In 2015, UNV began supporting the United Nations Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience throughout Asia and the Pacific. UN Volunteers, familiar with and often originating from local communities, have been vital to promoting sustainable development. As locals themselves, they are familiar with using locally-appropriate and environmentally-sound practices, including indigenous knowledge in environmental management and capacity development to respond to natural disasters.
UNV’s experience in these areas shows that community resilience, which can be enhanced through volunteerism, is the basis for successful and sustainable programmes. Social, economic and environmental sustainability are building blocks of sustainable development. And they are inextricably interlinked. Disaster risk reduction and the environment are closely related. Sustainable development requires that disaster risks are reduced and communities are better prepared for response and recovery. The role of volunteerism in mobilizing and managing volunteers is an important component of any disaster risk management strategy that aims at fostering community recovery, strength and resilience in vulnerable areas.