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Governments identify challenges ahead

Senior Government officials from around the world today reaffirmed their commitment to disaster risk reduction to save lives and reverse the trend of mounting economic losses caused by impacts from natural disasters and climate change.
23 May 2013 News briefs

New €100,000 Risk Award announced at close of 4th Global Platform

Details were announced today of the 2014 RISK Award -- "Disaster Emergency -- Resilience for the Most Vulnerable" and a call was made for applications for the Award which includes a grant of €100,000 for a project in disaster emergency planning which focuses on the most vulnerable. The deadline for applications is 31 December 2013.
23 May 2013 Press release

Sendai welcomes next World Conference on DRR

Sendai City in Japan has been selected to host the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015. The city of one million people in the northern region of Tohoku was one of the hardest hit zones in the March 2011 Great Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
23 May 2013 News briefs

Global Platform calls for immediate start on developing targets for risk reduction

The three-day 4th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, attended by a record 3,500 people and representatives from 172 governments, ended today with a call for "the immediate start of work to develop targets and indicators to monitor the reduction of risk" in the Chair's Summary at the closing plenary.
23 May 2013 Press release

Climate change declared public enemy No. 1

The Head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, today welcomed the emphasis placed on the links between poverty reduction and disaster risk reduction in the report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda which identifies climate change as the main obstacle in the way of ending extreme poverty.
6 Jun 2013 News briefs

Nigeria agrees to strengthen disaster resilience

ABUJA, June 12 - The Nigerian government has requested the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) to facilitate the development of a comprehensive disaster risk management plan for Africa’s most populous country.

12 Jun 2013 News briefs

Developer unveils vision of cities as havens during disasters

An innovative urban developer in one of the world's most hazard-prone countries has urged public and private sector leaders to embrace his company's vision of building cities that 'people escape to rather than run away from' during disasters.
17 Jun 2013 News briefs

Marshall Islands water crisis underlines Pacific's drought risk

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) today issued a warning that a lack of safe drinking water is emerging as a major natural hazard for many small islands in the Pacific.
19 Jun 2013 Press release

“When things turn to custard you need good governance”

Two countries sitting at opposite ends of the world are emerging as beacons of good practice in terms of innovative public-private partnerships that have been proven to reduce disaster risk.
21 Jun 2013 News briefs

UNISDR welcomes post-2015 proposal on resilient cities

UNISDR Chief Margareta Wahlström today welcomed a proposal that "resilient cities" should be one of ten top global priorities in the post-2015 development agenda.
24 Jun 2013 News briefs

2013 floods a "turning point"

The Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström, today predicted that the year 2013 will be a turning point in how governments around the world view the threat of floods in a new age of extreme weather events.
25 Jun 2013 Press release

UNISDR chief honours Canberra as a role model city

The Head of UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström today officially acknowledged Canberra as a Role Model city for UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient Campaign by presenting a certificate to the Australian Capital Territory Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Simon Corbell.
28 Jun 2013 News briefs

Traditional approaches ‘increasingly fail’ insurance industry in time of climate change

Geneva, 1 July 2013 - The insurance industry needs to completely rethink its approach to assessing risk because of more unpredictable extreme weather events, a new report warns.

The stark message from the Geneva Association comes hot on the heels of the recently released UN 2013 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, which emphasized the importance of defining the right price of risk so that business investment in hazard-prone regions is appropriately secured.

1 Jul 2013 News briefs

Pacific goes to work early on disaster risk reduction

Every day the Pacific wakes up and goes to work ahead of the rest of the world and next week it will do the same as it kicks off a series of regional consultations that will shape the successor agreement to the Hyogo Framework for Action after 2015.
4 Jul 2013 News briefs

UNISDR chief: integrated action will help billions and save trillions

The Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström, today hailed the Pacific as it committed to a world first of integrating action in disaster risk management and climate change in one strategy to secure a sustainable future for this increasingly threatened region.
8 Jul 2013 Press release

'Like our ancestors, if we have the heart, we can do it'

Pacific government ministers today said community leadership was the key to success of innovative approaches to integrated climate change and disaster risk reduction action across the region.
9 Jul 2013 News briefs

Bank chief urges business to lend its resilience wisdom

Businesses that bounced back quickly from a recent spate of disasters have a lot to teach policymakers and community leaders about resilience, a banking executive told a major Pacific development forum today.
10 Jul 2013 News briefs

Pacific provides perfect springboard for HFA2 discussions

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) today praised the Pacific for providing a 'perfect springboard' into the coming 18 months during which the world will prepare a new, longer term and more ambitious post-2015 framework to achieve safer and more resilient communities and nations.
11 Jul 2013 Press release

