Government of the republic of armenia



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GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

DECREE



7 March 2012, N 281 - Ն

ON APPROVAL OF THE DISASTER RISK REDUCTION NATIONAL STRATEGY OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA AND THE ACTION PLAN FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DISASTER RISK REDUCTION NATIONAL STRATEGY

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The Government of the Republic of Armenia decrees:

1. To approve:

1) Disaster Risk Reduction National Strategy of the Republic of Armenia in conformity with Annex N1;



2) Action Plan for implementation of the Disaster Risk Reduction National Strategy of the Republic of Armenia in conformity with Annex N2.
RA PRIME MINISTER T.SARGSYAN

March 19, 2012

Yerevan

Annex 1


March 7, 2012 N281-N Decree of the

Government of the Republic of Armenia

NATIONAL STRATEGY

FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION

IN THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION


1. One of the most important factors for sustainable development of the Republic of Armenia is the establishment and development of efficient system for disaster risk reduction that involves all sectors of the economy and wide layers of the society.

2. The disaster risk reduction system is a framework of processes and functions aimed at strengthening capacities for disaster resilience. It is aimed at prevention or mitigation of hazards, reduction of their negative implications, as well as contribution to the sustainable development of the society.

3. The process of disaster risk reduction cannot be the monopoly of one institution. It requires comprehensive approach, including mobilization of resources, as well as utilization of political, technical, scientific and participatory components of all structures of the country.

4. The disaster risk reduction system is an important factor for the country’s development, which involves all sectors of the country and all layers of the society. It implies joint actions of the Government, other state agencies, communities and community based structures, the civil society, scientific institutions, the private sector and the mass media.

5. Design and development of a disaster risk reduction system require a common strategy for disaster risk reduction that identifies the strategic aim, objectives and principles of disaster risk reduction, clarifies rights and functions of the beneficiaries involved in disaster risk reduction, states ways for institutional development and excludes duplication of functions providing basis for sustainable and continuous process of disaster risk reduction and, thus, contributing to development of a disaster-safe country.

6. Given increasing number and intensity of disasters connected with climate change within the recent years and the significant damage caused to different sectors of the economy, it is necessary to find new solutions and approaches for climate risk management and integration of the latter into the disaster risk reduction strategy.

7. Education system has a unique role in formation and development of the disaster risk reduction system, the lack of which would make it impossible to realize the stated tasks. Education on disaster risk reduction should be integrated into the disaster risk reduction strategy, which is mainly conditioned by its particular role in formation and in further activity of the society and the requirements of the Framework for Action proposed at the international conference in Hyogo.

8. Provision of information and raising public awareness have a priority role in disaster risk reduction system, which resolve the existing issues of information management, awareness raising and preparedness, ensuring public relations and educating the public.

9. One of the principles of the strategy proposed at the international conference in Yokohama states: “Risk assessment is a required step for the adoption of adequate and successful disaster reduction policies and measures”. The main objective of risk assessment is to provide safety for all the representatives of the society. Therefore, it is necessary to equally consider roles of men and women and the level of their preparedness. Motivation of women’s participation and involvement in decision-making is one of the primary conditions for introduction of gender-sensitive policies into disaster risk reduction.

CHAPTER II. BRIEF DESCRIPTION AND MAIN PLAYERS OF DISASTER RISK REDUCTION

10. The disaster risk reduction strategy derives from the National Security Strategy of the Republic of Armenia approved by the RA President’s decree NH-37-N dated 7 February, 2007 and is in compliance with the priority actions of the Hyogo Framework for Action that are as follows:

1) Ensure that disaster risk reduction is a national and a local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation

2) Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks and enhance early warning.

3) Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels.

4) Reduce the underlying risk factors.

5) Strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.

6) Establish an awareness system of management of emergency situations and coordinate and manage internal information flow among bodies, organizations and the public involved in the mentioned system.

