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World Heritage city moves to secure its future

The UNESCO World Heritage Site city of Dubrovnik, globally celebrated for its rich past and environmental beauty, is taking steps to ensure its future is safeguarded from the threat of disaster. The city, which has been an active member of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s (UNISDR) “Making City Resilient” campaign is taking a series of measures to strengthen resilience at the local level.
12 Sep 2013 News briefs

Disability survey: ‘We can face any challenge with courage’

GENEVA, 12 September 2013 – “It was my mother’s earnest wish to see me living an independent daily life,” says Shazma, a 15-year-old living with disabilities in her home village of Chalyar, in Pakistan’s Swat district. “But because of my old, regular wheelchair and discrimination in my society I never found confidence in myself to deal with the challenges I was facing.” However, thanks to her own determination and local support from Handicap International’s inclusive disaster risk reduction programme, Shazma has overcome many of the physical and attitudinal barriers that have challenged her throughout her young life.
12 Sep 2013 News briefs

‘I've managed disasters and not fell in a screaming heap’

Stuart Mawbey is an emergency service volunteer worker and manager as well as a person living with disabilities. He has spent the last 15 years assisting in emergencies in the Australian States of South Australia and New South Wales. Here he reflects on the immense personal satisfaction he derives from his volunteerism as well as the ongoing challenges he faces as a person living with disabilities. As a volunteer with the State Emergency Service (SES) our primary role is to assist the community with floods and storms, however I have also participated in remote area search and rescue, forensic searches, bushfire assistance, traffic control and safety for community events.
6 Sep 2013 News briefs

Disability survey: 'Take my wisdom, not my dignity'

Double amputee Firoz Ali Alizada believes that people living with disabilities are the biggest untapped resource for disaster planners around the world. The 31-year-old uses the example of his home country Afghanistan where people living with disabilities remain on the margins of decision making despite providing such a compelling example of day to day resilience.
3 Sep 2013 News briefs

UNISDR Champion tackles land degradation in the Philippines

UNISDR Champion, Senator Loren Legarda, today announced she is proposing new legislation to tackle the problem of land degradation in the Philippines which is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world.
30 Aug 2013 News briefs

Sirens sound yet deaf people left standing

Lydia Callis became an unlikely star of Superstorm Sandy as the sign-language interpreter during New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s televised press conferences on the storm. Time magazine reported in October 2012: “During Bloomberg’s televised press conferences on the storm — delivered in his standard business-like fashion — Callis translated his words with enthusiasm and passion. In fact, her presence at press conferences has provided New Yorkers with what New York magazine described as ‘a legitimate reason to smile’.”
29 Aug 2013 News briefs

Island states plot safe course to Samoa

Small Island Developing States will this week seek to plot a course to a safer and more resilient future as part of their preparations for a major conference next year. The Inter-regional preparatory meeting for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which opens today in Bridgetown, Barbados, brings together nations from the three SIDS regions – Caribbean, Pacific and the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean South China Seas (AIMS) – to forge the way forward.
26 Aug 2013 News briefs

Lebanon embarks on regional first with disaster risk plan

GENEVA, 21 August 2013 - Lebanon is seeking to become the first country in the Arab region to adopt an overarching National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management that balances corrective, prospective and compensatory action. The building of political will and leadership, local collaboration, and regional and international partnerships is underpinning the effort despite significant ongoing challenges.
21 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

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

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

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 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

'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

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

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

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

‘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 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

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

'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

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

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

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

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

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 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

“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
The United Nations General Assembly requested UNISDR to facilitate the development of a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction The United Nations General Assembly requested UNISDR to facilitate the development of a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.
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