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

What's early warning
Basics of early warning - How early warnings are made - Milestones and first steps of early warning
Milestones and first steps of early warning matters - timeline
27 March 2006
Launch of the pre-print version of the Global Survey of Early Warning Systems It was presented by Jan Egeland, the UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, at the Third International Conference on Early Warning.
27-29 March 2006
The Third International Conference on Early Warning was hold with the slogan “From concept to action”. The conference was structured in two streams a Priorities and Projects Forum, presenting and discussing good practices in early warning, and a Scientific Symposium. The innovative combination allowed the practical demonstration of proposed early warning projects around the world with discussions and debates of key policy issues.
2 March 2006
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (A/RES/60/195) and on natural disasters and vulnerability (A/RES/60/196)

July 2005
G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland (UK)
The G8 Summit specifically addressed the future of disaster risk reduction and early warning, and called for greater support for a more effective International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015. In calling for greater support for a more effective International Strategy, the leaders of the most industrialized countries have agreed to provide more resources to disaster reduction.

Feb 2005
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on the report of the Second Committee International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (59/231)
Feb 2005
The resolutions on Natural disasters and vulnerability (A/RES/59/233) and on international cooperation on humanitarian assistance in the field of natural disasters, from relief to development (59/212) were adopted.
28 Jan 2005-04-28
After the tsunami hit the Indian Ocean region the resolution on Strengthening emergency relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and prevention in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster was adopted (A/RES/59/279).
19 Jan 2005
The Second International Conference on Early Warning called for an International Early Warning Programme (IEWP) which has been launched at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction; is still in its infancy but will evolve with time.
18-22 Jan 2005
United Nations World conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR).
Special thematic session on People-centered early warning systems.
10-14 Jan 2005
United Nations (A/CONF.207/7/Add.1) International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States Port Louis, Mauritius.
The Second International Conference on Early Warning called for an organisational platform to support the establishment of an international programm on early warning. Therefore the Platform for the Promotion of Early Warning (PPEW) has been established in Bonn, Germany.
16-18 Oct 2003
The Bonn Second International Conference on Early Warning was initiated under the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) as part of the efforts of the Working Group 2: Early Warning, of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). Other IATF working groups have also made contributions to the development of early warning, particularly Working Group 1: Climate and Disasters, which dealt with El Nino issues, and Working Group 4: Wildland Fires.
26 Aug to 4 Sep 2002
The World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) took place in Johannesburg from 26 August to 4 September 2002. It did not renegotiate Agenda 21 but discussed further issues, which have emerged during the past years. Coming up with detailed commitments for the implementation of Agenda 21 were be the major challenge of the event.
Outcome document - Plan of Implementation.
24-25 June 2002
Second meeting of Working Group 2 - Early Warning held in Potsdam, Germany. The group designated a drafting team (ISDR, DKKV, DMC, CDERA) to develop a proposal for the EWC-II.
11-12 March 2002
Expert Meeting on Early Warning and Sustainable Development held in Bonn, Germany under the auspices of the German Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV), within the framework of the ISDR.
21 Dec 2001
General Assembly confirms the mandates of the institutional arrangements of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) in General Assembly resolution 56/195, paragraphs 3 and 6.
21 Dec 2001
UN General Assembly resolution on the implementation of ISDR (A/56/68) confirms the importance of early warning to reduce vulnerability. It identifies early warning as a priority area for action and reaffirms the need to strengthen the international framework for the improvement of early warning systems. It endorses the recommendations of the Secretary General with regard to the 10-year review of the Yokohama conference process.
19 Dec 2001
The Secretary General’s report, Implementing Agenda 21, E/CN.17/PC.2/7 refers to disaster prevention and reduction in detail. ISDR presented a background paper entitled Natural Disasters and Sustainable Development: Understanding the links between development, environment and natural disasters at WSSD PrepCom 2. This develops elements for the development of policies to reduce vulnerability to disasters, including the need to strengthen global, regional, national and local early warning systems.
9-10 Nov 2001
First meeting of the ISDR Working Group 2 - Early Warning, in Nairobi, Kenya
The ISDR Inter-Agency Task Force Working Group 2 on Early Warningwas established in 2001. The working group was chaired by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The overall purpose of Working Group 2 was to support the early warning activities of Inter-agency Task Force members, the UN/ISDR Secretariat and other relevant partners, with a view to facilitate a more coordinated approach to improving early warning; thereby, contributing to the overall implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
8 Sep 2000
The Millennium Declaration A/RES/55/2 was unanimously adopted by the member states of the United Nations. The General Assembly later recognized the Millennium Development Goals as core feature for implementing the Millennium Declaration.
1 Jan 2000
