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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

Public debate on city resilience a success in Shanghai

Over 200 people attended a public debate on what makes a city resilient against disaster, in Shanghai, China, moderated by top Chinese anchorman Bai Yan Song of CCTV. Mr. Bai posed questions to both the panelists and the public, challenging them to think about creative solutions to reduce disaster risk.


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15 Oct 2010 News briefs

2010 International Day for Disaster Reduction

This year's theme: My City is Getting Ready!

To mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction, the UNISDR secretariat is calling on its partners to play a more active role to protect cities against disasters. Many cities have been disrupted this year by disasters: earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and New Zealand; floods and heavy rainfalls in Pakistan, Eastern Europe, Mozambique and other parts of Africa; forest fires in Russia; and volcanic eruptions in Indonesia and Iceland. All have caused huge human suffering and economic damage. Cities have never been so at risk.
12 Oct 2010 Press release

Parliamentarians urged to take action on disaster reduction

The Inter-Parliamentary Union passed a resolution, which calls on their governments to provide adequate and accessible resources to support the UN in developing a parliamentary programme on disaster risk reduction that focuses on mitigation, prevention and preparedness and UN agencies involved in providing disaster assistance. UNISDR, the UN’s agency for disaster risk reduction, is calling on international lawmakers to take action on disaster risk reduction as a means to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and adapt to climate change.
7 Oct 2010 Press release

UNISDR says tackling urban risk will help reduce poverty, at the launch of the IFRC’s World Disasters Report 2010

Tackling urban risk is everybody's business -- from national to local governments, community groups, professional associations and the international community -- and will help reduce poverty, said an UNISDR official today at the global launch of the World Disasters Report 2010 in Nairobi, published by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The report’s focus on urban risk coincides with the theme of the World Disaster Reduction Campaign "Making cities resilient- My city is getting ready!", which was launched by UNISDR and partners last May in Bonn, Germany.
21 Sep 2010 Press release

Country teams in West and North Africa to consider integrating disaster risk reduction in development frameworks

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the ISDR secretariat at the United Nations (ISDR secretariat), and the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) convened a joint a workshop in Dakar, Senegal, where over 40 participants from 16 countries in West and North Africa discussed how disaster risk reduction could be integrated into the joint UN development programming framework of their respective countries.
16 Sep 2010 Press release

UN launches disaster reduction campaign 'Making Cities Resilient' in Africa, at Planning Africa 2010 conference in Durban, South Africa

Maputo (Mozambique) and Overstrand Municipality (South Africa) are the latest local governments to join the World Disaster Reduction Campaign “Making Cities Resilient - My city is getting ready!” The signing ceremony took place yesterday at the campaign launch held by the United Nations secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) with its partners UNHABITAT at the Planning Africa 2010 conference, in Durban, South Africa. >View full story
15 Sep 2010 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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