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COP16 from a DRR Perspective: Pacific Island countries

Community-based projects to enhance resilience of hazard-prone Pacific island countries have grown in number over the past 20 years. Some university studies have shown that benefits were particularly apparent in cases where development bodies worked with communities to identify risks using local knowledge.
9 Dec 2010 News briefs

Africa forum focuses on community action to reduce disaster risk and adapt to climate change

In a part of the world struggling with climate-related hazards such as drought and flood, experts are meeting to discuss ways for Africa to cope with disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Addressing participants at the opening of the International Conference on Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Abbas Gullet, Secretary-General of the Kenya Red Cross Society, said that climate-related hazards had far-reaching impacts on the Kenyan economy.
9 Dec 2010 News briefs

Mayors and children lead fight against climate change in the Philippines

Just as climate negotiations were wrapping up in Cancún, Mexico, government officials from vulnerable islands in the Philippines took action to reduce the damaging effects of climate change on their communities by joining UNISDR’s world disaster reduction campaign.
13 Dec 2010 Press release

Resilient cities campaign receives attention at Cancun climate summit

While at the Cancun cliamte conference on 8 December, UNISDR Deputy Director Helena Molin Valdes discussed the "Making Cities Resilient" campaign at a UN system-wide side event on "Cities and Climate Change: Enhancing mitigation and adaptation action," attended by approximately 150 national officials, members of UN agencies, and civil society representatives.
13 Dec 2010 News briefs

European cold snap underscores importance of DRR

The experience of Europe’s big cities, immobilized by the cold snap, shows that the world may be under-prepared to deal with less predictable climate patterns, says UNISDR. “National meteorological services in Europe did well to issue warnings, but being prepared goes beyond prediction,” said Margareta Wahlström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for DRR. “A complete and effective early warning system also requires planners to understand the risks they face, so that they are able to respond appropriately.”
14 Dec 2010 News briefs

Australia floods demonstrate rising cost of damage in the face of “new normal”

Floods in Australia again underline the need for all countries – both developed and developing – to plan ahead or face increasing economic losses in the face of a “new normal” marked by unpredictable and extreme weather patterns. “Reports from Australia say flood damage may reach $1 billion. With weather patterns becoming more unpredictable and extreme, costs of this magnitude may become commonplace in all parts of the world unless we urgently change the way we think about and react to disasters,” said Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.
29 Dec 2010 News briefs

Cebu leads in Making Local Government Units Resilient to Disasters

Cebu City, Philippines – 39 municipalities of Cebu Province, Philippines, today pledged to make their local government units safer from disasters, by joining the United Nations disaster reduction campaign “Making Cities Resilient: My City Is Getting Ready!” while gathered at the Cebu Provincial Capitol Social Hall, N. Escario St. Capitol Site, Cebu City.
13 Jan 2011 Press release

Governments need to create options for people, says UN’s top disaster official

In an interview with BBC World News, Margareta Wahlstrom, UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, stressed the importance of urban planning and creating safe living environments following the flooding and landslides that have hit Australia and Brazil.
17 Jan 2011 News briefs

Over one hundred Municipal Leaders in Orissa pledge to strengthen environmental sustainability

Some 102 Municipal leaders in the State of Orissa battling with recurrent cyclones, floods, droughts and heat waves agreed today to make their cities more resilient to multiple hazards, by signing up to the UNISDR “Making Cities Resilient” campaign. Orissa, despite being one of the poorest states in India, is slowly becoming the hub for industries, IT, education and medical infrastructure.
21 Jan 2011 Press release

Killer year caps deadly decade - reducing disaster impact is "critical" says top UN disaster official

Geneva – Some 373 natural disasters killed over 296,800 people in 2010, affecting nearly 208 million others and costing nearly US$110 billion, according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). The top two most lethal disasters -- the 12 January earthquake in Haiti, which killed over 222,500 people, as well as the Russian heat wave in summer, which caused about 56,000 fatalities made 2010 the deadliest years in at least two decades.
24 Jan 2011 Press release

Killer year caps deadly decade - reducing disaster impact is "critical" says top UN disaster official

24 Jan 2011 Press release

Strengthening climate change adaptation through effective disaster risk reduction

This briefing note highlights that climate change adaptation relies on the reduction and management of climate-related disaster risks and why both need to become central to development planning and investment. It incorporates evidence that illustrates how climate risks are constructed and which risks can be reduced cost effectively.
2 Feb 2011 News briefs

Surviving Yasi due to planning and not ‘miracle’, says top UN disaster official

North-eastern Australia suffered no casualties after Cyclone Yasi, which UNISDR says was due to a high level of risk awareness and planning, rather than a “miracle,” as some call it. Tropical Cyclone Yasi crossed the Australian mainland at midnight local time on Wednesday, but despite its category-5 strength, there were no reports of serious injuries or fatalities, according to a situation update from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
4 Feb 2011 Press release

Reducing vulnerability to natural hazards must become top international priority says General Assembly President

Addressing journalists at the Palais des Nations on 28 February, General Assembly President Joseph Deiss said that reducing vulnerability to natural hazards must be a top priority of the international community. “Reducing disaster risks is essential if we are to consolidate progress made in development and poverty reduction,” he said, briefing correspondents on the outcome of the General Assembly Thematic Debate on disaster risk reduction, held on 9 February at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
28 Feb 2011 News briefs

Local governments in Africa meet to find ways to tackle climate adaptation and urban resilience

Going on now in Africa, the Congress dubbed on Local Climate Solutions for Africa 2011 kicked off on Monday a gathering of high-level speakers to discuss urban sustainability. The congress is coordinated by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the city of Cape Town, and UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) among other partners. The five day congress will focus, among other things, on local action for climate adaptation and resilience in the context of Africa’s cities. The Congress will serve as preparation for Africa’s local and sub-national authorities and their partners for participation in the South African-hosted climate change summit, 2012.
2 Mar 2011 News briefs

To build the resilience of nations and communities to disasters, we need equal and active participation of men and women in disaster risk reduction.