11. Efficient implementation of disaster risk reduction requires joint efforts and capacities of all structures, including state bodies, the local self-government, organizations (regardless of their type of ownership), international organizations, volunteer unions and individuals.

12. Overall management of the disaster risk reduction sector lies upon the Government of the Republic of Armenia which specifies relevant rules, approves norms, etc. The mentioned sector involves functional and territorial sub-systems.

13. The responsibility of coordination and supervision of disaster risk reduction processes lies upon the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia according to Article 13 of the RA law on “Population Protection in Emergency Situations”. €

14. The main players of the disaster risk reduction system are as follows:

1) state agencies of republican administration;

2) state agencies of territorial administration;

3) local self-government bodies;

4) governing bodies of organizations (hereinafter-objects);

5) “Disaster Risk Reduction National Platform” Fund as an initiator and supportive link;

6) international organizations and diplomatic representations in the Republic of Armenia;

7) committees formed for conducting disaster risk reduction activities involving representatives of different levels.

15. The main bodies responsible for disaster risk reduction sector are as follows:

1) The Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia develops, implements and coordinates the policy of the Republic of Armenia in the fields of civil and population protection of the at times of emergency situations using authorities vested in laws and other relevant legal acts.

2) The following sub-divisions of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia:

a. Armenian Rescue Service the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia, which carries out the role of civil and population protection at times of emergency situations, as well as coordination of prevention and mitigation activities and recovery from emergency situations.

b. “National Service for Seismic Protection” Agency of the staff of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia coordinates seismic risk reduction activities in Armenia and manages systems for forecasting probable earthquakes.

c. State Reserves Agency of the staff of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia, which is responsible for establishment, maintenance and improvement of necessary national resources reserves for implementation of population protection activities.

d. State Fire and Technical Safety Inspectorate of the staff of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia, which controls provision and implementation of fire safety rules and technical safety norms and requirements.

e. “Armenian State Service for Hydro-meteorology and Monitoring” state non-commercial entity of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia, which develops and implements state policy and strategy of hydro-meteorological activities and carries out activities related to regime and special observations, investigations and forecasts of hydro-meteorological phenomena.

f. “National Centre of Technical Safety” state non-commercial entity of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia, which conducts expertise of technical safety in hazardous industrial objects.

g. “Crisis Management State Academy” state non-commercial organization of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia conducts disaster risk reduction training for high level officials and specialists of the state and local self-government bodies and the population; it also supports the educational system of the country in providing disaster risk reduction education.

h. “Information and Warning Centre” CJSC has the role of information management at times of emergency situations and general awareness raising.

i. Crisis Management Centre provides operational management of emergency situations at times of peace and war, as well as terrorism, centralization and effective exchange of information in modern methods on population and civil protection at times of emergency situations and increasing effectiveness of population and civil protection.


j. Information service which organizes provision of information at times of emergency situations and deals with general awareness raising issues.

3) The Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Armenia:

a. raises the population’s awareness on health issues/threats;

b. conducts examination and provides relevant opinion on possible healthcare risks, if necessary; manages

c. participates in the planned activities of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant in case of a radial accident;

d. controls drinkable water and sanitary and living conditions in temporary dwellings of the evacuated population at times of chemical and biological accidents;

e. provides opinion on sanitary-epidemical impacts of disasters;

f. carries out anti-epidemical and quarantine activities, organizes timely arrival of operational medical groups to places of disaster and provision of first aid;

g. provides medical services to the suffered population, accompanies the evacuated population and provides medical services during evacuation and at the final destination, etc.

4) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia:

a. coordinates international cooperation, implementation of international humanitarian programmes and mutual aid processes,

b. provides international cooperation, manages processes for development and approval of inter-governmental agreements and treaties, as well as organization of humanitarian aid and participation of international rescue force in elimination of emergency effects, etc.

5) The Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia regulates and controls ecological safety, provides environmental protection and monitoring processes, as well as carries out the functions of eco-education and manages climate change issues, etc.

