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First international risk award goes to protection of vulnerable townships in Mozambique

The flood-prone coastal city of Beira in Mozambique was named today as the winner of the first RISK Award, a collaboration between UNISDR, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Munich Re Foundation and the Global Risk Forum, Davos. The €100,000 prize for project implementation is funded through the Munich Re Foundation.
27 Aug 2012 Press release

Climate migrants risk more harm in new surroundings

The Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, Sir John Beddington, recently spoke to UNISDR about how migration triggered by natural hazards is actually taking people into areas of increasing vulnerability.
21 Aug 2012 News briefs

UNISDR reports on record-breaking year

UNISDR's 2011 Annual Report is now available online and reveals that its two landmark Global Assessment Reports on Disaster Risk Reduction Reports (GAR) for 2009 and 2011, have had over 200,000 chapter downloads over the last three years.
18 Jul 2012 News briefs

Emilia earthquake spurs collaboration on study of risk

It is truly humbling to see how easily we are fooled by nature but we can also draw hard-won insights from the defeats caused by earthquakes. We used to think that the age and speed of a subducting slab governs its maximum earthquake magnitude but the Great East Japan Earthquake forever puts to rest that view.
16 Jul 2012 News briefs

UNISDR says Google has opportunity to save lives

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Margareta Wahlström today said Google and other providers of information can make an important contribution to raising awareness about disaster risk reduction in disaster-prone countries.

2 Jul 2012 News briefs

Top scientist appeals for better communication of risk

The UK's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington, used yesterday's UNISDR "Resilient Cities" event at Rio+20 to make an urgent appeal for scientists to use plain language if they are to play a larger role in policymaking on climate change.
21 Jun 2012 News briefs

Switzerland prepares for an earthquake

UNISDR chief Margareta Wahlström today congratulated Switzerland for getting ready to face the consequences of a major earthquake even if the last one happened over 1,000 years ago.
12 Jun 2012 News briefs

Caribbean urged to prepare for a tsunami

The magnitude 4.0 earthquake recorded off the coast of Antigua on 11 May is "a warning that the Caribbean should prepare for a much more severe earthquake to come," says a leading expert.
8 Jun 2012 News briefs

Cities Campaign gets major new partner

UNISDR's "Making Cities Resilient" campaign received a significant boost today with the announcement that the Ibero-American Union of Municipalities (Unión Iberoamericana de Municipalistas (UIM) is now an official campaign partner.
1 Jun 2012 News briefs

Campaign city Arborg adopts Jericho City as resilience 'twin'

Earthquake and flood-prone Arborg, Iceland, a member of the 'Making Cities Resilient' campaign, is boosting the preparedness of its new twin -- the Palestinian city of Jericho -- starting with a four-week crash course on disaster management that begins today.
30 May 2012 News briefs

IIED to review Cities' Campaign

David Dodman, Senior Researcher at the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), says the Institute will publish a report on UNISDR's "Making Cities Resilient" campaign by year's end (see video).
29 May 2012 News briefs

Floods becoming more dangerous, more costly, says World Bank

A new guide launched at the WMO HQ this week warns that urban flooding is "becoming more dangerous and more costly to manage because of the sheer size of the population exposed within urban settlements."
27 Apr 2012 News briefs

Americans report feeling impact of climate change

A new study finds that 51 percent of Americans believe that extreme weather will cause a natural disaster in their own community in the next year.
25 Apr 2012 News briefs

Using GIS for disaster risk reduction

Innovations in technology have made it easier in the last decade to reduce disaster risks and plan for the future. The internet combined with technologies, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), now makes it possible to better understand and communicate the social and physical complexities of disasters.
24 Apr 2012 News briefs

Writeshops successfully mentor young researchers

Yuwan Malakar has good reason to be focused and driven these days. The 30-year old environmental management major from Nepal has just had his first paper on climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) published in one of the highly respected online journals of the Policy Studies Organization.
19 Apr 2012 News briefs

Risk reduction moves centre stage for Rio+20

The cost of disasters were summed up last night in dollars lost, people displaced, lives lost as one would expect at a meeting hosted by Columbia University with the theme "From Sendai to Rio -- Cultivating a Disaster-Resilient Society for Sustainable Development."
12 Apr 2012 News briefs

