Displaying 1-20 of 940 key documents
Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
This document is one of the outcomes of the Third International Conference on Early Warning in 2006, held in Bonn, Germany. It presents a series of practical checklists that cover elements, actions and good practices to assist in developing, evaluating or refining early warning systems. It is presented as a non-technical reference tool rather than an extensive 'how-to' list for designing early warning systems. The document also provides background information on early warning, which includes an overview of four key themes (risk knowledge, monitoring and warning service, communication, response capability), as well as cross-cutting issues such as governance and involvement of local communities. It also outlines the roles of key actors (such as local governments and international bodies) within each theme,, without discussing any overlap of responsibilities and how they relate to the different elements of early warning systems.
Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
This document presents a collection of selected papers produced for and discussed at the Second International Conference on Early Warning, in Bonn, Germany, in 2003, and four regional conferences in Africa, Asia/Pacific, America and Europe. The conferences focused on integrating early warning into sustainable development policy. The document notes the failure of scientists, policymakers, local authorities and other relevant actors to use early warning systems efficiently, and makes suggestions for improvement. It highlights challenges, lessons learnt and possible trajectories for further development of early warning systems, and outlines key steps towards strengthening frameworks, finding resources, and designating responsibilities. Key areas for action include improving data collection, ensuring that warning systems focus on people and achieve gender balance, and creating platforms for early warning dialogue.
Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies | 2009
The 2009 edition of the World Disasters Report, published annually by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, focuses on early warning systems and the potential for such systems to inform early action as crucial aspects of disaster risk reduction.
The report stresses the need to recognise early warning not just as a technology, but as a system; it also stresses the need for a "people-centred" approach to these systems. This approach suggests that communities at risk of disaster have high levels of understanding of the threats to their own survival, and knowledge about social networks that offer information-sharing potential. The report argues that scientific and other institutions must provide communities with the right support to strengthen this knowledge and build resilience.
Recommendations and case studies detail the benefits and opportunities for communities to get involved at different stages of the early warning system. In addition to outlining the people-centred approach, the report explores its relevance to climate change and food insecurity. Annexes in the report include statistics on disaster patterns over the last 20 years, as well as progress in implementing risk-reduction measures.
Source: UN Environment Programme | 2012
This report provides an inventory of existing early warning systems, organised according to the type of environmental threat. It covers a range of hazard types — differentiating between rapid- and slow-onset events — and spans developing as well as developed nations.
The report introduces basic concepts behind early warning systems, including the policy and operational aspects; looks at the role of earth observation in these systems; describes existing systems for several hazards; and presents gaps that remain in spite of improvements in scientific knowledge and technology, future perspectives and a global multi-hazard approach to early warning.
It concludes with recommendations for strengthening the capacity for early warning, with specific reference to developing regions. Suggestions include expanding the geographical coverage of systems, improving prediction capabilities, developing warning infrastructures and promoting education programmes on disaster preparedness.
Source: Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe | 2009
This publication discusses the importance of considering gender differences in the design, implementation and life-cycle of early warning systems, as part of a series of briefs aimed at practitioners. It introduces the terminology and concepts behind gender and early warning systems, illustrates how women are excluded from key elements of these systems, and briefly outlines steps towards integrating gender issues.
The publication acknowledges that although women are one of the major vulnerable groups affected by disasters, they are unrepresented in the coordination of early warning systems, while gender is still often ignored in efforts aimed at disaster preparedness. It also acknowledges that women do not just represent vulnerability, but provide opportunities for enhancing early warning systems through social ties and local knowledge.
Source: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A | 2006
This paper reviews the main elements and development of early warning systems, and calls for a global, comprehensive and people-centred system for all hazards and all countries. It stresses the need for a strong focus on the people exposed to risk, as well as a systems approach that incorporates all relevant factors contributing to that risk — whether they arise from natural hazards, social vulnerabilities, or other processes such as migration or development practices.
The paper highlights two disaster reduction frameworks — the Hyogo Framework and the UN International Strategy on Disaster Reduction — which it says are "critically important" for implementing better early warning systems. It concludes by emphasising that despite scientific and technical advances, putting them into practice effectively will require sound institutional mechanisms and multidisciplinary science.
Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction | 2006
This report synthesises the findings of a global survey that identifies gaps in early warning systems, which was carried out by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) in collaboration with a multi-party working group.
It comments on mixed progress made in each of the UNISDR's four elements of early warning systems: risk knowledge; monitoring and warning service; dissemination and communication; and response capability. The report highlights areas where considerable advances have been made — for example in developing the knowledge and tools required to assess risks and communicate predictions and warnings — as well as where significant inadequacies still exist, such as basic equipment and skills.
The report also discusses challenges that need to be overcome for each of the above elements of early warning systems. It identifies cross-cutting issues, including insufficient coordination and a lack of participatory approaches, and concludes with a summary of recommendations for the next steps towards creating a comprehensive global early warning system for all natural hazards.
Source: UN International Strategy on Disaster Reduction, Kyoto University, European Union
This document aims to build awareness for indigenous knowledge as an effective tool for reducing risk from natural hazards including earthquakes, cyclones (typhoons) and droughts.
It presents a collection of 18 indigenous practices developed by communities in the Asia-Pacific region. These include earthquake-safe traditional house construction practices in Kashmir, soil and water conservation through bamboo plantation in Assam, and village tank cascade systems for drought mitigation in Sri Lanka.
