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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

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
Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Panama City, Panama.
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  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Cairo, Egypt.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Bangkok, Thailand.

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