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International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Platform for the Promotion of Early Warning

International Early Warning Programme  
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Platform for the Promotion
of Early Warning
Hermann-Ehlers-Strasse 10
D-53113 Bonn, Germany
Tel.: 0049 228 815 0300
Fax: 0049 228 815 0399


















About IEWP

  1. In the past two decades, on average more than 200 million people have been affected every year by natural hazards. These disasters have caused a massive loss of life and negative long-term social, economic and environmental consequences.

  2. Vulnerable societies have been deeply affected by these disasters throughout the world, in particular in developing countries with less coping capacity. The threats of disaster triggered by natural hazards to these states pose a serious obstacle to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

  3. The past lessons including the tragic Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 demonstrated that although the occurrence of natural hazards cannot be prevented, the impact of these hazards could be decreased when resilience of the nations and communities are strengthened. After the ten-year review of the progress made in the area of disaster reduction, the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR) adopted its outcome document, the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters in Kobe, Japan in January 2005.

  4. The Hyogo Framework highlighted early warning as one of the major elements of disaster risk reduction which could both save lives and help protect livelihoods and national development gains. Early warning has been recognized as an effective tool to reduce vulnerabilities and to improve preparedness and response to natural hazards.

  5. The importance of early warning has been underlined in various resolutions of the General Assembly as a critical element of disaster reduction. When the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) was established in 20004 as the successor to the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR, 1990-1999), promotion of early warning was clearly underlined and included in its mandate.

  6. Historically, the significance of early warning for disaster reduction has also been repeatedly emphasized in major international agendas including the Yokohama Strategy, the
    Barbados Plan of Action for Small Island Developing States, the Johannesburg Plan of
    Implementation, the Mauritius Strategy and the meeting of G8 ministers in Gleneagles as well as major multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

  7. Early Warning received more attention after the 26 December 2004 Tsunami. In 2005, at the request of the United Nations Secretary-General, a global survey of early warning systems was undertaken with a view to advancing the development of a global early warning system for all natural hazards. The survey report concluded that while some warning systems are well advanced, there are numerous gaps and shortcomings, especially in developing countries and in terms of effectively reaching and serving the needs of those at risk.

  8. The survey report recommended establishment of a globally comprehensive early warning system, rooted in existing early warning systems and capacities. It also recommended a set of specific actions toward building national people-centerd early warning systems, filling in the main gaps in global early warning capacities, strengthening the scientific and data foundations for early warning, and developing the institutional foundations for a global early warning system.
  9. In response to the call for establishing a suitable framework for advancing early warning as an essential risk management tool, the International Early Warning Programme (IEWP) was proposed at the EWC II in 2003.

  10. A facilitating platform, the Platform for the Promotion of Early Warning (PPEW) was established in Bonn, Germany, with support from the Government of Germany, to facilitate the implementation of the proposed IEWP, to sustain the dialogue on early warning and to mobilize resources to strengthen partnerships and capacities at all levels. The IEWP was formally launched at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction in January 2005.

  11. In 2006, The EWC III emphasized the need to strengthen the IEWP and the PPEW as part of the ISDR system, and to facilitate the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action.