Indian Ocean tsunami early warning systems pass test

Following a massive earthquake earlier today in the Indian Ocean and the threat of a tsunami, Indonesian President and UNISDR Global Disaster Risk Reduction Champion, Susilo Bambang Yudhyono, told the press, "Our early warning system is working well". There were no tsunamis in Banda Aceh or other places which were hard hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
11 Apr 2012 News briefs

IPCC report outlines threat to 'The Future We Want'

UNISDR today welcomed the full publication of the Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) and said "it provides us with the impetus for action to save the world from the worst that climate change can bring to our planet in the coming years."
30 Mar 2012 News briefs

A Seismic Crime

Few people outside Italy are aware that six seismologists and a government official are on trial in the small city of L'Aquila. But the story has implications for scientists, engineers, administrators, and legal systems far beyond Italy's borders.
6 Mar 2012 News briefs

UN kicks off discussions on new international blueprint for disaster risk reduction

The UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, and HE Yoichi Otabe, the Japanese Ambassador to the International Organizations in Geneva, announced today the start of consultations on a new international blueprint for reducing disaster losses in advance of the World Conference on Disaster Reduction which the Japanese government is proposing to host in 2015.
5 Mar 2012 Press release

Uncertain rainy season for Horn of Africa

The March to May rainfall season in the Greater Horn of Africa is likely to result in "near normal to below normal rainfall" over much of the region, according to a statement today from the 30th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF30).
29 Feb 2012 News briefs

Horn of Africa crisis results in effort to improve action on early warnings

In advance of critical rainfall forecasts for the Horn of Africa, the UN office for disaster risk reduction, UNISDR, today announced a partnership with the WMO-supported African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) to ensure rapid dissemination of weather updates to disaster managers.
13 Feb 2012 Press release

IPCC report on climate change and risk coming soon

A new groundbreaking report due out next month underlines how the well-being of vulnerable, impoverished populations living in parts of the world most exposed to disasters fuelled by climate change, will be severely undermined in the coming century.
10 Feb 2012 News briefs

Awareness of risk driving Green Economy trend

As world governments prepare for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro this June, the UN has published a practical guide "to promote a transition to an inclusive Green Economy."
8 Feb 2012 News briefs

Fiji declares 15 day state of disaster

A 15-day state of disaster is currently in effect in areas on the west coast of Fiji that have been ravaged by floods which began on 22 January. A flood watch is in place as periods of heavy rain are expected. All those living in flood-prone areas have been advised to evacuate and take with them food, water and a change of clothes. As of today, there are 21 active evacuation centres with a total of 1,333 evacuees.
3 Feb 2012 News briefs

UNISDR Chief welcomes WMO boost for early warning systems

The UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, today welcomed the announcement that the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) new Weather and Climate Information System has become operational “as a major contribution towards life-saving efforts at community level.”
2 Feb 2012 Press release

Are we capable of learning the lessons of Haiti?

An insightful new report on the 2010 Haiti earthquake offers a scathing critique of an international community which "has much to learn from the response in Haiti where it has shown an ability to repeat its errors and shortcomings from past disasters."
1 Feb 2012 News briefs

Caribbean efforts to be 'a carbon neutral destination'

Bequia is a delightful link in the chain of islands which make St. Vincent and the Grenadines such an attractive destination for sun worshipping tourists. With a population of 4,300 people and an area of just 18 km2, it is on the frontlines of the unfolding drama of climate change and Small Island Developing States. And, like many small tropical islands during the dry season, Bequia has problems with water supply which global warming threatens to exacerbate.
25 Jan 2012 News briefs

Brazil to open Centre of Excellence for Disaster Risk Reduction

The Brazilian government has agreed to open a Centre of Excellence for Disaster Risk Reduction, one year after deadly landslides in the state of Rio de Janeiro prompted President Dilma Rousseff to devise plans to improve the country’s disaster readiness.
24 Jan 2012 News briefs

Crisis Mapping and Disaster Risk Reduction

Crisis mapping has emerged in the last five years as a dynamic and open way to visualize and report on crisis and disasters. With increasing internet connectivity, mobile phone use, and user-generated content, 'crowdsourcing' is gaining traction by taking advantage of information communication technology (ICT) that allows communities and networks to answer some of the world’s most pressing issues.
16 Dec 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.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Panama City, Panama.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Cairo, Egypt.
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