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Algeria says focus on populations in "new HFA"

Algeria has held North Africa's first national review of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) as UNISDR's consultations continue around the world on developing a new global framework for disaster risk reduction by 2015.
20 Feb 2013 News briefs

Cities identify HFA2 priorities in new survey

Within days of its launch, a new UNISDR survey has received over 1,000 responses spelling out what cities and towns would like to see included in the new global framework for disaster risk reduction which will follow on from the existing Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) in 2015.
27 Feb 2013 News briefs

UN family agrees plan for disaster risk reduction

Representatives of UN agencies, funds and programmes completed an action plan this week that will accelerate the integration of disaster risk reduction into all UN country level operations in response to the rising levels of disruption to millions of lives each year from disasters.
7 Mar 2013 News briefs

Economic losses from disasters set new record in 2012

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) today stated that for the first time in history the world has experienced three consecutive years where annual economic losses have exceeded $100 billion due to an enormous increase in exposure of industrial assets and private property to extreme disaster events.
14 Mar 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

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

UN Sasakawa Award short-list announced

The Philippines and Sweden have two projects each short-listed for the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction which will be presented in Geneva on May 22 during the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. Projects from Bangladesh and Brazil have also been short-listed by the judging panel which reviewed 28 projects from 20 countries.
6 May 2013 Press release

UK government welcomes first-ever HFA peer review

The UK has become the first country to undergo a peer review to assess its progress in implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), the world's first comprehensive agreement on disaster risk reduction, adopted in 2005 following the Indian Ocean tsunami.
14 May 2013 Press release

Open debate on “Disaster risk reduction measures at the local level in South Eastern Europe”

On the opening day of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mayors and local government representatives took part in an open debate on ‘Disaster Risk Reduction Measures at the local level in South Eastern Europe”. Floods, droughts and forest fires – all of which are cross-border hazards – are the main risks in South Eastern Europe, and projections indicate that climate change and variations could lead to more frequent and severe disasters related to weather, water and climate in the region.
21 May 2013 Press release

Tangible Earth opens new window on risk

The inventor of the world's first interactive digital globe that graphically depicts the vulnerability of our planet to disasters today challenged global policymakers to show more leadership in tackling the growing risks facing populations worldwide.
22 May 2013 News briefs

New €100,000 Risk Award announced at close of 4th Global Platform

Details were announced today of the 2014 RISK Award -- "Disaster Emergency -- Resilience for the Most Vulnerable" and a call was made for applications for the Award which includes a grant of €100,000 for a project in disaster emergency planning which focuses on the most vulnerable. The deadline for applications is 31 December 2013.
23 May 2013 Press release

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

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

‘Recovery the key to future relevance of Pacific regional organisations’

A landmark study says that regional organizations involved in disaster risk management in the Pacific will have to demonstrate excellence in technical assistance and be aligned to international financial flows to remain relevant.
15 Jul 2013 News briefs

Donors back DRR investment tracking

Donor governments have signalled the need to better capture investments in disaster risk reduction to strengthen evidence of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action.
23 Sep 2013 News briefs

Disaster risk forum honours champion of local action

A champion of local action to reduce disaster risk was this week honoured for his years of commitment in support of building safer and more resilient communities worldwide. The European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction presented Dr Ilan Kelman with the Damir Čemerin Award for Local Change for his work to link disaster risk reduction with climate change adaptation.
26 Sep 2013 News briefs

Climate change will lead to dramatic escalation of disasters and economic losses says UNISDR

Based on current disaster trends and economic values, the world is looking at a minimum cost in the region of 25 trillion dollars in disaster losses for the 21st century if there is no concerted response to climate change, one which puts the emphasis on practical measures to reduce disaster risk and exposure to future extreme events. Margareta Wahlström, the Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, said: “The robust science behind the latest Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change report translates into a world of catastrophic losses unless there are wholesale changes in how we allocate resources to prepare for extreme weather events. We are looking at losses the equivalent of one-third of annual global GDP. Clearly this is neither sustainable nor acceptable.
30 Sep 2013 Press release

Finland set to launch HFA peer review

Finland is set to follow in the footsteps of the UK this week and launch a peer review of its national implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), the global agreement on disaster risk reduction. The 4th European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR) heard that Finland is aiming for the same impact as the UK’s peer review – the world’s first – which served as a catalyst for high-level engagement and reflection. As Finland prepared for its review, which gets underway on 5 October, EFDRR members called for a better understanding of advances in governance and accountability of disaster management. They agreed to consolidate Europe’s learning in this regard.
1 Oct 2013 News briefs

Cities key to mitigating flood risk

Increased urban flooding poses a direct threat to the wellbeing of several metropolitan areas unless cities became more inclusive in their approaches to reduce disaster risk, the world’s biggest congress of local leaders was told Last year 116 million people around the world were affected by floods and many millions were forced to flee their homes. The Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Ms Margareta Wahlström, told participants at the Fourth United Cities and Local Governments Congress that “inclusive cities are resilient cities”.
4 Oct 2013 News briefs

UN global survey explains why so many people living with disabilities die in disasters

The results of the first-ever UN global survey of persons living with disabilities on how they cope with disasters, illustrates why they die, or are injured, in disproportionate numbers in disasters. An estimated 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability. Whether in multi-hazard prone United States of America or Bangladesh, earthquake-prone Italy or flood-prone Thailand, people living with disabilities across the world say they are rarely consulted about their needs and only 20% could evacuate immediately without difficulty in the event of a sudden disaster event, the remainder could only do so with a degree of difficulty and 6% would not be able to do so at all. If given sufficient time, the percentage of those who could evacuate with no difficulty rises from 20% to 38% but 58% feel they would still have either some, or a lot of, difficulty while 4% would still not be able to evacuate.
10 Oct 2013 Press release

