GENEVA, 18 November 2011
– The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, today issued the following statement welcoming the approval in Kampala, Uganda, by the IPCC member States of the Summary for Policy Makers of the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX).
“The Special Report approved today breaks new ground and is a historic contribution to understanding disaster risk reduction. It is the first IPCC report that integrates the work of researchers studying disaster risk management with climate science, climate impacts, and adaptation to climate change. The Report’s findings underline how the well-being of vulnerable, impoverished populations living in parts of the world most exposed to disasters fuelled by climate change, will be severely undermined in the coming century.
“This is the most intensive examination ever undertaken of the relationship between disaster impacts and socio-economic vulnerability. It is obvious that climate change will roll back development gains and drive more people into deeper poverty unless there is a dramatic scaling up of investments in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
“The climate science is telling us very clearly that investing in practical measures which build the resilience of nations and communities is the only way to prepare for the intensification of drought, floods, cyclones, heat waves, forest fires and other natural hazards which will impact heavily on parts of the world with the lowest carbon emissions and least responsibility for climate change.
“Irrespective of any future agreements on reducing carbon emissions or other mitigation measures, the world has entered a deadly new age where today’s extreme weather events are likely to become the norm. Those who are already vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition, living without access to clean water and sanitation, and living in informal settlements have the least capacity to cope and adapt. The IPCC Special Report is a plea to governments worldwide to ensure that disaster risk reduction is at the heart of sustainable development during this century of climate change.”