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World Heritage city moves to secure its future

The UNESCO World Heritage Site city of Dubrovnik, globally celebrated for its rich past and environmental beauty, is taking steps to ensure its future is safeguarded from the threat of disaster. The city, which has been an active member of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s (UNISDR) “Making City Resilient” campaign is taking a series of measures to strengthen resilience at the local level.
12 Sep 2013 News briefs

‘I've managed disasters and not fell in a screaming heap’

Stuart Mawbey is an emergency service volunteer worker and manager as well as a person living with disabilities. He has spent the last 15 years assisting in emergencies in the Australian States of South Australia and New South Wales. Here he reflects on the immense personal satisfaction he derives from his volunteerism as well as the ongoing challenges he faces as a person living with disabilities. As a volunteer with the State Emergency Service (SES) our primary role is to assist the community with floods and storms, however I have also participated in remote area search and rescue, forensic searches, bushfire assistance, traffic control and safety for community events.
6 Sep 2013 News briefs

Disability survey: 'Take my wisdom, not my dignity'

Double amputee Firoz Ali Alizada believes that people living with disabilities are the biggest untapped resource for disaster planners around the world. The 31-year-old uses the example of his home country Afghanistan where people living with disabilities remain on the margins of decision making despite providing such a compelling example of day to day resilience.
3 Sep 2013 News briefs

Lebanon embarks on regional first with disaster risk plan

GENEVA, 21 August 2013 - Lebanon is seeking to become the first country in the Arab region to adopt an overarching National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management that balances corrective, prospective and compensatory action. The building of political will and leadership, local collaboration, and regional and international partnerships is underpinning the effort despite significant ongoing challenges.
21 Aug 2013 News briefs

UN recognizes Campinas’ lead to reduce disaster risk

The UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) today recognized the dynamic and vibrant economic and technological centre of Campinas for its commitment to reduce its disaster risk. The Head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, officially acknowledged Campinas as Brazil’s first Role Model City of UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient campaign.
22 Jul 2013 News briefs

‘The fact we learn so slowly means we pay for it in dollars’

“Neither disasters nor climate change is an issue for the future it’s an issue for today. The fact that we learn so slowly means we are paying for it – and we are paying in dollars” – the Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Ms Margareta Wahlström challenges the world to strengthen its approach to disaster risk management and reverse the escalation in direct economic losses from disasters. Ms Wahlström was interviewed for this TVNZ news report while at the 2013 Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Fiji, this month.
22 Jul 2013 News briefs

'This bridge has been destroyed six times so now we build it higher and stronger'

The leader of Fiji’s disaster-hit Western Division has pledged to forge an integrated cross-sectoral strategy to achieve a safer and more resilient future. Western Division Commissioner Mr Joeli Cawaki and his team of technical experts told the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Ms Margareta Wahlström, that integrated planning and action was vital after being hit by two serious floods and a major cyclone in 2012.
19 Jul 2013 News briefs

UNISDR chief urges next generation of leaders to help make their world safer

The head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Ms Margareta Wahlström, signalled the importance of the next generation taking up the challenge of building a safer and more resilient future. Ms Wahlström urged a group of youth ambassadors from the Republic of Korea, China and Japan to take leadership roles in advocating for disaster and climate resilient development.
18 Jul 2013 News briefs

UNISDR chief honours Canberra as a role model city

The Head of UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström today officially acknowledged Canberra as a Role Model city for UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient Campaign by presenting a certificate to the Australian Capital Territory Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Simon Corbell.
28 Jun 2013 News briefs

2013 floods a "turning point"

The Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström, today predicted that the year 2013 will be a turning point in how governments around the world view the threat of floods in a new age of extreme weather events.
25 Jun 2013 Press release

UNISDR welcomes post-2015 proposal on resilient cities

UNISDR Chief Margareta Wahlström today welcomed a proposal that "resilient cities" should be one of ten top global priorities in the post-2015 development agenda.
24 Jun 2013 News briefs

“When things turn to custard you need good governance”

Two countries sitting at opposite ends of the world are emerging as beacons of good practice in terms of innovative public-private partnerships that have been proven to reduce disaster risk.
21 Jun 2013 News briefs

Developer unveils vision of cities as havens during disasters

An innovative urban developer in one of the world's most hazard-prone countries has urged public and private sector leaders to embrace his company's vision of building cities that 'people escape to rather than run away from' during disasters.
17 Jun 2013 News briefs

UN releases update on state of disaster risk management in the world

Since the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, 146 countries have reported on their efforts to implement the sweeping reforms contained in the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) which was adopted by all UN member States in the wake of that catastrophe which took over 200,000 lives.
23 May 2013 Press release

"Future of planet depends on local action" - Mayors

City mayors today urged national and international leaders to trust and invest more at the local level to transform rapidly expanding urban areas into safe and resilient 21st century cities.
23 May 2013 News briefs