6) The Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Armenia carries out activities related to cattle sanitary, food safety and plant sanitary services, state monitoring of forests and anti-mudflow activities.The Ministry is the state administration authorised body for prevention and elimination of harmful impact of rivers as assigned by the Law on Water of the Republic of Armenia.

7) The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia has the role of protecting the population in case of nuclear or radial accidents in the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, providing sustainable operation of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, reservoirs belonging to hydro-electric plants, and energy systems and structures, implementation of activities for raising safety and harmless exploitation of the above-mentioned structures, as well as supervision over exploitation of open and underground mines within its responsibilities both on daily basis and at times of disasters.

8) The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia is responsible for organization of education on disaster management and civil protection in all educational institutions of the Republic.

9) The Ministry of Territorial Administration of the Republic of Armenia provides for the implementation of disaster risk reduction activities by Regional Administration bodies and communities.

10) The Ministry of Urban Development of the Republic of Armenia organizes and coordinates activities related to scientific research and experimental-construction for seismic-proof construction, development of normative technical documents for seismic-proof construction, investigation of territories and architectural protection.

11) The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia:

a. provides food and logistical supplies, as well as conducts metrological control over technical means for civil protection;

b. coordinates and controls integration of disaster risk reduction sub-programmes into development plans of various sectors.

12) The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia regulates the legal field.

13) International partners provide assistance to the development of the disaster risk reduction system in Armenia. Main partners include the World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, UN Development Programme, UNICEF, Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency, German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ), Oxfam, World Food Organization, OSCE, World Health Organizations, Armenian office of “World Vision” organization, Armenian Red Cross Society, etc.

14) Civil and scientific organizations are important players and contribute to the development of scientific potential of the disaster risk reduction system and solution of disaster risk reduction issues in communities. The main partners include Institute of Geological Sciences of the National Scientific Academy, the Centre for ecological-noospheric research of the National Scientific Academy, faculties of geography and geology of the Yerevan state University, Armenian Red Cross Society, “Georisk” Scientific and Research Company, “Garni” international centre, Armenian Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth, “Hayseismshin” Scientific and Research Institute, “Hayjrnakhagits” Institute, “Geocom” Scientific and Research Company, etc.


CHAPTER III. BACKGROUND OF THE STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT

16. One of the main prerequisites for the development of disaster risk reduction strategy is the level of Armenia being a disaster-prone country. Armenia is located in one of the most seismologically active zones in the world; thus there are significant risks related to geo-physical hazards. Earthquakes that have stricken the country within the last twenty years have caused damages to many people and led to significant economic losses. The earthquake of Spitak in 1988 was the most disastrous seismic strike within the last decades. As a result, 25,000 people died, 1,500 became disabled and 517,000 were left homeless. The earthquake of Spitak led to destructions in many cities with a total of 5467,0 billion Armenian drams direct economic losses equivalent to 14,2 billion US dollars based on exchange rate of December 2011.

17. One thirds of the country’s territory is located in landslide-prone areas. Landslide-prone areas are mainly in mountain foot and mountainous territories. A total of 470,000 people or 15% of the whole population is subject to this hazard. Average annual damage caused by landslides is about 3,85 billion Armenian drams equivalent to 10 million US dollars based on exchange rate of December 2011.

18. Effects of climate change are visible in the whole world, and Armenia is not an exception. It has a vulnerable eco-system, dry climate, active external and desertation processes and frequent natural disasters, which make the country more sensitive to climate change effects. Analyses have shown that meteorological hazards have increased in their frequency and severity within the last decades. Armenia is mostly prone to droughts, early spring freezing, hail, mudflows, landslides, strong winds and forest fires.

19. Mudflows have caused damage to about 200 residential areas and 600 sections of main transportation means within 2004-2007. Average annual damage caused by mudflows within the last four years totalled to 1165,5 million Armenian drams equivalent to 2,9 million US dollars dollars based on exchange rate of December 2011. The number of hail showers reached 46 in 2001-2006 (with an average diameter of 22-35mm). Heavy floods of the last decades have even caused casualties. Agricultural damages from the drought in 2000 totalled to 25679,5 million Armenian drams equivalent to 66.7 million US dollars based on exchange rate of December 2011 (10.1% of the agricultural GDP).

