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Securing our common future - Address by Margareta Wahlström

I am honoured to have been invited to contribute to this conference and share the United Nations’ perspective on risk, risk management and risk reduction. More than 40 years of work on hazards, risks, and practical means to reduce the risks of loss of life, as well as social and economic losses due to natural hazards, have created a significant body of knowledge.
11 Jan 2012 Statements & speeches

UN Secretary-General, Assembly President, highlight disaster prevention as key 2012 priority

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in a recent interview, highlighted the prevention of disasters and making the world safer among his 'five generational priorities' for his second term which began on Sunday.
5 Jan 2012 News briefs

Campaign cities share ideas for protecting world’s ancient sites

Byblos, with its ancient port dating back 5,000 years, is dotted with Phoenician, Roman and medieval ruins along the waterfront that municipal authorities now fear are in danger from sea storms.
4 Jan 2012 News briefs

Bangkok floods, reducing urban risk in a changing climate

As the Thai capital, Bangkok, recovers from the worst flooding in a century, many are concerned that the disaster may be a sign of things to come amid a changing climate.
3 Jan 2012 News briefs

Funding crucial for national disaster prevention plans

In an era of climate change, countries without national disaster prevention plans will find their cities and municipalities repeatedly engulfed by disasters, warned Philippine Senator Loren Legarda, UNISDR Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in the Asia Pacific, who said governments should not be “content with post-disaster relief and rehabilitation” alone.
29 Dec 2011 News briefs

DRR gains media attention in India

When a city joins the 'Making Cities Resilient' campaign, the media gets very active, explained Piyush Ranjan Rout, co-founder and Executive Director of the Local Governments Network, a non-government organization in Bhubaneswar, India.
28 Dec 2011 News briefs

Children’s needs a priority after Philippine floods

A week after Tropical Storm Sendong hit the Philippines, aid agencies are focusing attention on an estimated 14,000 children who make up about a third of displaced persons in evacuation centres, including those separated from their families...
27 Dec 2011 News briefs

More Lebanese cities pledge to become resilient

In 2010, Beirut, Baalbek, Byblos, Tyre, Saida and Tripoli, six of Lebanon’s most prominent and historic cities, together joined the UN’s “Making Cities Resilient” campaign, signalling a strong intent to improve their people’s safety and preparedness. Today, the number of Lebanese cities in the campaign has grown to 58.
26 Dec 2011 News briefs

DRR exchange between Japan and the Philippines

UNISDR has organized an exchange visit between the Philippines and Japan, two of the countries worst-affected this year by a series of disasters ranging from a major earthquake which triggered a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown in Japan, and back-to-back typhoons in the case of the Philippines...
22 Dec 2011 News briefs

UNISDR and lawmakers agree on global advisory group

Members of parliament from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Senegal, Uganda and the East African Legislative Assembly came together in Geneva this week to agree on the establishment of a Global Advisory Group for parliamentarians with UNISDR’s Special Adviser on Parliamentarians, Feng Min Kan.
21 Dec 2011 News briefs

Typhoon Sendong – Chronicle of a disaster foretold

President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines today declared a “National State of Calamity” as the official death toll from Typhoon Sendong reached almost 1,000 and 338,000 people remain affected in 13 southern and central provinces. Almost 50,000 people who lost their homes are in shelters.
20 Dec 2011 News briefs

Philippines tragedy underlines need for improved risk management

The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, today extended her sympathy to the people of Mindanao in the Philippines, following the great loss of life resulting from Typhoon Sendong.
19 Dec 2011 News briefs

Crisis Mapping and Disaster Risk Reduction

Crisis mapping has emerged in the last five years as a dynamic and open way to visualize and report on crisis and disasters. With increasing internet connectivity, mobile phone use, and user-generated content, 'crowdsourcing' is gaining traction by taking advantage of information communication technology (ICT) that allows communities and networks to answer some of the world’s most pressing issues.
16 Dec 2011 News briefs

Local and hi-tech responses needed when disaster strikes in Africa

Acting Director for UNISDR, Helena Molin Valdes, spoke to SciDevNet about the need for improving access to information in dealing with disasters, during the four-day Eye on Earth Summit in Abu Dhabi from 12-15 December.
15 Dec 2011 News briefs

Strengthening impact of cities campaign

The UN office for disaster risk reduction, UNISDR, and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability have completed a four-month pilot test of the Local Government Self-Assessment Tool (LG-SAT) designed to help disaster risk reduction efforts in over 1,000 cities and local governments that have signed up to UNISDR's global "Making Cities Resilient" Campaign. LG-SAT has been made possible with funding from the World Bank's Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction and the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid branch, ECHO.
14 Dec 2011 News briefs