Sendai welcomes next World Conference on DRR

Sendai City in Japan has been selected to host the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015. The city of one million people in the northern region of Tohoku was one of the hardest hit zones in the March 2011 Great Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
23 May 2013 News briefs

Global Platform calls for immediate start on developing targets for risk reduction

The three-day 4th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, attended by a record 3,500 people and representatives from 172 governments, ended today with a call for "the immediate start of work to develop targets and indicators to monitor the reduction of risk" in the Chair's Summary at the closing plenary.
23 May 2013 Press release

The Price of Resilience: Interview with Emiko Okuyama Mayor of Sendai, Japan

Some of the most dramatic images of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami came from Sendai City where tsunami waves travelled up to 10 km inland resulting in many deaths, flooding of the airport and the sweeping away of cars and airplanes. In July 2012, the Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, formally welcomed Sendai City as a member of UNISDR’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign, which now has over 1,400 participating local governments. Ms. Emiko Okuyama, the Mayor of Sendai, Japan is one of more than 50 Mayors from around the world attending the Fourth Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction 2013, taking place in Geneva this week. The “Meet the Mayors” interview series aims to showcase the actions local governments participating in the Making Cities Resilient Campaign are taking to reduce disaster risk and strengthen the resilience of their communities.
22 May 2013 News briefs

SIDS reach out to partner on risk reduction

Senior government officials from developing small island states and climate change experts have warned of a massive increase in human, economic and material losses in these countries if risk reduction measures are not taken urgently to mitigate the impacts of major hazards and climate change.  
22 May 2013 News briefs

Rich tales of community resilience

Community voices from around the world today urged disaster management and climate change adaptation practitioners to take greater account of indigenous knowledge and expertise in building community resilience to withstand natural hazards.
22 May 2013 News briefs

Private sector pioneers take on resilience challenge

Leading figures from the private sector said today they were ready to "come in from the cold" and play a stronger leading role to reduce disaster risk.
21 May 2013 News briefs

Disaster-prone cities call for inclusion

City mayors and municipal councilors from around the world today called on governments to ensure greater participation of local authorities in decision-making on mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in national policy and regulatory frameworks.
20 May 2013 News briefs

Launch of European Regional HFA Implementation Report

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) challenges are becoming greater every year. It is well known and understood by all disciplines in disaster prevention that previously unidentified threats are emerging, changes in technology are rendering formerly state-of-the-art systems obsolete or less effective, and migration patterns are causing population shifts to increasingly hazard-prone areas. However, despite the goal posts moving constantly, consistent progress is being made in efforts to reduce damage and losses inflicted by disasters on people, their communities and livelihoods. This is one of the findings of the European Regional HFA Implementation Report, launched today during the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR) at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva, Switzerland.
20 May 2013 Press release

Life After Sandy: Interview with Hoboken, NJ Mayor Dawn Zimmer

Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken, NJ (USA), is one of more than 50 Mayors from around the world who will attend the Fourth Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction 2013, taking place in Geneva, 19-23 May. The “Meet the Mayors” interview series aims to showcase the actions local governments participating in UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient Campaign are taking to reduce disaster risk and strengthen the resilience of their communities.
17 May 2013 News briefs

UN Secretary-General warns: “Economic losses from disasters are out of control”

The United Nations today issued a stark warning to the world's business community that economic losses linked to disasters are "out of control" and will continue to escalate unless disaster risk management becomes a core part of business investment strategies.
15 May 2013 Press release

Mayor Al's resilience road trip in Central America

A senior official from the Philippines town of San Francisco, which won the 2011 Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction, has spent the last five days journeying across Central America to exchange information with local authorities on best practice to make urban settings safer from natural hazards.
7 May 2013 News briefs

Kiwi of the year mobilizes world youth for disaster resilience

When college sophomore Sam Johnson started a Facebook page following the September 2010 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, to rally his peers to help affected communities, he never imagined that his idea would eventually mobilize an 'army' of young people across the country to take up similar efforts.
1 May 2013 News briefs

Bangladesh tragedy underlines how deficient building codes can fuel disasters

The Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström, today extended condolences to the families of those who have lost loved ones in the collapse of an eight-storey building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and reiterated that Dhaka is also in a high risk earthquake zone.
25 Apr 2013 Press release

Space: the final frontier of disaster risk reduction

Outer space isn't a place organizations usually think of when looking to build resilience and reduce disaster risks. Yet, this is exactly where participants' minds were when experts were invited by UNISDR and the UN's Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to discuss the incorporation of space technology into the post-2015 disaster risk reduction framework.
17 Apr 2013 News briefs

Frank Sinatra's hometown rallies for resilience

Early last Saturday morning, some 1,000 residents of the city of Hoboken in New Jersey, birthplace of the legendary crooner Frank Sinatra, came out in full force and high spirits to run a special race in aid of Hurricane Sandy disaster relief in both Hoboken and its sister city Port Maria in Jamaica.
9 Apr 2013 News briefs
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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