The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) publishes the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) every three years. Nations and public and private research partners contribute to this flagship report on worldwide efforts to reduce disaster risk.

The GAR assesses global progress toward implementing the targets and priorities of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) in relation to the advances of other global agendas such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Change Agreement. It shares innovative research and practice in disaster risk management, with the objective to support risk reduction and increase resilience from local to global scales.

The GAR is both an ongoing process of generating evidence, knowledge, and policy engagement, as well as an opportunity to showcase trends and report on progress. It promotes risk-informed decision making, identifies feasible practices, and generates policy guidance and recommendations that can be employed at the local, national, regional and international levels.

Structure of the GAR 2022

With the next GAR report due in 2022, this year is a key opportunity for coordinating, lead, and contributing authors to synthesise crucial evidence gathered since the 2019 report. The GAR 2022 will pay particular attention to systemic risks: characterizing disaster risk from a systems perspective and linking system elements and their feedbacks. For mountain social-ecological systems, it is important to account for both the natural hazards and the underpinning human system conditions that, together, affect these areas.

According to the Call for Contributing Papers, the GAR 2022 comprises four parts:

  • PART I – Reaching the Target - Realising the outcome, goal and targets of the SFDRR, the 2030 Agenda and risk-informed sustainable development
  • PART II – Unpacking and revealing characteristics of vulnerability, exposure and managing systemic risks
  • PART III – Risk informed decision making in the context of uncertainty
  • PART IV – Managing and governing systemic risks – emergent solutions.

The MRI encourages the mountain research community to contribute reports, peer-reviewed literature, and/or case studies addressing the common themes that will apply throughout the GAR 2022:

  • Synergies and trade-offs in pursuing risk resilient development pathways
  • No more magic numbers –  managing uncertainty and assessing systemic risks
  • Beyond risk data and information – how human behaviour drives decision making
  • Societal transitions and systems-level transformations in managing systemic risks
  • Navigating new normals – risk management in a COVID-19 world.

Deficiencies in the GAR 2019

According to disaster risk researcher and MRI SLC member Prof. Irasema Alcántara-Ayala, the GAR 2019 addressed disaster risk reduction in mountain regions to a limited extent, e.g., glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) as a cascading hazard process and the melting of glaciers in high mountain ecosystems. MRI SLC member Dr. Mandira Singh Shrestha recommends the GAR 2022 include other important high altitude hazards in addition to GLOFs, such as avalanches, rockfall, and landslide dam outburst floods.

In Alcántara-Ayala’s view, disaster risk reduction represents an opportunity for the mountain research community to find sustainable solutions to societal problems. It is important to address existing gaps between mountain research and disaster risk research, particularly from an integrated, transdisciplinary perspective.

Read the entire interview with Prof. Irasema Alcántara-Ayala here.

Towards a more mountain-relevant GAR 2022: opportunities to contribute

The following journal special issues dedicate attention to mountain research within the activities of the 2022 Global Platform.

  • Journal of Mountain Science (JMS) Special Issue: Disaster Risk Reduction in Mountain areas. Deadline for submission: 15 September 2021.
  • Mountain Research and Development (MRD) Focus Issue: Addressing challenges of hazards, risks, and disaster management in mountain regions. Deadline for full paper submission: 1 September 2021

Researchers are encouraged to also notify the MRI Coordination Office (email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) of published and/or papers in development so that we can support the GAR 2022 author team with relevant material that offers a mountain-focused perspective and evidence basis in this upcoming assessment.

Find more information about the GAR here.

Cover image by Abdullah_Shakoor

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