Global perspective Human stories


UN Photo/Mark Garten (file)

SDGs won’t be reached without curbing damaging disaster effects

It will be impossible to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) unless the world does more to curb the damaging effects of natural and other disasters.

That’s the firm view of the man leading the UN Disaster Risk Reduction effort, UNISDR, Robert Glasser.

The UNISDR chief is adamant that there’s a connection also between climate change and the kind of hurricane activity that saw whole island economies in the Caribbean wiped out in recent weeks.

UN Photo/Mark Garten

Disaster protection needn’t cost billions: UN expert

Natural disasters are a major brake on development but low-cost initiatives can counter the threat they pose.

That’s according to senior UN official Robert Glasser, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

His message comes ahead of the Fourth Central American Forum on Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management (PCGIR) in Panama beginning on Thursday.

UN News/Matthew Wells

“Inseparable” man and dog rescue team are UN conference celebrities

The “inseparable” rescue team of Kit Huffer and his canine companion Baillie, have become the conference celebrity couple everyone wants to meet in Montreal this week.

The Canadian search-and-rescue duo have been attending the UNISDR-organized Fifth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, which ended on Thursday with agreement over a historic Regional Action Plan.


Progress on reducing disaster risk “but not nearly enough”

There’s been “enormous progress” in reducing the risks associated with disasters throughout the world “but not nearly enough”.

That’s the passionate view of Robert Glasser, UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, and head of the UN agency dedicated to the issue, UNISDR.

He was speaking on the opening day of the Fifth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, which is taking place in Montreal, Canada.

UNICEF/Santiago Arcos

Disaster Risk Reduction plan takes centre stage in Montreal

A regional action plan for the Americas to reduce the risks posed by disaster will be at the top of the agenda in the Canadian city of Montreal this week, when a UN-led conference gets underway.

What’s officially known as the Fifth Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas begins on Tuesday, with more than 1,000 delegates due to attend, including ministers, policy makers, experts and civil society representatives from across the continent.

UN Photo/Logan Abassi

Haiti radio drama teaches people how to stay alive during disasters

A popular UN-backed radio drama series is teaching people in Haiti how to stay alive when disasters hit, the producer of the show, Christina Guerin, has said.

While Haiti was still recovering from a devastating earthquake that ravaged the island nation in 2010, Hurricane Matthew caused further deadly destruction in October last year.

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has been supporting the “Tim Tim” drama series with an aim to inform and educate people on disaster prevention.


Political support to disaster risk reduction needs “higher level of attention”

Political support for preventing disasters needs a “higher level of attention” during 2017, according to the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in the Americas.

A change in government often means countries stop prioritizing prevention policies, Ricardo Mena warned.

The Americas region is highly susceptible to natural disasters. Earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic activity, flooding and drought have all taken their toll on human life in recent years.

UNICEF/UN017164/Castellano. (file photo)

Earthquakes, tsunamis are “biggest killers” but mask climate threat

Of all the natural disasters that can befall nations, earthquakes and tsunamis are the biggest killers, the UN has said.

In a new report, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) also warns that climate-related deaths linked to events such as storms and heatwaves are the next most dangerous threat.

The findings coincide with the International Day for Disaster Reduction, held every year on 13 October.

Daniel Dickinson has more.