As governments implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, they learn the importance of protecting animals to safeguard livelihoods. This section supports national authorities to incorporate animal protection in DRR strategies
Governments are responsible for developing and implementing national disaster risk reduction strategies that include the protection of animals. This involves the co-ordination of civil defense and agriculture, or livestock ministries.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like ours, and academia, can help government officials effectively implement the strategy.
For the best protection of people and animals, national strategies should align with local and regional plans. Animal owners and the private sector are in the best position to provide input and feedback on the local reality. They prepare and take steps to reduce the risks associated with animals in a disaster, and so these stakeholders should be continually consulted by national governments.
PrepVet is an online preparedness and response toolkit to help protect animals in disasters. It trains veterinarians, who can then pass their key skills on to animal owners and government officials.
As livestock, wildlife and pets are a central concern to all affected by a disaster, regardless of location, we have worked with the Red Cross to expand the use of PrepVet globally.
The Sendai Framework considers livestock animals as key productive assets that need investment and expertise for resilience. The Sendai Framework is a low-cost tool countries can adopt from community to government level, to enhance disaster preparedness and help meet the framework's targets.
Preparedness culture and international recognition
Disaster risk reduction strategies reflect a country’s preparedness culture.
Countries with a good preparedness culture recognise the value of animals, and work to protect them in disaster-prone areas. Strategies including animal protection are often a means of assessing the alignment to The Sendai Framework. The number of higher-level veterinarian educational programs offering PrepVet can also indicate the level of a country's strength in this area.
We encourage national governments to communicate the need to protect animals in disasters to the public. Raising awareness around this can have a positive impact on the number of animal owners implementing preparedness measures.
Governments protecting animals in disasters should share their strategies to encourage and share knowledge with other countries. Sharing experiences and achievements at regional and international events (such as conferences) also helps mainstream the means to implement The Sendai Framework.
Animal census data informs better policy and practical decisions, allowing governments to understand the impact disasters have on the livestock sector and livelihoods.
Animal census should address, at least, livestock and pet populations. They should be integrated to Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA) and risk maps. National governments are mainly responsible for coordinating data at the national level.
Animal owners are the key stakeholder that can collect and provide information to the census. NGOs and academia can assist local and national governments develop and integrate data systems and identify key indicators, as well as analyse the impact of animal loss and vulnerability on livelihoods.