20. Meteorological investigations have revealed an annual increase in temperature by 0.850C and decrease of precipitation by 6% in Armenia within the last 80 years. Changes in temperature and precipitation have different tendencies in different regions and seasons of the country.

21. In accordance with calculations of different climate change scenarios in Armenia, a significant and continuous increase in temperature in envisaged in 2030, 2070 and 2100, especially in spring and summer months. Total river flow will decrease by 6,7% by 2030, by 14,4% by 2070 and by 24,4% by 2100 (in comparison to 1961-2100). Decreased water resources will have a direct impact on agriculture thus causing decreased level of food provision.

22. Technological (man-made) hazards are also significant sources of risk. There are 26 chemical factories in Armenia that use ammonia, chlorine, chlorine acid, nitrogen acid and other chemical materials. More than 1,500 enterprises are prone to explosions and fire. The nuclear plant of Metsamor is located in an area of seismic activity.

23. The population, economy and environment of Armenia are highly vulnerable to natural disasters. One of the most significant facts is that according to the World Bank data the level of poverty in Armenia is 30%, whereas the poor population is mainly centralized in village communities and cities in regions. Due to high urbanization (64%), disaster and especially seismic risks are centralized in cities. The economy is highly vulnerable, too. There is a 20% probability of decline in gross domestic product by 12,7% every year due to a major disaster. During the years of 1990-2005, Armenia lost 20% of its forest areas or about 6,300 ha forests, which has increased the probability of mudflows and landslides. It is an urgent issue to raise the resilience against natural disasters, which may be achieved by integration of disaster risk reduction into the development plans and capacity development at all levels.

24. Currently available institutional and legislative frameworks play an important role in the development of disaster risk reduction strategy. Since 1991, the Government of the Republic of Armenia has been engaged in the development of legislative framework for disaster management. Having gone a unique way, it is now an established framework that identifies and regulates rights and responsibilities of all players in disaster management system.

25. Disaster management sector is mostly covered on legislative and sub-legislative levels. Several laws of the Republic of Armenia on “Population Protection in Emergency Situations”, “Fire Safety”, “Hydro-meteorological Activities”, “Seismic Protection”, “Civil Protection”, “Rescue Forces and Status of Rescuers”, “State Regulation of Provision of Technical Safety”, “Armenian Rescue Service” and “Sub-divisions of Civil Protection”, as well as many other laws relating to the sector have been passed.

26. Authorities and responsibilities of the republican executive bodies, other state agencies and regional administrative bodies are clearly defined on legislative and sub-legislative levels both on general terms and for cases of emergency situations.

27. The development of the institutional structure of disaster risk reduction in Armenia is an evolutionary process which started in 1991 after the adoption of the independence of the country. The government of the Republic of Armenia has developed a joint system for management of emergencies, including:

1) Functional sub-system which involves ministries and institutions under their supervision and international organizations and has 2 levels of disaster risk reduction management:

a. republican and

b. organizational (hereinafter - objects).

2) Territorial sub-system which involves bodies of territorial administration, local self-government bodies and institutions (objects) and has three levels of disaster risk reduction management:

a. territorial,

b. local,

c. institutional (objects).

28. Availability of a common system provides horizontal and vertical cooperation among all state and non-governmental structures involved in disaster risk reduction processes.

29. In the international sector of disaster risk reduction, the Republic of Armenia:

1) has joined several conventions and agreements signed within the United Nations and Council of Europe (as well as European Union) on management of phenomena (causing emergency situations), emergency situations and disaster reduction and recovery;

2) cooperates with bordering countries and the ones in the region on response and mutual support at times of emergency situations and has signed relevant treaties and agreements with the latter;

3) consistently continues its activities in joining new agreements and implementing joint actions with other countries in the field of protection from emergency situations and cooperation.

