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation’.

Flood risk assessments were undertaken and new national and regional flood protection standards were set. Additionally, it devised measures to flood proof vulnerable and valuable urban areas and services and improve the disaster management plans in place. Key to the continued successful implementation of these measures has been the involvement and cooperation of all levels of government. An app was launched to increase public awareness ( (“can I be flooded?”).These strategies of the Dutch Delta Program will strengthen FRM in the Netherlands for many years, resulting in a safer environment for present and future generations.

Source: WCDRR (2015). 


Future Challenges FOR EUROPE 


In addition to evaluating progress towards the goals of the HFA, the UNISDR report Implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action in Europe: Advances and challenges 2005-2015 identified three key challenges.

The first challenge was the inclusion and link of DRR to climate change adaptation. While 19 of 47 reporting countries have a national strategy in place that links disaster risk reduction with climate change adaptation, this number can still be improved. One of the problems identified with developing such plans is a general lack of guidance or good examples for how countries can actually develop an integrated approach to DRR-CCA. Therefore, it was acknowledged that a there was a need for the development of guidance for implementation of the Sendai Framework.

A second noted challenge was governance and availability of data and information. In order to develop adequate resilience to disasters and risks through analysis, countries need to be supported to develop disaster loss databases and to develop basic training plans for robust analysis of financial and social returns on public DRR investment.

The third noted challenge was the need to engage the lower and local scales of governance. Until now 650 European cities have joined the Making Cities Resilient campaign but so far there is not a process in place where these experiences can be scaled. In particular, scaling up programmes for safety of critical infrastructure beyond the current focus of schools is necessary. The identification of gaps between reported progress and actual performance is also needed. Lastly, more awareness raising campaigns and public involvement in and knowledge of disaster risk reduction is necessary in order to develop a genuine local level culture of prevention and resilience.



Duo E. and Ciavola P., eds. (2015). Review report of key challenges and lessons learned from historical extreme hydro-meteorological events. Unpublished report (deliverable D1.1) RISC-KITProject
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. HYOGO FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION - FULL TEXT.
World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) (2015). Dutch Delta Programme