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Cyclone hits as evaluation team visits Madagascar

For the second year in a row, Valentine's Day on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar has been marked by the arrival of a tropical cyclone. Cyclone Giovanna made landfall on the east coast shortly after midnight, bringing torrential rain and reported wind speeds of up to 231 km per hour.
14 Feb 2012 News briefs

Horn of Africa crisis results in effort to improve action on early warnings

In advance of critical rainfall forecasts for the Horn of Africa, the UN office for disaster risk reduction, UNISDR, today announced a partnership with the WMO-supported African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) to ensure rapid dissemination of weather updates to disaster managers.
13 Feb 2012 Press release

IPCC report on climate change and risk coming soon

A new groundbreaking report due out next month underlines 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.
10 Feb 2012 News briefs

Panama Canal expert joins regional fight for risk reduction

The dynamic new Vice-President of the National Assembly of Panama, Rony Araúz, is emerging as a leading advocate of disaster risk reduction in Central America following a career monitoring the passage of hazardous materials through the Panama Canal.
9 Feb 2012 News briefs

Awareness of risk driving Green Economy trend

As world governments prepare for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro this June, the UN has published a practical guide "to promote a transition to an inclusive Green Economy."
8 Feb 2012 News briefs

Tsunami alert system tried and tested by Philippines earthquake

The UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, today extended her sympathy to the people of the Philippines on the tragic loss of life in yesterday’s earthquake. Over 50 people are reported to have died in the earthquake which was followed by over 150 aftershocks, and landslides in several places.
7 Feb 2012 Press release

January floods mark the beginning of the disaster year

Floods that began in January and which continue to heap misery on communities in Africa, the Americas, Australia and the Pacific, are a strong indication that over 100 million people will again be affected by floods this year in line with long-term trends.
6 Feb 2012 News briefs

Third International Conference on Safety and Security 'Resilient citizens in a resilient society' - Address by Margareta Wahlström

I am honoured to have been invited to share the UN experience and perspective on risk, risk management and risk reduction on the occasion of the third International Conference on National Safety and Security.
6 Feb 2012 Statements & speeches

Fiji declares 15 day state of disaster

A 15-day state of disaster is currently in effect in areas on the west coast of Fiji that have been ravaged by floods which began on 22 January. A flood watch is in place as periods of heavy rain are expected. All those living in flood-prone areas have been advised to evacuate and take with them food, water and a change of clothes. As of today, there are 21 active evacuation centres with a total of 1,333 evacuees.
3 Feb 2012 News briefs

UNISDR Chief welcomes WMO boost for early warning systems

The UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, today welcomed the announcement that the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) new Weather and Climate Information System has become operational “as a major contribution towards life-saving efforts at community level.”
2 Feb 2012 Press release

Thieves join global warming in attack on iconic glacier

Climate change was a key driver in 2005 when 168 UN member states agreed on an international blueprint for disaster risk reduction but there is no reference in the Hyogo Framework for Action* to the environmental threat posed to the world’s retreating glaciers by criminal gangs.
2 Feb 2012 News briefs

Are we capable of learning the lessons of Haiti?

An insightful new report on the 2010 Haiti earthquake offers a scathing critique of an international community which "has much to learn from the response in Haiti where it has shown an ability to repeat its errors and shortcomings from past disasters."
1 Feb 2012 News briefs

Mindanao mayors gather after Typhoon Sendong

Mayors from the Mindanao region in the Philippines recently ravaged by Typhoon Sendong have been tasked to invest more in prevention and mitigation measures, by one of last year’s recipients of the prestigious Sasakawa Award.
31 Jan 2012 News briefs

Resilience crucial to Typhoon Sendong recovery

UNISDR Chief, Margareta Wahlström, was standing at “ground zero” of typhoon-battered northern Mindanao as she surveyed the remains of the once vibrant community of Kala-Kala, Barangay Macasandig, in Cagayan de Oro City.
30 Jan 2012 News briefs

UNISDR chief compares typhoon damage in Mindanao to Japanese tsunami

The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, met today with the Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Albert F. Del Rosario, following a three-day visit to the typhoon-devastated coastal cities of Iligan and Cayagan de Oro in Mindanao.
27 Jan 2012 Press release

Prevention to be centre of UN work for next five years

Pressing the world for a push on prevention, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon yesterday stressed that, “Prevention saves billions of dollars and millions of lives”, and pointed to the UN as “the world’s fire brigade in responding to disasters and keeping the peace”.
26 Jan 2012 News briefs