4) In 2005, as a UN member country, Armenia joined the Hyogo Framework for Action which defines pro-active and preventive approach to disaster risk reduction.

30. One of the main prerequisites is also connection and coherence of the disaster risk reduction strategy with the country’s sustainable development and national security strategies. Disaster risk reduction is given an important role in development strategies of the Republic of Armenia. Strategies of national security and sustainable development give due importance to strengthening the disaster risk reduction system and consider it a precondition for national security and country’s sustainable development.

31. In the national security strategy, special attention is paid to the following potential disaster risk factors:

1) The outbreak and spread of life-threatening epidemics globally and in neighbouring regions, as well as natural or man-made disasters;

2) Further urbanization of Armenia with a pattern of overly compact inhabitation and settlement in the areas prone to seismic activity, a deterioration of the demographic balance in rural areas, and a depopulation of border villages;

3) Inadequate network of infrastructure. The Republic of Armenia faces a challenge to construct and extend additional road links, provide reliable and safe water, and develop telecommunications networks and other related infrastructure;

4) Outbreak of epidemics, devastating earthquakes and other natural and man-made disasters in the territory of the country, bordering regions and in the region.

32. Prevention of threats mentioned in point 31 of the current strategy and of other sectors of disaster risk reduction and recovery are preconditions for sustainable development of the country. Modernization and further development of the disaster risk reduction system are considered as most important issues in national strategies where special attention is paid to the following areas:

1) development of systems for forecasting natural and man-made disasters, early warning and rapid response, monitoring of man-made contaminated lands in the territory of the Republic of Armenia,

2) development of relevant structures for identification and management of emergency risks,

3) provision of relevant level of awareness and education to the population.

33. Taking into account lessons learned from the Spitak earthquake, the government of the Republic of Armenia took up the institutionalization of disaster risk management and introduction of relevant programmes. Foundation of such institutions contributed to introducing disaster risk reduction related programmes in the curricula of higher education institutions and schools of general education. Disaster risk reduction indicators were included in the standards of general education which enabled providing disaster risk reduction courses also in elementary and secondary schools, as well as in pre-school institutions. The process of regular training of managers and specialists is also regulated. Training process is regularly integrated into international programmes, and international developments and best practices are integrated into local programmes. Existing knowledge and expertise and their further development are one of the milestones for implementation of disaster risk reduction strategy and building a culture of safety and resilience.

34. Institutionalization of disaster risk management for stipulating awareness raising processes led to establishment of media and information sector for disaster response in the country. The sector has been continuously developing and complemented by risk reduction awareness processes. The media and information sector involves regulation of disaster-related information sharing processes as included in the legal field regardless of organizational and legal structure; training and requalification of staff of all media structures; development of relations between the latter and the authorized body; establishment of specialized structures and information tools for raising the awareness of the population; integration of awareness into international programmes and developments through implying international best practices, etc. Availability of such a sector undoubtedly contributes to building a culture of safety and resilience to disasters by being a principal element in implementation of the disaster risk reduction strategy.


CHAPTER IV. CHALLENGES OF DISASTER RISK REDUCTION

35. There are several challenges which may hinder effective implementation of the disaster risk reduction strategy. The challenges are as follows:

1) Inefficient cooperation among state agencies. Some beaurocratric approaches among state agencies hinder comprehensive cooperation in solving disaster risk reduction issues. Disaster risk reduction strategy will support clarifying existing relations and regulating the institutional field.

2) Existing hazards in the region. Regional hazards such as earthquakes, floods, forest fires and various man-made hazards may lead to cross-border emergency situations. This situation urges inclusion of a joint regional policy in the disaster risk reduction strategy. However, existing imperfect cooperation within the region leads to inefficient solution of risk-related issues and lack of capacities and mechanisms for deployment of resources, which hinders prevention and mitigation of cross-border hazards.