The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) was launched. The successor arrangement of the IDNDR, it inherited two mandated tasks relevant to early warning (i) strengthen disaster reduction capacities through early warning, and (ii) continue international cooperation to reduce the impacts of the El Niño phenomenon. It also aimed at managing risk through the integration of risk reduction into sustainable development.
The General Assembly asks for the ISDR to continue international cooperation on El Niño (A/Res/54/220) and strengthen disaster reduction capacities through Early Warning (A/Res/54/219).
Jul 1999
The strategy “A Safer World in the Twenty-First Century: Risk and Disaster Reduction” and the "Geneva Mandate on Disaster Reduction" were adopted at the IDNDR Programme Forum, the closing event of the decade. Relevant elements of the strategy include community participation and increase of partnership activities, improvement of early warning capacities and establishment of early warning systems as integrated processes, with particular attention to emerging hazards such as climate change. Regional and international approaches and collaborative and organizational arrangements were called for, as well as links with the Agenda 21 implementation process for enhanced synergy with environmental and sustainable development issues.
6-8 Jul 1999
WMO/UNESCO Sub-Forum on Science and Technology in support of natural disaster reduction was held. A special contribution to the above Forum was a review of the various way in which science and technology contribute to the disaster reduction process, including the operation of integrated early warning systems. It recognized the advances during the last decade and made recommendations for future actions.
At its fifty-fourth session, the United Nations General Assembly recognised the importance of early warning as an essential element in the culture of prevention, and encourages renewed efforts at all levels in this field. In particular, the member states reaffirmed 'the need for strengthening an international framework for the improvements of early warning systems and disaster preparedness by developing an effective international mechanism for early warning, including the transfer of technology related to early warning to developing countries, which ensures that vulnerable people receive appropriate and timely information, as well as expanding and improving existing systems, in particular those under the auspices of the United Nations, as an integral part of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and within its framework for action.' General Assembly resolution, entitled International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction: successor arrangements (A/54/219).
9-13 Nov 1998
International Seminar on the 1997-1998 El Niño Phenomenon: Evaluation and Projections, Guayaquil, Ecuador. This meeting reviewed this major event and made concrete recommendations on the predictability and warning of El Niño events, disaster response plans and mitigation strategies.
7-11 Sep 1998
The International Conference on Early Warning Systems for the Reduction of Natural Disasters (EWC’98), in Potsdam, Germany, confirmed early warning as a core component of national and international prevention strategies for the 21st century. It identified accomplishments and experiences best suited to improve organizational relationships and practical effectiveness for early warning into the 21st century and major strengths and weaknesses in early warning capacities around the world. It stressed that effective early warning depends upon a multisectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration among all concerned actors. Although based on scientific and technology, early warning must be tailored to serve people's needs, their environments, and their resources. The Declaration of the Potsdam Early Warning Conference was used as a basis for early warning activities.
3 Nov 1997
The result of this multi-sectoral review was presented in the Secretary General Report A/52/561on improved effectiveness of early warning systems with regard to natural and similar disasters containing important elements on the further development of disaster reduction strategies, including early warning systems.
Publication of Guiding Principles for effective early warning, which are accompanied by principles for the application of early warning at the national and local community levels and Principles for early warning systems at the international and regional levels.
9 Oct 1995
The Secretary General Report A/50/526 provides a review on early warning capacities of the United Nations system with regard to natural disasters. It states that early warning is a universally pursued and self-evident objective in determining disaster reduction strategies.

IDNDR requested further examination of new scientific and experimental concepts for accurate and timely short-term forecasting in order to give recommendations on the applicability and development of effective early warning systems in the context of international cooperation. Several expert working groups were studying different aspects of early warning.

(i) geological hazards, (ii) hydrometeorological hazards including drought, (iii) fire and other environmental hazards, (iv) technological hazards, (v) earth observation, (vi) national and local capabilities pertinent to the effective use of early warning.
14 Jun 1992
Agenda 21 was adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.
The IDNDR's Scientific and Technical Committee declared early warning as a programme target. All countries were encouraged to ensure the ready access to global, regional, national and local warning systems as part of their national development Targets to be attained by all countries by 2000, as part of their plans to achieve sustainable development, included ready access to global, regional, national and local warning systems and broad dissemination of warnings.
1990 – 2000
International Decade for Disaster Reduction commenced. Early warning was an important focus of its attention.
22 Dec 1989
Adoption of the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/Res/44/236 by which the 1990´s was proclaimed as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) in order to increase awareness of the importance of disaster reduction. Special attention was given to the establishment of early warning systems.