Declaration on Institutionalising the Resilience of ASEAN and its Communities and Peoples to Disasters and Climate Change

WE, the Heads of States/Governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (hereinafter referred to as "ASEAN"), namely Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on the occasion of the 26th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 27 April 2015;

RECALLING the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II of 7 October 2003, which seeks to build an ASEAN Community comprising of three mutually reinforcing and closely intertwined pillars, namely political-security community, economic community, and socio-cultural community;

RECALLING FURTHER the provisions of the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II which seeks to consolidate and enhance the achievements of ASEAN as a dynamic, resilient and cohesive regional association and, through the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, to intensify cooperation in addressing problems associated with population growth, environmental degradation, trans-boundary pollution and disaster management in the region to enable individual Member States to fully realise their development potentials;

REAFFIRMING the spirit of the ASEAN Charter, which aims to accelerate the establishment of the ASEAN Community by 2015, as agreed in Cebu, Philippines, in 2007;

NOTING with satisfaction the accomplishments made in implementing the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015), which aims to, inter alia, build disaster resilient nations and safer communities and ensure environmental sustainability;

CONSCIOUS of the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision and its attendant documents that further empower peoples and institutions to become fully responsive, adaptive and prepared to address challenges of natural and human-induced disasters, impacts of climate change, and other economic and social shocks, to reduce poverty, vulnerabilities, and exposure to risks;

EMPHASISING our commitments to the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response, ASEAN Climate Change Initiative, ASEAN Action Plan on Joint Response to Climate Change, ASEAN Declaration on Environmental Sustainability as well as agreements, action plans and work programmes of relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies;

MINDFUL of our commitments to the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the outcome of the UN Climate Change Conference, which may result in a new international climate change treaty by 2015, the outcome of United Nations Summit on the post-2015 development agenda, notably a set of Sustainable Development Goals, and other related international instruments that ASEAN Member States are parties to, and of our pledge to play an active and responsible role on both the regional and international stage as we strive to attain the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision and its attendant documents and make tomorrow's world a safer place;

RECOGNISING that exposure of ASEAN's peoples and communities to various natural hazards is rapidly rising, vulnerability to extreme weather events and climate change is spiraling, and this "new normal" leads to growing frequency and severity of disasters, exacting a tremendous toll on economic, social, cultural, physical, and environmental capital of countries and communities, which in turn stifles our region's sustainable development including our efforts towards poverty eradication;

REALISING the urgent need to enhance awareness among Member States and all ASEAN sectoral bodies and stakeholders to be able to simultaneously address the interlocking issues of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and sustainable development and to effectively reduce adverse impacts of natural and human-induced disasters and climate change on key development sectors;

EMPHASISING the imperative to promote development that is transformative, inclusive, adaptive and sustainable, where peoples and communities thrive in peace and prosperity as envisioned in the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision and its attendant documents and to build an ASEAN Community that is resilient to disasters and climate change, viewing resilience as a unifying but multifaceted process and outcome;


1. Commit to forge a more resilient future by reducing existing disaster and climate-related risks, preventing the generation of new risks and adapting to a changing climate through the implementation of economic, social, cultural, physical, and environmental measures which address exposure and vulnerability, and thus strengthen resilience;

2. Underline the importance of producing coherence, consistency and alignment across the pillars and relevant sectors of ASEAN by systematically mainstreaming disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in relevant sectoral policies, strategies, plans, programmes, and projects as well as the need for cross-pillar and cross-sectoral collaboration on disaster risk management, climate change adaptation and sustainable development and related cross-cutting concerns;

3. Further institutionalise disaster risk management and climate change adaptation at the national and local levels by harmonising these with existing and new policy and legal frameworks, national development strategies and plans, and sectoral programmes and projects;

4. Encourage all stakeholders to participate in planning and implementation of the institutionalisation of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation at the local, national and regional levels and monitor the progress and outcomes in terms of reducing disaster risk and adapting to climate change through multistakeholder means and mechanisms;

5. Accelerate investments in disaster risk prevention and reduction and climate change adaptation through cohesive and integrated structural and non-structural measures to enhance economic, social, physical and cultural resilience of persons, communities, countries and their assets as well as the environment, focusing on key development sectors such as health, water management, ecosystems management, economic planning, agriculture, cultural heritage, education, infrastructure and construction, transport and telecommunication, and risk financing and risk transfer, in both public and private sectors and civil society, as these integrated interventions are more cost-effective than traditionalreliance on post-disaster response and recovery, and thus also contribute to the sustainability of development;

6. Address underlying risk drivers and compounding factors, such as climate change and climate variability, uncontrolled urbanisation, ecosystem degradation, weak governance, limited risk management capacity especially at the local scale, poor management of urban and rural development, consequences of poverty and inequality, and conflict situations;

7. Foster the understanding of risk in all its dimensions of vulnerability, capacity and exposure as well as the hazard and climate change context to ensure that policies, plans and priorities for intervention are based on evidence and credible assessment of risk and climate change impact scenarios at the local, national and regional levels, taking into account the range of costs and benefits of effective risk management and adaptation for the most vulnerable groups;

8. Continue sharing and dissemination of risk and climate information to support ongoing and future efforts on research and development in disaster risk management and climate change adaptation and widen the accessibility of users and stakeholders to such risk and climate information and knowledge to further support risk-informed policy development, decision-making and investment programming in both public and private sectors;

9. Strengthen the capacities of national and regional institutions to monitor and reduce risk as well as enhance their adaptive capacities through the promotion of education on climate change and disaster risk management and exchange of innovative practices and learning experiences, among others;

10. Allocate resources to strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response and effectively support resilient recovery and rehabilitation, whether for extensive, small-scale and repeated shocks or disturbances or intensive, largescale catastrophic disasters, harnessing both ex-ante and ex-post financing measures, as well as to institutionalise pre-disaster recovery planning and adaptation programming at all scales to bounce forward and recover in a timely and efficient manner;

11. Agree to enhance cooperation and collaboration among ASEAN Member States to support the implementation of this Declaration and develop a cross-pillar and cross-sectoral collaborative ASEAN work programme for resilience building in the context of disaster risk management, climate change adaptation and sustainable development; and

12. Assign the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) as the focal point for cross-sectoral cooperation on resilience building at regional level, with the support of other relevant sectoral bodies.

ADOPTED in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the Twenty Seventh Day of April in the Year Two Thousand and Fifteen.

Source: ASEAN official web-site