3) Natural hazards do not incur disasters unless they are coupled with vulnerability of the society and low level of resilience. In this sense, climate change effects on hazards may be:


  • In cases of increased number of hydrometeorological and climatic phenomena,

  • In case of increased vulnerability of the society against natural hazards. Reasons for the latter are degradation of the eco-system, decreasing natural and water resources, lack of necessary living conditions, food, etc. Thus, climate change is an additional burden for disaster resilience of the society. It is an urgent issue to assess the impact of climate change on the economy and eco-systems and develop resilience programmes with national and local involvement.

4) Imperfection of safety culture. Lack of knowledge on disaster risk reduction and imperfection of the culture of safety lead to new hazards, increase vulnerability to hazards and therefore contribute to increasing disaster risks.

5) Insufficient level of management processes and resources. Due to insufficient level of management and resources, there are no mechanisms for compilation and use of resources both on quantitative and qualitative perspectives.

6) New man-made hazards due to development process of the economy. Development processes of the economy lead to new man-made hazards which impose the necessity of having an ongoing development process for disaster risk reduction.

7) Ineffective territorial planning and unmanageable urbanization. Inadequacy of territorial planning may lead to uncontrollable urbanization leading to undesired increase of population density in disaster high risk zones and unbalanced resettlement that may cause emergence of new risks and increase vulnerability.

8) Imperfect process of decentralization. Imperfect process of decentralization hinders involvement of communities and the civil society in disaster risk reduction processes where their roles are not fully comprehended and disaster risk reduction capacities are sharply reduced.

9) Existing gender issues in disaster risk reduction. Existing gender issues hinder involvement of all groups of the population in disaster risk reduction processes, which lead to inefficient use of human resources and capacities.

10) Insufficient level of social development. Insufficient level of social development raises the issue of satisfying peoples’ basic needs that intensifies social disparities. In such a situation, issues like resilience to disasters are left behind resulting in increasing vulnerability and emergence of new risks.

11) Issues related to utilization of natural resources. Current issues related to utilization of natural resources not only lead to emergence of new environmental problems, but also increase the vulnerability of the population and territories.

12) No system for insurance from disasters. Lack of a disaster insurance system reduces the flexibility of financial processes of disaster risk reduction leaving the main load on state and community budgets. Thus, financial capacities are reduced and the vulnerability of the population and territories are increased.

13) Existing corruption risks. Existing corruption risks lead to inefficient targeted use of disaster risk reduction capacities and resources, and in some cases lead to disruption of initiatives and programmes and dispersion of scarce resources.

14) New risks to the public health (diseases and epidemics). New risks impending the public health often emerge due to economic development, global climate change and introduction of new technologies and have their specific harmful factors. The above-mentioned urges the need for continuous and consistent development of disaster risk reduction processes.

15) Insufficient number and level of investigations. Insufficient number of investigations hinders passportization of disaster risks, including development of digital maps leading to absence of disaster risk related sub-programmes in country’s sustainable development programmes.

16) Imperfection of legislative framework of disaster risk reduction. Laws and decrees passed in the field of disaster risk reduction mainly regulate activities to be implemented during occurrence of hazards almost overlooking risk reduction issues. At the same time, there are contradictions in the existing laws both between different articles of the same law and among different laws. In addition, developments in the country urge review and improvement of the laws enacted in the past. Integration processes to international developments also need to be reviewed and improved.

17) Innovations and modern methods and bases for scientific education and training introduced every year are not accessible to people at large.


CHAPTER V. THE AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE DISASTER RISK REDUCTION STRATEGY

36. The aim of the disaster risk reduction strategy of the Republic of Armenia is to establish a resilient country, and increase the safety of individuals and the society and contribute to the sustainable development of the country.

