Bosnia and Herzegovina learns ways of managing disaster risk
With natural disasters on the increase worldwide, and as disasters grow in both scope and severity, many countries are desperate to find better ways of managing disaster risk. Bosnia and Herzegovina has found some answers with the recent conclusion of an FAO project on that very subject, made possible thanks to a grant of US$ 45,700 from the Czech Republic.
Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Risk Management are frameworks developed by the United Nations in response to the growing number of disasters occurring around the world. They differ from traditional approaches to disaster management because they emphasize prevention, mitigation and preparedness, rather than response to disasters. Research shows that investing in these three phases before a disaster strikes makes societies less vulnerable and improves emergency response and recovery.
The project, active from mid-February to mid-April this year, analyzed the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s general disaster management framework, and then took a closer look at the agriculture, forestry and water management sector. It found that not enough attention is paid to prevention and mitigation and recovery efforts tend to focus on restoring an existing situation rather than taking the opportunity to “build back better.”
Project findings were presented in April at the UN House in Sarajevo, but a comprehensive final report is due to be distributed in the coming days.
“There are a number of problems that the sector faces related to lack of funding, and that makes managing disaster risk in Bosnia and Herzegovina difficult,” said Bernard Cartella, FAO emergency response officer for Europe and Central Asia. “Our hope is that the final project report can serve as the ultimate guidebook to implementation and mainstreaming of disaster risk management, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaption into the country’s regulatory and institutional framework.”
The report should be packed with useful information and describe 31 different project activities. It will contain recommendations on knowledge transfer and capacity building at all levels, development of early warning systems, risk assessment, hazard mapping, local contingency and development planning, development of human resources and equipment, technical assistance to farmers and local communities on climate change adaptation, and other forms of risk reduction and risk management needing attention.
27 August 2015, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina