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Geneva milestone on road to Sendai

Next week’s intergovernmental meeting (PrepCom) in Geneva is a major milestone on the road to Sendai, Japan, where the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will convene in March, 2015, to adopt a new global agreement on reducing disaster risk, the head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, said today.
7 Jul 2014 News briefs

UNISDR Chief: “recapture spirit of 2005”

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction today urged the world to recapture the spirit of 2005 when, following the shock of the Indian Ocean tsunami, all UN Member States adopted a comprehensive framework for disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action.
24 Jun 2014 News briefs

Safer climate disasters

Too often, participants in the climate-change debate make an erroneous distinction between protecting ourselves from the longer-term impact of global warming and better preparing ourselves against today’s extreme weather events. Recent reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have sought to break down this artificial divide. While seeking to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, we must work toward more effective disaster-risk management. Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/kristalina-georgieva-and-margareta-wahlstr-m-issue-a-call-for-greater-efforts-to-reduce-the-risks-associated-with-extreme-weather-events#hI8kyUIVDU0bCluj.99
19 Jun 2014 Statements & speeches

The global state of play of DRR

Speech by SRSG Margareta Wahlström at the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Manila Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management,5 June 2014, Manila, Philippines
6 Jun 2014 Statements & speeches

Americas calls for ‘indicators of resilience’

The Americas region gave further impetus to the global efforts to agree a new international framework on disaster risk reduction (DRR) by adopting on Thursday a series of recommendations to be included in the agreement due to be adopted at a world conference next year in Sendai, Japan.
30 May 2014 News briefs

New pact must integrate DRR and national development

The biggest challenge facing next year’s UN World Conference to agree a new global DRR framework, is how to integrate disaster risk reduction (DRR) into national development plans, Margareta Wahlström, Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), said on Wednesday.
29 May 2014 News briefs

Americas children heard on DRR

Nearly 60 children and young people from across Latin America and the Caribbean made a strong and colourful claim on Tuesday for their voices to be heard in campaigns to reduce risks of natural disasters and other pressing environmental and social issues.
28 May 2014 News briefs

Americas DRR Platform opens with Ecuador’s HFA success

Ecuador has invested heavily in disaster risk reduction (DRR), both politically and financially, and with some good results, but there is much still do, the opening session of the 4th Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas heard on Tuesday.
27 May 2014 News briefs

Americas to decide needs for UN global agreement on disaster risk

Several hundred government and civil society representatives from over 30 countries will gather this week in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil to review progress in the Americas on reducing exposure to disaster risk.
26 May 2014 Press release

UN’s new push to revolutionise business world’s approach to disaster risk

Following on a statement by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that “economic losses are out of control and can only be reduced in partnership with the private sector,” the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) today launched the R!SE Initiative to mainstream disaster risk management into corporate planning and investment decision-making.
20 May 2014 Press release

Africa unites on reducing disaster risk

Africa today became the first world region to make a comprehensive set of recommendations for a new UN global agreement on reducing disaster risk, recognizing that most disasters in Africa are water-related and that efforts are needed to prevent conflict as part of overall efforts to build resilience to disasters.
16 May 2014 Press release

Africa meets on post-HFA agenda

The African Union (AU) will integrate disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in its new Africa Climate Change Strategy, AU Commissioner Rhoda Peace told the opening session of the 5th Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) yesterday attended by a record 800 participants including representatives from 48 AU countries.
14 May 2014 News briefs

5th Africa Regional Platform for DRR opens in Abuja

A record attendance is expected for this week’s 5th Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction which opens today in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. Some 700 politicians, disaster managers and civil society representatives from across Africa are registered to attend on May 13-17 and will review the continent’s progress in disaster risk management.
13 May 2014 Press release

China backs cooperation on DRR

China has signaled its support for stronger international cooperation to prevent and reduce the impact of disasters as momentum builds to develop the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
13 May 2014 News briefs

Towards the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction and beyond

Statement by Margareta Wahlström, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, at the opening ceremony of 5th Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
13 May 2014 Statements & speeches

OECD work on resilience important for DRR World Conference

The Head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlstrom, has said that the OECD can have a “critical impact” on the preparatory work leading up the adoption of a new global framework for disaster risk reduction at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015.
7 May 2014 News briefs

UNISDR welcomes new urban resilience collaboration

UNISDR Chief Margareta Wahlström today welcomed the creation of a new collaboration between nine key players in the global effort to build urban resilience to disasters and to strengthen the social, economic and environmental fabric of the world’s urban spaces.
11 Apr 2014 News briefs

Post-quake opportunity in Chile

The Head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, arrived yesterday in Chile, where she was received by the President, Michelle Bachelet, prior to a regional consultation on disaster risk reduction with the eleven member countries of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).
10 Apr 2014 News briefs

New Champion for Making Cities Resilient

The Mayor of the Argentinian city, Sante Fe, José Corral, returns to his home city tomorrow from the 7th World Urban Forum (WUF7) as a Champion of UNISDR’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign .
9 Apr 2014 News briefs

IPU debates resolution on risk resilience

Parliamentarians from across the world are participating this week in a wide-ranging debate on disaster risk at the 130th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) which is set to adopt a ground-breaking resolution on risk-resilient development tomorrow.
19 Mar 2014 News briefs