37. The objectives of the disaster risk reduction strategy are as follows:

1) clarify and regulate functions, roles, jurisdictions and responsibilities of governing bodies, organizations, the civil society, volunteers, the private sector and scientific institutions involved in the disaster risk reduction sector;

2) develop new management mechanisms to increase the effectiveness of utilization of various, multi-layered and numerous resources directed to disaster risk reduction (institutional, human, knowledge, information, technical, technological, material, financial and other resources);

3) strengthen and expand international cooperation in the field of disaster risk reduction through integration into international structures, joining international agreements and active participation in regional and cross-border initiatives;

4) promote development of a safety culture on regular bases and ensure continuous training of all groups of the population;

5) ensure inclusion and implementation of disaster risk reduction legislative provisions in development programmes of the country as one of the primary steps to ensure complete implementation of those programmes;

6) assess possible climate risks and develop measures for prevention and reduction of consequences at global, national and local levels;

7) Prioritize disaster and climate risk reduction management issues through integrating them into national and local development programmes;

8) Develop monitoring, forecasting and early warning systems for identification, assessment and control of disaster hazards;

9) Utilization and dissemination of knowledge, new technologies and best practices of climate change issues at all levels for sustainable development and building a culture of safety;

10) Increase the effectiveness of territorial planning and implementation ensuring mutual understanding of the interests of the state, the society and individuals;

11) Develop and implement ongoing projects aimed at development of disaster risk reduction capacities in communities and disaster risk reduction system;

12) Plan and consistently carry out relevant steps to increase the reliability of structures and networks of vital importance;

13) Improve the legislation regulating the sector of disaster risk reduction by unifying existing legislation and complementing it to the international legislation;

14) Introduce and implement gender sensitive policy, consider men’s and women’s needs on equal basis, encourage women’s participation and involvement in management positions and decision making processes;

15) develop and introduce an insurance system for disaster losses, which will not only contribute to the compensation process and reduction of vulnerability, but will also stand as one of the most robust and modern mechanisms for collection of financial resources;

16) ensure ongoing support of all beneficiaries of the disaster risk reduction sector (participation of the state structures, in the first place) in the process of development of the disaster risk reduction national platform;

17) establish a culture of safety and resilience among the population, thus contributing to the development of a disaster resilient society and country;

18) Ensure awareness and preparedness of state governing bodies and the population, involve non-governmental organizations and population in the management of emergency situations;

19) Promote development of relevant skills of media personnel of response organizations and administrative bodies in the work with the population at times of emergency situations, and concentrate and develop activities of the mass media based on the experience of the information service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia.

CHAPTER VI. PRINCIPLES OF DISASTER RISK REDUCTION STRATEGY

38. The whole process of development and implementation of disaster risk reduction strategy is based on the following principles:

1) involvement and equal participation of all beneficiaries;

2) continuity of the disaster risk reduction strategy;

3) application of comprehensive and integrated approaches;

4) introduction of modern and high technologies;

5) a strategy sensitive to socially vulnerable groups;

6) involvement of gender issues;

7) involvement of climate risk issues;

8) prioritization of human life and health against other losses;

9) ongoing monitoring and assessment;

10) accountability to all beneficiaries and public supervision; and

11) decentralization of disaster risk reduction system.

.

CHAPTER VII. EXPECTED RESULTS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DISASTER RISK REDUCTION STRATEGY



39. The following outcomes are expected to be achieved from the implementation of the disaster risk reduction strategy:

1) Development of a disaster-safe country. Implementation of the disaster risk reduction strategy not only builds a culture of disaster resilience and contributes to prevention and mitigation of disasters, but also makes disaster risk reduction issues an integral part of the country’s development programmes. Therefore, implementation of the mentioned development programmes reduces the probability of emergence of risks.

2) Building a flexible and developing system for disaster risk reduction capacities. Implementation of the disaster risk reduction strategy assumes involvement of multi-layered participants in the management of disaster risk reduction processes that concentrates their efforts and builds a unique mechanism for establishment of joint relations and mutually beneficial cooperation.

3) Integration of disaster risk reduction issues into the country’s development programmes and strategies. Implementation of the disaster risk reduction strategy implies integration of disaster risk reduction issues into the strategies and programmes of all sectors, including the territorial administration and non-governmental sectors.

