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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COP16 from a DRR Perspective: Social media

The need to communicate and share information is strongest at a time of disaster. As social media and mobile phone use has grown, so too has the use of these technologies to signal the onset or aftermath of a disaster. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and other social media were also used extensively during Haiti to connect people affected by the earthquake with the outside world with reports about the devastation, as well as to ask for help.
8 Dec 2010 News briefs

Kisumu, Kenya, to join worldwide campaign to reduce urban risks

Kisumu, Kenya – Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya will join the UNISDR-led campaign “Making Cities Resilient -- My city is getting ready!” at a ceremony on 8 December, adding to the list of over 150 other municipalities worldwide. Kisumu is the leading communication and trading centre for countries of the Great Lakes Region that includes Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Like many cities in Africa, Kisumu is vulnerable to risks brought by climate change, which coupled with rapid urban growth, will pose mounting challenges for the local government as it seeks to protect citizens from disaster.
7 Dec 2010 News briefs

UNISDR signs agreement with the Economic Community of Central African States to strengthen collaboration on DRR

As governments enter the second week of negotiations at the United Nations climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, UNISDR today signed an agreement with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to strengthen collaboration on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
7 Dec 2010 News briefs

COP16 from a DRR Perspective: Africa

Among the Karamajong pastoralists in Uganda, hundreds of thousands are struggling to find enough pasture. Seasons appear to have shrunk in number and variety. Rainfall is more unpredictable and shorter in duration. Wind storms have increased in strength. Worsening drought and changing rainfall patterns are ever-present.
6 Dec 2010 News briefs

COP16 from a DRR Perspective: Asian Region

Turning disaster into opportunity: In October 2010, Cyclone Giri wrecked homes, roads and bridges in Myanmar and Thailand, leaving 100,000 people homeless and twice as many needing humanitarian assistance – forming an apt backdrop for the decision by Asian governments a few days later to recognize disaster risk reduction as a tool for climate change adaptation.
2 Dec 2010 News briefs

Margareta Wahlstrom in Cairns to talk about disaster resilience and risk reduction

In the lead-up to Cancun, the City of Cairns is a local government that is already taking action in DRR and CCA. Empowering local governments to engage in DRR is the world’s hope to build resilience against climate change.
1 Dec 2010 News briefs

COP16 from a DRR Perspective - UN System

One of the most important tests of a successful agreement is its achievability. Through the Chief Executive Board, the highest level coordination mechanism in the UN system, over 50 UN organizations have advanced a common agenda in Cancun to show how adaptation could work.
30 Nov 2010 News briefs

COP16 from a DRR Perspective - General Assembly

As the world’s climate officials descend on Cancun today to begin addressing the causes and consequences of climate change, they would do well to recall the words of fellow government officials sitting in the UN General Assembly in New York: “we must do more to build resilience and mitigate the impact of climate-related disasters.”
29 Nov 2010 News briefs

UNISDR to nominate Mayor Ebrard of Mexico City a “Making Cities Resilient” champion

Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard – who is poised to sign a historic emissions reduction agreement with over 70 other mayors days before the UN climate summit in Cancún – will be named champion of the Making Cities Resilient campaign by the UN’s top disaster risk reduction official, Margareta Wahlström, at a ceremony during the World Mayors Summit on Climate in Mexico City on 21 November.
22 Nov 2010 Press release

Call for good practices and lessons learned for the “Making Cities Resilient – My City is Getting Ready!” campaign

UNISDR is launching a call for "good practices" and lessons learned by cities/local governments in support of the "Making Cities Resilient – My City is Getting Ready!" campaign. Selected examples will be published by the end of 2011, and others will be showcased during the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction on 8-13 May 2011.
9 Nov 2010 News briefs

Twenty Philippine governors sign up to make their provinces resilient to disasters

Twenty Philippine Governors joined the Making Cities Resilient: My City Is Getting Ready! campaign at the Local Government Unit SUMMIT+3i on “Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in the Philippines” from 4 to 6 November in Albay. Participants will discuss how climate change adaptation at local government level is critical for meeting the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
4 Nov 2010 Press release

Five-year roadmap to cope with weather-related hazards in Asia

Officials meeting at the Fourth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction have approved a five-year regional roadmap to establish climate resilient disaster risk management systems by 2015 that will contribute to sustainable development at the regional, national and community levels.
28 Oct 2010 Press release

First Asia-Pacific Disaster Report launched by ESCAP and UNISDR

People in the Asia-Pacific region are four times more likely to be affected by natural disasters than those in Africa and 25 times more likely than those in Europe or North America, says a UN report released at the Fourth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR). The region generated one quarter of the world’s GDP, yet it accounted for 85 per cent of deaths and 38 per cent of global economic losses due to natural disasters over the last three decades.
26 Oct 2010 Press release

UNISDR seeks disaster risk reduction commitment from Asian governments

As a region hard hit by weather-related events, UNISDR is urging Asian government ministers meeting at the Fourth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction this Monday to incorporate disaster risk reduction as part of their national policies to cope with climate change, and with it, more predicted floods, cyclones and drought.
22 Oct 2010 Press release
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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