Tacloban Mayor strives to transform city

The Mayor of the worst-hit city of the Typhoon Haiyan disaster believes the city’s future prosperity depends on “transformational development” that rebuilds communities and not just houses.
4 Mar 2014 News briefs

Philippines Leads in UN Disaster-Safe Schools Initiative

The Philippines today publically committed to be a role model for safe schools and deliver a strong message to the 2015 World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015 on the importance of protecting school children and students in their education environment.
4 Mar 2014 Press release

Science to save more lives

The Philippines today launched a nationwide “Science for Safer Communities” so that more lives are saved through better early warning and understanding of disaster risk.
3 Mar 2014 News briefs

All have stake in World Conference

For the third time in thirty years, Japan is preparing to host a World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.
27 Feb 2014 News briefs

Small islands lead by example, says UNISDR chief

Statement by Margareta Wahlström, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction on the launch of the International Year of Small Island Developing States
24 Feb 2014 Statements & speeches

Senegal PM reiterates HFA commitment

The Prime Minister of Senegal has reiterated her country’s commitment to implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) during high level talks with the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction. Prime Minister Aminata Touré said that Senegal’s international commitments were consistent with domestic priorities under the country’s Economic and Social Development Plan. In the presence of nine of her key ministers, the Prime Minister told Special Representative Ms Margareta Wahlström that good governance and institutions were crucial to build resilience in the face of continued climate change.
31 Jan 2014 News briefs

Making Paris resilient to floods

The French capital, Paris, has been invited to join the “Making Cities Resilient” Campaign by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction as a new OECD analysis reveals the extent of the city’s exposure to a repeat of a major flood disaster. The OECD Review on Flood Risk Management of the Seine River – commissioned by Etablissement Public Territorial de Bassin (EPTB) Seine Grands Lacs, with the Ministry of Ecology and Ile-de-France Regional Council – found that a repeat of the 1910 flood could affect up to five million residents and cause Euros 30 billion worth of damages. Speaking at the launch of the report, UNISDR Chief, Margareta Wahlström, said: “Making Paris resilient is an important strategic goal for France. Floods displace more people worldwide, create more unemployment and disrupt city life more than any other category of disaster.
28 Jan 2014 News briefs

Russia's G8 Presidency to focus on disaster risk

The Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström, today welcomed Russia’s declared intention of using its G8 Presidency to promote integrated disaster risk management and to focus the world’s major economies on cooperation in developing a new global agreement on disaster risk reduction to succeed the existing Hyogo Framework for Action which expires in March 2015. Ms. Wahlström said: “Russia’s G8 Presidency could be a major turning point in the struggle to gain political commitment to reducing exposure to disaster events worldwide and speeding up implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action. Economic losses from disasters are out of control and the timing is right for the G8 members to take concrete measures to mitigate climate change and to reduce the risk of major disaster events such as floods and earthquakes which disrupt the lives of over 200 million people every year.” At a meeting of the Gaidar Forum in Moscow last week, the Russian G8 Sherpa, Alexei Kvasov, said the core objectives of the Russian G8 Presidency will include global management of natural and man-made disaster risks along with global health security, the fights against drugs and global terrorism. He said the motto of Russia’s G8 Presidency is “Managing risks for sustainable growth in a secure world.” Ms. Wahlström said UNISDR and its partners look forward to contributing to the success of the Russian G8 Presidency and building on expressions of support at previous G8 Summits for implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters.
22 Jan 2014 Press release

‘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

Typhoon Haiyan losses trigger major new proposal on catastrophe insurance for the Philippines

20 January 2014, GENEVA – The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has teamed up with the global insurance industry to propose a major new approach to catastrophe risk financing for the Philippines in advance of this year’s typhoon season as the country continues to deal with the economic fall-out of $13 billion in losses from Typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda. The Head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, said today: “The Philippines is hit by over 20 typhoons every year. What is needed is a simple scheme which will provide valuable protection to people and municipalities before the next typhoon season. In order to be successful it will require mandatory take-up by local government units but it will make them masters of their own destiny when it comes to responding to relief and recovery needs in the wake of a major disaster event.” The catastrophe scheme developed by global insurance giants Willis Re and Munich Re will be presented tomorrow in Manila at a High Level Forum on Strengthening Disaster Risk Insurance in the Philippines. The Philippines Risk and Insurance Scheme for Municipalities (PRISM) is a fast track way of providing budgetary support in the aftermath of a major natural disaster. Rowan Douglas, CEO Capital, Science and Policy Practice, Willis Group, explained: “Contrary to traditional insurance the payment of claims is not based on actual losses but on a pre-agreed amount when a specific trigger is met. For example, insurance will be paid out in the event of rainfall exceeding a certain amount, or wind speed exceeding a certain threshold.” Mr. Douglas is a member of the UNISDR Private Sector Advisory Group. Ernst Rauch, head of the Corporate Climate Centre of Munich Re, said: “These parametric triggers are based on industry standards and can evolve as more information becomes available. Once one trigger has been exceeded a payment will be made through the scheme manager to the local government unit and this can be used for rescue, relief, recovery or re-building depending on needs assessments. It can become a key part of broader national catastrophe risk management programme. Cover can be adjusted to reward disaster risk reduction efforts undertaken by municipalities.” Economic losses in the Philippines are part of an upward global trend. According to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, economic losses from disasters are “out of control.”
20 Jan 2014 Press release
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