‘Recovery the key to future relevance of Pacific regional organisations’

A landmark study says that regional organizations involved in disaster risk management in the Pacific will have to demonstrate excellence in technical assistance and be aligned to international financial flows to remain relevant.
15 Jul 2013 News briefs

Pacific environment leader warns: ‘We will be the first to go under’

The head of a major Pacific regional organization said the region’s acute vulnerability left it no alternative but to lead the world in integrating risk reduction and climate change action into one over-arching strategy to secure a sustainable future. The Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Dr David Sheppard, said the Pacific would rise to the challenge but they needed the world to join efforts too.
16 Jul 2013 News briefs

Tonga's motto inspires leaders to safeguard a resilient inheritance

"God and Tonga are my inheritance" – the motto of this Pacific Kingdom – has inspired its leaders to move to safeguard their country for future generations. Their efforts represent an inspiring example of ambitious disaster and climate resilient development steered by strong national leadership that is based on community ownership.
17 Jul 2013 News briefs

UNISDR chief urges next generation of leaders to help make their world safer

The head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Ms Margareta Wahlström, signalled the importance of the next generation taking up the challenge of building a safer and more resilient future. Ms Wahlström urged a group of youth ambassadors from the Republic of Korea, China and Japan to take leadership roles in advocating for disaster and climate resilient development.
18 Jul 2013 News briefs

'This bridge has been destroyed six times so now we build it higher and stronger'

The leader of Fiji’s disaster-hit Western Division has pledged to forge an integrated cross-sectoral strategy to achieve a safer and more resilient future. Western Division Commissioner Mr Joeli Cawaki and his team of technical experts told the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Ms Margareta Wahlström, that integrated planning and action was vital after being hit by two serious floods and a major cyclone in 2012.
19 Jul 2013 News briefs

UN recognizes Campinas’ lead to reduce disaster risk

The UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) today recognized the dynamic and vibrant economic and technological centre of Campinas for its commitment to reduce its disaster risk. The Head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, officially acknowledged Campinas as Brazil’s first Role Model City of UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient campaign.
22 Jul 2013 News briefs

‘The fact we learn so slowly means we pay for it in dollars’

“Neither disasters nor climate change is an issue for the future it’s an issue for today. The fact that we learn so slowly means we are paying for it – and we are paying in dollars” – the Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Ms Margareta Wahlström challenges the world to strengthen its approach to disaster risk management and reverse the escalation in direct economic losses from disasters. Ms Wahlström was interviewed for this TVNZ news report while at the 2013 Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Fiji, this month.
22 Jul 2013 News briefs

Champion who is 'always committed to disaster reduction'

The Mayor of Tevragh-Zeina municipality in Nouakchott (Mauritania), Ms. Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick, has been named Champion of the “Making Cities Resilient” campaign in recognition of her commitment and dedication to make her city more resilient to disasters. The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Ms. Margareta Wahlström, designated Ms. Abdel Malik for this honorary position, which recognizes individuals who use their political influence to promote disaster risk reduction.
23 Jul 2013 News briefs

School director pioneers safer learning for pupils

An innovative school director in northern Thailand has shown how his pupils can learn in safety with little additional financial cost and burden on staff. The Director of Baiboonlamphun School, Mr Pachernwaat Srichai, said school safety was becoming more of a priority with parents demanding secure environments for their children.
23 Jul 2013 News briefs

UN launches first-ever survey of people living with disabilities in disaster zones

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and partners today launched the first-ever survey of people living with disabilities on their coping capacity in the face of a disaster event. Margareta Wahlström, head of UNISDR, said today: “The survey will focus on a major blind spot in disaster management, the needs of the one billion or more people estimated to live with some form of disability. We can expect that as many as 30 million people living with a disability are affected during an average year by earthquakes and weather-related hazards.”
29 Jul 2013 Press release

People with disabilities ‘contributors to resilience, not victims’

Why are persons with disabilities so disproportionately affected by disasters? This was the important, if often overlooked, question presented to the largest international meeting on disability issues, at the United Nations last week. The answer, simply put, is because disaster prevention measures are designed and implemented in many parts of the world without including or taking into account persons with disabilities. Often it is the attitude of viewing such persons as victims or burdens that prevents their inclusion.
2 Aug 2013 News briefs

Unified strategy provides ‘more bang for your buck’

World-leading efforts to unite climate change adaptation and disaster risk management into one overarching strategy will provide ‘more bang for your buck’ a senior Pacific development leader says. The Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, said future generations would judge today’s leaders on how bold their actions – not words – were in building safer and more resilient communities and countries.
15 Aug 2013 News briefs
The Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will take place in 2015 The Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will take place in 2015.
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