LOCAL governments, due to their close proximity to citizens, have a role to play in raising awareness and consciousness among their populations in order to reduce the risk of disaster. In developing its strategy, each local government takes part in reducing the risk of disaster by putting in place policies that respect the environment and take into account appropriate urban planning, transport schemes, energy efficiency and strategies to prevent climate change, desertification and the greenhouse effect.

The Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (3WCDRR), which took place in Sendai, Japan, between 14 and 18 March 2015, resulted in a historic agreement by the international community to reduce disaster risk, and recognized local authorities and the local level as essential to achieving this. Strongly represented at the Conference, local and regional authorities showed the world that they are fully engaged in the risk reduction process at all levels.

For the first time, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 recognizes that local authorities have a crucial role to play in disaster risk reduction. The local level and local authorities are mentioned many times in the final text. The Sendai Declaration of Local Authorities emphasizes the need to connect the Sendai Framework for Action with the fight against poverty, the urban agenda, the fight against climate change and the Post-2015 agenda.