Meetings and conferences

International Recovery Forum 2009: Building Back Better and Greener

Organizer(s) International Recovery Platform Cabinet Office (Japan) Hyogo Prefectural Government Asian Disaster Reduction Center United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Kobe Office United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
In person

Event Description

The International Recovery Forum is an annual event organized by the International Recovery Platform (IRP) to help ensure that disaster risk reduction approaches are systematically incorporated into the design of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery programs in accordance with the strategic goal of the Hyogo Framework for Action. The Forum provides an opportunity for policymakers and practitioners to get together and exchange experiences from recent recovery operations to address gaps in recovery practices and resources. Based on the challenges emerging from recent disasters, the theme for the Forum in 2009 is "Building Back Better and Greener".

The central issue is how to improve recovery processes, where environment is both a driver of disaster (e.g. environmental degradation weakens resilience) and a casualty of disaster (e.g. impacts of relief and recovery operations to environment). Recovery processes must assure the sustainability of future generations' lives while reducing the risks to people today.

The International Recovery Forum 2009 engaged with Governments that are recently affected by disasters and key regional and international actors involved in recovery operations to draw lessons and good practices and to translate these into sound guidance. The Forum contributed towards more coordinated actions on a number of key efforts by Governments to implement the Hyogo Framework for Action, particularly the implementation of integrated environmental and natural resource management approaches that incorporate disaster risk reduction.  The Forum was attended by about 250 participants from some 30 countries.


Date and Time: 

26-27 January 2009  13:00-18:00



Portopia Hotel, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan



Day 1: 26 January 2009

Opening Remarks

Mr. Naofumi Taguchi, Deputy Director General for Disaster Management Cabinet Office of Japan

Ms. Helena Molin Valdes, Deputy Director, UNISDR

The honorable Mr. Toshizo Ido, Governor, Hyogo Prefecture

Keynote Speech

"Environmentally Sound Recovery: From an Economist's Perspective" 
Dr. Toshihiko Hayashi, Professor of Economics, The Open University of Japan   (Slides)

  Director of Research, Hyogo Earthquake Memorial 21st Century Research Institute

  Member, the 10 year Restoration Committee for the Great Hansin-Awaji Earthquake

Current recovery status report 1–Myanmar (Cyclone Nargis)   (Slides)
H.E. Maj-Gen Maung Maung Swe, Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement

Country Presentations by high level representatives

"Resilient recovery processes that take into account ecosystem and ecosystem service"

H.E. Jean Max Bellerive, Minister for Planning and External Cooperation, Republic of Haiti

H.E. Amin Faisal, Minister of Defence and National Security, Republic of Maldives   (Slides)

H.E. Vladimir Bozhko, Minister for Emergency Situations, Republic of Kazakhstan   (Slides)

H.E. Maria Lorena Cajas, Subsecretaria de Gestion de Riesgos del Ministerio Coordinator, Republic of Ecuador   (Slides)

Mr. Shaukat Nawaz Tahir, Senior Member / Additional Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, Islamic Republic of Pakistan   (Slides)

Current recovery status report 2–China (Wenchuan earthquake)
Recovery efforts with integrating environment concerns - from UN perspectives
Ms. Constance Thomas, on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in China   (Slides)

Wrap up of Day 1

Mr. Koji Suzuki, Executive Director, ADRC   (Slides)

Launch and Demonstration of the renewed IRP Web by IRP secretariat

Day 2: 27 January 2009


Mr. Alfredo LAZARTE HOYLE, Director, ILO/CRISIS (Chairman of IRP Steering Committee)

Country Presentations by high level representatives

"Recent recovery experience with regards to the integration of environment and climate change concerns"

Col. Mamy Razakanaivo, Direteur Executif, Cellule de Prevention et Gestion des Urgences Primature, Republic of Madagascar   (Slides)

Mr. Anucha Mokkhavesa, Director General, Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Kingdom of Thailand   (Slides)

Presentations from UN Experts

“Environment and Disaster Recovery
Mr. Muralee Thummarukudy, Programme Officer (Special Duties), UNEP   (Slides)

"Overview of innovative techniques in environmentally-aware recovery for infrastructure"
Mr.David Salter, Technical Manager, SEACAP (South and East Asia Community Access Programme)   (Slides) (Document)

Panel Discussion

"Building Back Better and Greener: Engaging Partners for Environmentally Sound Recovery" (Document)
Background document: "Reducing Risk through Environment in Recovery Operations; An Initial Review of the Status"   (Slides)

The panel discussion focused on the below topics:

  • Barriers to carrying out an integrated recovery operations that builds on existing development priorities and reduce future disaster risks
  • Assessing environmental impacts in post-disasters and strengthening the required support and guidance

Government Presenters

Mr. Tshewang Rinzin, Governer, Minisitry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Bhutan   (Slides)

Mr. Iswar Raj Regmi, Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Nepal   (Slides)


Ms. Helena Molin Valdes, Deputy Director, UNISDR


Mr. Ola, Almgren, Senior Recovery Advisor, BCPR, UNDP   (Slides)

Ms. Constance Thomas, Director of ILO Office in China, and on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in China

Mr. David Salter, Technical Manager, SEACAP (South and East Asia Community Access Programme)   (Slides)

Mr. Muralee Thummarukudy, Programme Officer (Special Duties), UNEP   (Slides)


Mr. Naoto Tajiri (Director for Disaster Preparedness and International Cooperation, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan)

Closing Remarks

Mr. Koji Suzuki, Executive Director, ADRC


IRF2009_program_20100203.pdf 2 MB, PDF,

Document links last validated on: 15 February 2022

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