Venice braces for climate change

It's one of the world's greatest cultural attractions. About 20 million tourists pour through its streets each year and travel its waterways. Venice, Italy, sits at sea level, and any changes in the mean sea level leaves the city open to floods, endangering the artistic and cultural heritage of this 1,000-year old UNESCO world heritage site.
13 Dec 2011 News briefs

Disasters now key in multinational country assessments

Disaster risk is now a key factor influencing the way corporations look at living standards, particularly when structuring compensation packages for expatriate employees.
12 Dec 2011 News briefs

Durban decision imminent on Green Climate Fund

Ten years after the first Funds were established to support adaptation activities in developing countries, the world, and Africa in particular, is waiting to see if a deal can be brokered this weekend at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban which would amount to a quantum leap in the finance available to reduce disaster risk in countries bearing the brunt of climate change.
9 Dec 2011 News briefs

No climate fund, No poverty reduction?

The President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, told a major forum at the COP17 talks in Durban yesterday that ”failing to fund climate change is failing to fund poverty reduction.”
8 Dec 2011 News briefs

Mexico City brings some good news to COP17

While good news remains in short supply from the main climate change talks here in Durban, there is a growing sense that local government is taking the lead on mitigation and adaptation without waiting for their central governments to direct their efforts.
8 Dec 2011 News briefs

Turn the science into action on climate change says UNISDR Chief

UNISDR Chief, Margareta Wahlström, told an exclusive gathering of 35 eminent scientists and politicians from around the world at the COP 17 in Durban that "there is a huge need to translate the best science on climate change into practical action."
7 Dec 2011 News briefs

Risk reduction must be priority in COP17 talks says IPU

Parliamentarians from around the world gathered in Durban, South Africa, yesterday to press for progress in the COP17 climate change negotiations and called on the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) "to prioritize disaster risk reduction and capacity building as cross-cutting issues and to give them the utmost attention."
6 Dec 2011 News briefs

UNISDR launches policy brief on building resilience in Africa

According to a new UNISDR policy brief launched today at the Durban COP 17, although African countries are committed to reducing flood and drought risks, current investments are found to be wanting, particularly in development sectors.
6 Dec 2011 News briefs

Adaptation Charter – good start to the week

The Durban Climate Change Adaptation Charter for Local Government adopted yesterday was hailed by UNISDR Chief, Margareta Wahlstrom, as "the best possible start to a critical week in the life of this planet when we so urgently need real leadership on mitigation and adaptation."
5 Dec 2011 News briefs

UNISDR welcomes local government focus on climate adaptation

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, today welcomed the Durban Climate Change Adaptation Charter for Local Government agreed yesterday by Mayors from around the world as "the best possible start to a critical week in the life of this planet when we so urgently need real leadership on mitigation and adaptation.
5 Dec 2011 Press release

DRR and climate change adaptation key to reducing extreme weather events

Linking disaster risk and climate change is key to reducing the impacts of extreme weather events that have increasingly been on the rise, according to a high level debate today at the Climate Change talks in COP-17 in Durban. The discussions were part of a UNISDR side-event showcasing experiences on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR).
3 Dec 2011 News briefs

Invest today for a safer tomorrow says President Zuma

South African President, Jacob Zuma, borrowed the UNISDR slogan "invest today for a safer tomorrow" when he spoke today at the opening of the Durban Local Government Convention which aims to develop an Adaptation Charter this weekend which will feed into the high-level segment of the UNFCCC-COP17 climate change negotiations.
2 Dec 2011 News briefs

ICLEI takes the lead on climate change

Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) is the driving force behind a major effort to have the voices of cities and local governments heard at the UNFCC-COP17 climate negotiations in Durban.
2 Dec 2011 News briefs

Disaster reduction critical to HIV/AIDS reduction

Feng Min Kan, a Senior Advisor at the UN disaster risk reduction office (UNISDR) admits that not a lot of people immediately see the connection between disasters and AIDS. "It’s just one of those issues that are not very obvious and slips under the radar".
1 Dec 2011 News briefs

Managing risk critical for aid effectiveness

UN disaster risk reduction chief Margareta Wahlström speaking at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Republic of Korea, said that managing risk is crucial to safeguard investments in poverty-stricken Africa and Asia, where countries can lose as much as a fifth of their GDP to disasters each year.
30 Nov 2011 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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