Caribbean efforts to be 'a carbon neutral destination'

Bequia is a delightful link in the chain of islands which make St. Vincent and the Grenadines such an attractive destination for sun worshipping tourists. With a population of 4,300 people and an area of just 18 km2, it is on the frontlines of the unfolding drama of climate change and Small Island Developing States. And, like many small tropical islands during the dry season, Bequia has problems with water supply which global warming threatens to exacerbate.
25 Jan 2012 News briefs

Brazil to open Centre of Excellence for Disaster Risk Reduction

The Brazilian government has agreed to open a Centre of Excellence for Disaster Risk Reduction, one year after deadly landslides in the state of Rio de Janeiro prompted President Dilma Rousseff to devise plans to improve the country’s disaster readiness.
24 Jan 2012 News briefs

Disaster risk following economic development pathways in Thailand says UNISDR Chief

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Margareta Wahlström, met today with Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Kittiratt Na-Ranong, to discuss new government proposals on risk management and to urge Government support for business continuity plans following the costliest disaster in the country’s history.
23 Jan 2012 Press release

Asian Institute of Technology Graduation Ceremony - Address by Margareta Wahlström

Thank you for inviting me to this graduation ceremony today. It’s a great pleasure and privilege to speak to future managers, engineers, urban planners; soon you will make the decisions that will have a decisive impact on reducing or increasing the impacts of disasters.
21 Jan 2012 Statements & speeches

France developing 'culture of risk prevention'

Speaking at France’s first-ever conference on hazards, the UN disaster risk reduction chief, Margareta Wahlström, yesterday commended the French government for its efforts to implement disaster risk reduction nationally, saying that the country could be a model for others in Europe.
20 Jan 2012 News briefs

Disaster prevention key to stopping climate displacement

“The animals are dead. The rivers, lagoons and dams are dry. They have to move to neigbouring countries like Tanzania in search of pastures and water. As they move, they suffer from hunger and they want lie down because they’re tired from having to walk long distances”. These are the words of Jemimah Maitei Kerenge, Maasai filmmaker and an advocate for the dire situation of her drought-devastated people in Kenya. Their ancient culture is being destroyed by climate change and they are being forced to migrate in their thousands out of their ancestral lands into neighbouring countries.
19 Jan 2012 News briefs

Assises Nationales des Risques Naturels - Address by Margareta Wahlström

I am honoured to have been invited to to share the United Nations’ perspective on risk, risk management and risk reduction on the occasion of the important discussions that the “Assises Nationales des Risques Naturels” represent in the French political agenda.
19 Jan 2012 Statements & speeches

UNISDR warns against ignoring seismic threats as quakes wreak havoc for second year

For two consecutive years the long-term disasters trend has been bucked by major earthquakes which claimed thousands of lives and affected millions in both 2010 and 2011, according to new statistics published today by CRED and the UN office for disaster risk reduction, UNISDR.
18 Jan 2012 Press release

Swedish National Platform boosts Resilient Cities Campaign

“In Sweden we have legislation that requires our communities, municipalities to work with a lot of aspects that are in the ‘ten essentials’ of the Making Cities Resilient campaign,” said Janet Edwards, International Coordinator of the Swedish National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, the body that brings together institutions in the country whose work touches on disaster risk reduction.
17 Jan 2012 News briefs

'Chronic amnesia' on lessons learned from Pakistan floods

A major review of the 2010 and 2011 Pakistani floods is calling on donors to be more generous in their support for disaster preparedness and early recovery, and to help Pakistani NGOs to play a bigger role in crisis response.
16 Jan 2012 News briefs

9/11 inspires US private, public sector summit on resilience

Some of the biggest names in the U.S. private and public sectors gathered in New York on Wednesday at a Pace University Summit on Resilience to see how best partnerships between these two sectors could be developed to strengthen resilience in cities and communities in light of increasing hazards.
13 Jan 2012 News briefs

Haitian earthquake boosted global commitment to disaster risk reduction

On the occasion of the two-year commemoration of the Haitian earthquake today, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, recognized the significant progress made over the last two years in dealing with the consequences of the disaster which took over 220,000 lives and left hundreds of thousands homeless.
12 Jan 2012 Press release

Heavy disaster losses for insurance companies in 2011

Estimates of between $350 billion to $380 billion in global economic losses from disasters have made 2011 the most expensive year in history for catastrophes, according to the insurance industry.
11 Jan 2012 News briefs

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
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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