Disasters affect men and women differently, and so we will continue to lobby for gender-sensitive vulnerability, risk and capacity assessments. Studies show that women’s vulnerabilities during and after disasters is linked to their role and status in society, making women and children 14 times more likely to die than men during a disaster.
8 Mar 2011 News briefs

In times of dwindling resources, disaster risk reduction is an easy win

A new report from the United Nations confirms what governments already hear but are slow to believe: that disciplined public sector involvement in “disaster risk reduction” can significantly reduce setbacks brought by hundreds of droughts, earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes and other hazards that befall the world each year, on average.
9 Mar 2011 Press release

Statement by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction on World Meteorological Day

Today’s observance of World Meteorological Day with its theme of “Climate for You”, highlights the direct link between climate change, weather variability and the increase in the frequency as well as severity of weather related natural hazards.
23 Mar 2011 Statements & speeches

African Working Group agrees to implement the Strategy for disaster risk reduction

The inaugural meeting of the reconstituted African Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction (AWGDRR) ended on Thursday, 31 March, with delegates agreeing to accelerate the implementation of the extended programme of action for the implementation of the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (2006-2015), in line with the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA).The meeting took place after the Executive Council of the African Union had endorsed the Report of the Second African Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in April 2010, where it also endorsed the extended programme of action.
31 Mar 2011 News briefs

Four African cities commit to urban resilience

Four cities - Addis Ababa, Kampala, Narok and Yaoundé - joined the Making Cities Resilience campaign after their mayors took part in a debate on city resilience on Tuesday, 29 March, moderated by top Kenyan journalist Yvonne Okwara. Panellists pointed to poor planning, corruption, and “negative attitudes” as elements that could erode city resilience.
4 Apr 2011 News briefs

Six Brazilian cities sign up to make their cities resilient

The cities of Blumenau, Jaragua do Sul, Rio do Sul, Itajaí, Tubarão and Florianopolis from the southern state of Santa Catarina, Brazil joined the Making Cities Resilient world disaster reduction campaign. Santa Catarina is in an area constantly hit by hydrometeorological phenomena that impact negatively on its population, the participation of these cities in the campaign is very relevant and demonstrates the political commitment of its authorities towards disaster risk reduction.
18 Apr 2011 News briefs

Two days until the official opening of the Third Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

The final touches are being added to the Third Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from 8-13 May. The Global Platform will be opened officially by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on May 10.
8 May 2011 News briefs

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to open the latest session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

The Global Platform will be opened today by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will also launch a report entitled 2011 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction – Revealing risks, redefining development. Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro will chair the forum in Geneva.
10 May 2011 News briefs

Economic Disaster Losses Increasing, Threatening All Regions, Rich and Poor Countries, Warns New United Nations Report

Disaster-related economic losses are increasing across all regions, critically threatening the economies of low-income countries and even outstripping wealth creation across many of the world’s richer nations, says a United Nations report titled Revealing Risk, Redefining Development to be launched today by the United Nations' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Third Session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction.
10 May 2011 Press release

UN Secretary-General announces a discussion on nuclear energy in September

The international community must “risk proof” development because disasters are taking a heavy toll on rich and poor countries as well as outpacing their ability to respond, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told delegates today, at the foremost gathering of stakeholders on reducing disaster risk which opened this afternoon in Geneva and will run until Friday, 13 May.
10 May 2011 Press release

President Ivanov of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia calls for a joint global response to growing disaster-related losses

The world is at defining moment in its history, where risks from climate change and growing disaster-related losses require a joint global response, said President Gjorge Ivanov of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, who addressed delegates yesterday during the opening ceremony of the Global Platform.
11 May 2011 News briefs

Calls for 'coalition of action' to address link between natural hazards and nuclear safety at Global Platform for DRR ending today

In a year marred by disaster losses over US$300 billion, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called, at the Third Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, for a “coalition of action” and a high-level meeting during the next General Assembly to address the link between natural hazards and nuclear safety.
13 May 2011 Press release

Chair's Summary sees disaster risk reduction as key to preserving and protecting environment and ensuring sustainable development

Half of humanity is now living in cities - commitment to resilience is urgently needed, said Ms. Asha-Rose Migiro, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and Chair of the Third Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in her final summary.
3 Jun 2011 News briefs

Egypt holds the first UNDP-coordinated training on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Arab Region to discuss regional risks trends

The first comprehensive training on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Arab region gathered thirty leading specialists to discuss regional and global disaster risk trends. Organized by the UNDP Regional Centre for Arab States, it provided valuable insight on disaster risk assessment, mitigation and preparedness.
9 Jun 2011 News briefs

Mayors unanimously adopt declaration to build urban resilience and fight climate change

Following the 2nd World Congress on Cities and Adaptation to Climate Change, mayors from over sixty countries unanimously adopt the 2011 Bonn Declaration of Mayors to commit to globally coordinated local climate action. In the declaration, building resilience to disasters was highlighted as a critical issue.
14 Jun 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.
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