Open data makes disaster risks visible

As UNISDR makes its final call for input to the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR15) the role of open data and risk information is emerging as an essential element of sustainable development. Preparations for the UN flagship report are gathering pace and there is growing research into the modeling of disaster risks, which can provide the type of information to help governments plan better, educate people to make informed decisions, and assist companies to ensure their investments are secure. “We are in a relationship with risk and we need to manage that relationship. In fact, we like risk in many ways but need to make sure we are risk aware. In order to do this, people need access to the best possible information,” said UNISDR’s Information Management Coordinator Craig Duncan.
15 Oct 2013 News briefs

Disasters big threat to reducing extreme poverty says ODI

Disaster risk management should be a key component of poverty reduction efforts, focusing on protecting livelihoods as well as saving lives, a major report launched today urges. The post-2015 development goals must include targets on disasters and climate change, recognising the threat they pose to the headline goal of eradicating extreme poverty, the study from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) says. “This report provides a glimpse of what we can expect to happen to the world’s poorest people if we pursue a business as usual approach to helping them prepare for disasters,” said Mr Tom Mitchell, one of the authors of ‘The geography of poverty, disasters and climate extremes in 2030’.
16 Oct 2013 News briefs

The ‘silent disaster of local losses’

Largely unreported disasters across the Americas over the past two decades account for the majority of economic losses and more than half of all disaster-related deaths, according to new findings from the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. A 22-year analysis of 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean reveals that smaller, localized and more recurrent disasters that rarely, if ever, make the news cumulatively account for 90 per cent of the total number of people affected by disaster and are also responsible for 90 per cent of destruction or damage of homes. “This is irrevocable evidence on the cumulative impact of those disasters that are small, occur locally and are often ‘invisible’,” said Ricardo Mena the Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) for the Americas.
27 Nov 2013 News briefs

Tunisia’s database a DRR ‘game-changer’

Tunisia has taken an important step to strengthen its national disaster management with the establishment of a new disaster loss database The database was validated at a major disaster risk reduction forum that also saw 120 practitioners and policymakers recommend that the post-2015 international framework for disaster risk reduction be a more accountable and legally binding charter or convention with funding attached for its implementation. The new database includes previously unreported localized (known as extensive) disasters as well as the more widely reported, bigger disasters (known as intensive).
2 Dec 2013 News briefs

Indian Ocean islands move to strengthen DRR

Indian Ocean states are taking important steps to strengthen their individual and collective disaster risk management. Five islands – the Union of the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Zanzibar – are working to establish and manage disaster loss databases. The 2005-15 Hyogo Framework for Action highlights the importance of accounting for past losses that can provide a basis for better risk assessments, more appropriate disaster planning and effective measures to reduce vulnerability and exposure. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), in a joint effort with the Indian Ocean Commission’s (IOC) ISLANDS Project, is supporting the strengthening of local capacities and expertise so that the countries are able to produce their own risk assessments and loss databases.
3 Dec 2013 News briefs

Incheon clicks into DRR advocacy action

A major ‘City to City Learning’ forum on resilience heralds a renewed effort of global knowledge sharing ahead of the post-2015 international framework for disaster risk reduction. Ten cities in South Asia and Iran and 27 from the Republic of Korea have agreed to share experience and consolidate their commitment for local action, as part of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s (UNISDR) Making Cities Resilient Campaign. The 37 cities focused on urban risk management, risk sensitive urban planning, local action and critical infrastructure safety with specific focus on school safety as part of their discussions on the post-2015 framework.
12 Dec 2013 News briefs

Local self-assessment leads to resilience

UNISDR’s Local Government Self-Assessment Tool (LGSAT) is an effective tool to assess a city’s institutional capacity to build resilience, a new report has found. The study said the LGSAT opened up dialogue and enabled the establishment of baseline data for the Ten Essentials of UNISDR’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign “that can be used to track progress as the cities continue to build disaster and climate resilience”. The report, titled ‘Assessing City Resilience: Lessons from using the UNISDR Local Government Self-Assessment Tool in Thailand and Vietnam’, said the LGSAT enabled local discussions to take place within an internationally-applied framework of common issues. The study looked at four cities – Hue and Lao Cai, in Vietnam, and Udon Thani and Hat Yai, in Thailand – and identified gaps between policy and practice, and between planning and implementation.
10 Jan 2014 News briefs

Pooled knowledge key to food security

More than 100 of the world’s leading food system researchers, practitioners and policymakers heard today how dynamic new approaches are strengthening risk management and resilience. The forum, titled ‘Visualising the World’s Food Systems to Better Manage Risk and Resilience’, was told that ‘the new normal’ of fast-accelerating demand for food, energy and water in a changing climate and era of volatility had potentially devastating human and environmental consequences. As the global population grows from 7 billion to almost 9 billion by 2040, and the number of middle-class consumers increases by 3 billion over the next 20 years, the demand for resources will rise exponentially.
14 Jan 2014 News briefs

‘Useful and used’ data key to building resilience

The future resilience of the planet rests upon shortening the distance between emerging scientific evidence and actionable policy. A High-Level Panel, titled ‘Perspectives on the Value of Earth Observations’, agreed on the importance of the “usability of information” in the International Strategy of Disaster Reduction and other global efforts to strengthen resilience. Mr Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), said collaboration and coordination was crucial: “We need to join up the dots about what we know about how resources can be used and not be used in future. “The world really is heading terribly in the wrong direction. We need to bring science to decision making. And in such a complex world, we can no longer afford the luxury of taking very narrow, specific responses.
20 Jan 2014 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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