This year's theme "build forward better" represents an allusion / word play, some may have recognized it. It refers to Priority 4 of the Sendai Framework: “Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.” It refers to the need to strengthen resilience at all stages before and after a disaster to reduce disaster risk and impact.
Where does the play on words "build forward better" come from, which has already been taken up this year by the European Union, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the United Nations, led by the World Health Organization? It has to do with the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lack of preparedness, but also with climate change. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sums it up: The earth is warming much faster than previously thought, irreversible tipping points are imminent, and an increase in extreme weather events, as felt worldwide in the summer of 2021, are effects of man-made climate change. Therefore, the principle from the Sendai Framework "build back better" is extended to "build forward better" to trigger the necessary transformation processes in all aspects of our life. This reflects the rising awareness that going back and preparing for previously experienced disasters is not enough. We need to break new ground in many areas, strengthen collaborations and leverage existing funding mechanisms to achieve multiple benefits. Looking ahead to COP 26, this will also be part of the discussion in the opening panel.
UNDRR terminology “build back better”: The use of the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction phases after a disaster to increase the resilience of nations and communities through integrating disaster risk reduction measures into the restoration of physical infrastructure and societal systems, and into the revitalization of livelihoods, economies and the environment.