GRF Davos within the UN framework

The “Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience for Nations and Communities to Disasters” (HFA) calls upon the United Nations system and other international organizations to undertake concrete tasks within their mandates, priorities and resources. The HFA encourages all organizations to incorporate disaster risk considerations systematically in their own strategies, programmes, advocacy, budgets and internal organization and to participate in the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR) initiatives. It emphasises strengthening of the United Nations system to assist disaster-prone developing countries with disaster risk reduction initiatives and to support States’ own efforts with technical assistance and capacity development.

GRF Davos takes the lead in establishing and implementing innovative collaborations that enhance Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Research, and cooperations in combating Climate Change and Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD).

A strong link to the United Nations is of special importance to GRF Davos, as international cooperation in particular between developing and developed countries is an essential factor in enhancing sustainable disaster risk management.

Declarations of intent for close collaboration have been signed with the UNESCO -United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UN ISDR - United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and UNCCD - United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
Details on the specific UN collaborations are available in the left hand menu bar.

Letter of Intent signed with UNESCO

On Monday, 20 June 2011 Ms. Irina Bokova, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO and the GRF Davos Foundation’s President Dr. Walter Ammann met in Paris, France to formalize and extend the long-standing cooperation between the two institutions.

A Letter of Intent was signed with the purpose to provide a framework of cooperation and to facilitate collaboration between the Parties, advocating a strong link between research and policy practice to enhance disaster risk reduction through partnerships between government, civil society, the private sector and academia. The future collaboration of the parties will focus on disaster reduction research applications for the benefit of society and the environment, and to promote learning and capacity-building in disaster and risk management, notably in developing countries.

In line with UNESCO's fields of competence in capacity building, exchange of experience and knowledge in disaster and risk management the Global Risk Forum Davos, forms a significant facility promoting knowledge and experience transfer in favour of individuals, associations and expert institutions engaged in disaster and risk management.

UNCCD - GRF Davos Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation in combating Desertification, Land Degradation

The Global Risk Forum GRF Davos and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification UNCCDsigned a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance their cooperation in combating Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought DLDD.

The Global Risk Forum GRF Davos and the UNCCDenhance their cooperation to cope with DLDD as a major global threat to the development, stability and the well-being of present and future societies as well as to the ecosystems and goods and services that support them. The signed Memorandum of Understanding will provide the framework for this future collaboration.

Recorded video stream of the signing ceremony below:

Please find an extract of the MoU below:

Memorandum of Understanding

Article I: Purpose

The purpose of the present MoU is to provide a framework of cooperation and facilitate collaboration between the Parties, to cope with DLDD as a major global threat to the development, stability and the well-being of present and future societies as well as to the ecosystems and goods and services that support them.

Article II: Areas of Cooperation

The Parties agree to cooperate in areas of common interest, further to and within each Organization’s respective mandate, network and opportunities. The Parties undertake to cooperate through complementary efforts in areas where their networks, technical expertise and capacity development of both Parties demonstrate an added value and can significantly contribute to combat DLDD and support risk reduction.  Areas of cooperation may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Initiating actions by fostering local governance and the empowerment of local communities to provide the fundamental elements for reducing the global risks of DLDD and its subsequent consequences;
  • Enabling sustainable financial investments in specific DLDD projects, particularly at the local/regional level;
  • Initiating and fostering an advocated action programme for sustainable investments for risk reduction in dryland areas, particularly (but not only) in developing countries;
  • Supporting actions for the on-going implementation of the 10 Year Strategy (2008-2018) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (hereinafter referred to as “UNCCD”), geared to increase the political and societal will to effectively address DLDD;
  • Targeting with an advocated dialogue governments and their institutions (both national and local), civil society, the business sector, educational centres, local producers and their communities, through acting on the sound, evidence-based science to corresponding risk-related international scenarios (climate, security, migration, etc.) in the drylands;
  • Developing agendas of research applications and monitoring capacities in the field of DLDD;
  • Promoting methodologies and best practices so as to develop and implement participatory and inclusive DLDD practices and policies;
  • Facilitating knowledge management through enhanced collaboration towards building capacities for the access to data and information, as well as, disseminating technical expertise, training materials, and good practices;
  • Forming joint campaigns and global initiatives with a view to resource mobilization, and the formulation of partnerships, including with actors from civil society and the private sector;
  • Providing a common platform for advisory services and technical assistance, including exchange of information on sustainable development, education on combating DLDD, risk reduction, disaster management and human settlement policies and practices;
  • Organizing consultations for the preparation of programmes, curricula and educational and technical materials on DLDD, risk reduction and environmental and social sustainability;
  • Exchanging information and engaging in joint actions in the framework of the improvement of the resilience of ecological systems, and that of human resilience capacity facing DLDD and climate change; and
  • Any other matter of mutual interest.

IDRC within the UN-ISDR context

On December 7, 2007, IDRC and UN-ISDR have signed an agreement on the shared objective of mutual cooperation for advancing the global implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action HFA 2005 – 2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters.

Whereas the UN-ISDR system, represented through the objectives and collective actions of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR), has the widest possible involvement of political authorities as its target, IDRC concentrates on providing a network for experts, practitioners and institutions from science, technology, business, and civil society, thus complementing UN-ISDR’s governmental policy and strategy-oriented focus.

The cooperation between IDRC and UN-ISDR has the overall purpose of strengthening and accelerating the understanding and transfer of knowledge from science and technical experience to practice. In particular, equal access and use of this knowledge in rich and poor countries is envisioned.
With its “100 ideas for action” activity during the forthcoming conference, IDRC Davos 2008 wants to contribute to the Global Platform, again organized by UN-ISDR in Geneva in 2009.

Walter J. Ammann, Chairman IDRC Davos 2008
Salvano Briceño, Director UN-ISDR

For further information on the Hyogo Framework for Action and the Global Platform, please visit:

The Hyogo Framework for Action HFA - full text pdf : (English), (Spanish)
A six page summarizing brochure of the HFA
HFA Schematic Summary