4) Increasing the general efficiency of disaster risk reduction activities. Implementation of the disaster risk reduction strategy will lead to systemized and justified processes of disaster prevention and mitigation, as well as reduction of vulnerability thus preventing inefficient use of resources.

5) Increasing the manageability of the disaster risk reduction system. Implementation of the disaster risk reduction strategy- relying also on the disaster risk reduction national platform- implies regulation of institutional issues involving participation of all structures both in decision-making and implementation processes.

6) Building a stable institutional base for disaster risk reduction. Implementation of the disaster risk reduction strategy will establish relevant legal, economic and financial bases for development of new structures, clarification of disaster risk reduction functions of the existing ones and unification of all structures around the ideology of disaster risk reduction.

7) Development of knowledge on disaster risk reduction. Implementation of the disaster risk reduction strategy leads to introduction of disaster risk reduction education, preparation of disaster risk reduction specialists, unification of scientific efforts and therefore building fundamental and applied scientific and educational institutional bases. One of the main applied directions of developing disaster risk reduction knowledge relates to designing disaster risk digital maps in compliance with international measures and standards.

8) Raising the awareness of the population on and building a culture of disaster risk reduction. Implementation of the disaster risk reduction strategy implies activation and development of a media and information sub-system dealing with disaster risk reduction issues and improvement of awareness raising mechanisms. This will contribute to building a culture of disaster risk reduction.

9) Reduction of disaster damages and losses. The implementation process of the disaster risk reduction strategy suggests reduction of possible disaster impacts and losses.

CHAPTER VIII. FINANCIAL SOURCES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DISASTER RISK REDUCTION STRATEGY
40. Disaster risk reduction is a very costly process implementation of which is impossible with one funding source. It is necessary to clearly identify disaster risk reduction priorities with their clear measures, timeframes and indicators and plan precise medium-term and prospective programmes.

41. Disaster risk reduction priorities must be set in every sector, e.g. education, agriculture, etc., be identified in the action plan of each sector and implemented by the funds allocated from sectoral budgets (e.g. renovation and reconstruction of a community school).

42. It should be noted that initial expenses make prevention and mitigation processes 7-10 times more efficient from the economic and financial perspective than recovery. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss strengthening of the mentioned component of response:

1) Find new funding sources and make hazardous enterprises take up the protection of the population and territories in the risk zones of their activity or allocate funds from their income to the relevant community budgets or the state budget for the mentioned purpose.

2) Establish foundations and other development structures (humanitarian, disaster response, etc.).

3) Expand international programmes – the state must provide active support in this area and motivate such programmes.

4) Grant legal entities (performing economic and other activities) with tax and customs privileges if their activity is connected with:

a. construction or renovation of shelters meant for the protection of the population; production, purchase and use of engineering equipment necessary for rescue activities.

b. cleaning, reconstruction and construction of mudflow channels, flood channels and water drainage systems and implementation of anti-landslide activities that reduce existing hazards and risks.

5) During new constructions, make companies by the force of law build shelters, fire systems and other complimentary systems for rescue activities.

6) In resettlement and development programmes, consider the location of the residential areas and targeted distribution of production forces and healthcare institutions with respect to effective implementation of disaster prevention and mitigation and rescue activities, as well as organization of protection of the population at times of war.

43. Identify a special set of material values in state material reserves for elimination of emergency situations. Material values of the mentioned set should be intended for provision of operational humanitarian aid to the population during emergency situations and include food of easy preparation and first aid medical and sanitary materials. A simplified procedure should be developed for provision of these materials from the state reserves.

44. Funding sources for the disaster risk reduction system should include:

1) the state budget,

2) budgets of local self-government bodies,

3) funds of the “Disaster Risk Reduction National Platform” Fund,

4) investments of hazardous organizations,

5) investments of international organizations and other donors,

6) potential credits.



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