UN-SPIDER at the Second Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Nairobi

Following the invitation of the organisers, UN-SPIDER participated in the Second Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction that took place from 14 to 16 April 2010 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, Kenya in parallel to the First Ministerial Conference of Ministers Responsible for Meteorology in Africa.

During this important constitutional event African ministers adopted the extended Africa Programme of Action for the Implementation of the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction with UNOOSA being mentioned as an official partner. 

The ministerial conference was organised by the African Union Commission, the Government of Kenya, and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) in collaboration with the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Next to the ministers more than 250 participants from 42 African countries attended this meeting, among them delegates representing the different Regional Economic Communities, National Platforms and Focal Points for disaster risk reduction, institutions, donors, experts, academia, UN agencies and NGO’s.

The event included an Expert Meeting followed by a Ministerial Conference. Participants discussed and agreed on clear recommendations for action, as well as operational mechanisms and requests to countries to allocate resources. In particular, the Extended Africa Programme of Action for Disaster Risk Reduction 2006-2015 and the Draft Decision to be submitted to the AU Summit 2010 were debated. The ministerial declaration also includes the official statement: "To encourage the development of capacities of, and partnerships among, Member Sates to access and utilise existing traditional knowledge, space-based and other technologies for disaster risk reduction." On this basis, Africa now has the legal framework in place to further develop Disaster Risk Reduction with space-base technology being part of the portfolio of supporting technologies.

UN-SPIDER also discussed with numerous participants of the First Conference of Ministers Responsible for Meteorology in Africa, organised by the by the World Meteorological Organization, the Government of Kenya, under the aegis of the African Union Commission. Since the African continent is seriously affected by changes in the climate the main purpose of this conference was to recognize and contribute to strengthen the role and the contribution of the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to government policies and initiatives for mitigating, and adapting to, the negative impacts of weather and climate. During the expert segment a range of scientists and decision makers from international and regional institutions were contacted for further cooperation with UNOOSA / UN-SPIDER, among them delegates of WMO and the MetOffice, UK, as well as leading staff of the African Center of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD, Niamey, Niger), which is among the leading institutions in West Africa to address climate change adaptation research in this geographic region.