The collection also provides an overview of the types of indigenous knowledge that can exist in the context of disaster preparedness and early warning, and how integration with scientific practices can lead to better outcomes.
Source: Humanitarian Futures Programme | May 2010
This paper discusses how forecasters and risk managers can build common ground by designing 'smart' forecast‐based decisions as well as simple decision‐based forecasts. The aim is to bridge the gap between science and the humanitarian sector, and help translate early warning into early action.
It details successful examples of collaboration between forecasters and the risk managers. These include the 2008 emergency appeal, launched by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) West and Central Africa Zone, to prepare for flooding based on a seasonal rainfall forecast.
The paper describes how unlike previous years, where forecasts had been greeted with confusion, a partnership between the IFRC and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society allowed the flood forecast and accompanying uncertainty to be communicated effectively to the humanitarian policymakers, enabling them to act in time.
It proposes a framework based on four key attributes of science-based forecasts: the likely location of the event, its magnitude, its lead time (how far into the future it is likely to occur) and, its probability. These are then linked, respectively, to vulnerability, expected loss, range of plausible actions and whether or not to act.
PreventionWeb is a gateway to information on disaster management, with a special focus on disaster risk reduction and preparedness.
Progress reports on countries' efforts towards the Hyogo Framework for Action can be found here, as well as news and feature articles.
There are also training and educational materials; hazard profiles and maps; and publications on emerging themes. Information is organised by hazard type, theme, and country or region.
Source: Maria Socorro I. Diokno
This chapter of the Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) Development Toolkit — a document that aims to help address the role of human rights in development — looks at the full spectrum of the rights invoked by HRBA in relation to development, and fleshes out their concrete implications on the work that development planners undertake.
It also examines how human rights-based approaches to development planning operate in regional and national settings, and maps the multiple factors that affect the implementation of HRBA in development.
It includes diagrams that illustrate the pathway of each particular human right within the developmental infrastructure, with a view to revealing the deep social impacts found at each step of the pathway. The chapter illustrates how rights are not simply abstract principles, but normative mechanisms with profound effects on the way that development is practised on the ground.
Source: UNESCO Division of Human Rights, Philosophy and Democracy | 2011
This report offers the most up-to-date and rigorous compendium of every existing human rights-based international and regional instrument and framework.
Published annually, the report also provides key statistics and comparative international analysis of evolving human rights standards and implementation of key rights-based mechanisms. It offers data on how rights-based instruments have impacted particular social and cultural groups (including women, refugees, and children with disabilities). It also provides scope for reflection on how the vast array of rights-based instruments implicitly and explicitly engage with science, technology, and development issues.
The report is divided into three sections. The first looks at universal instruments, the second regional, and the third consists of a copy of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
Source: Asian Institute of Technology Working Group
This document builds on the idea that security constitutes a basic human right, and examines how technological advances can potentially impinge on this right while also addressing an imbalance of global security, technology, and power.
The article insists on the social production of science and technology, and makes the case for creating an alternative technological order that would re-orient the production of science and technology so it is socially driven and engages directly with human vulnerability. The authors argue that this would serve to re-entrench the basic right to security and create new modes of empowerment through the democratisation of technology.
Source: World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) | 2010
This document examines ethical and human rights-based approaches to climate change and climate-related vulnerability. It was published by the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), an independent expert advisory committee tasked with guiding the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) in its implementation of ethical frameworks in science, technology and development.
In particular, the report focuses on ethical issues brought about by climate change, and discusses both general and specific principles that could be adopted to respond to these issues.
These include protecting human rights; providing equitable access to medical, scientific and technological developments, including the rapid sharing of knowledge about such developments and the sharing of benefits, with particular attention to the needs of developing countries; holding polluters accountable for the cost of their pollution; and ensuring that development is sustainable.
Source: International Council on Human Rights Policy | 2011
This report, published by the International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) outlines how technology transfer, climate change, and human rights-based approaches explicitly come together. It focuses on how human rights-based approaches to technology transfer bear on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Twenty years' after the signing of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Rio in 1992, technology transfer is still a contentious term and an unclear goal for policy. The report aims to address this by examining the human rights issues that emerge — at both the theoretical and political level — in relation to technology transfer. It also examines how technology transfer can be used to secure basic human rights and set rights-based standards that can improve the living conditions of those most vulnerable to climate change.
The report suggests that human rights can provide a platform for agreement that can inform technology policy and help move it forward by prioritising needs and objectives. It concludes with relevant recommendations for governments, civil society organisations and UN bodies.
Source: UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) | 2009
This resolution, drafted by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), aims to mainstream global attempts to facilitate scientific innovation for sustainable development.
Its importance lies in engaging with the vast array of rights-based science and technology issues — including research systems, knowledge divides and cyber-security — and its explicit attempts to ground scientific and technological advance within the framework for achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goals.
It presents a series of recommendations for consideration by national governments, the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development, and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). These include mainstreaming science and technology promotion and investment in governments' national development plans; providing suitable working conditions for scientific talent, particularly women and young graduates, to prevent brain drain; identifying critical gaps in countries' innovation systems; and developing a clearing house for common development challenges that can be addressed through scientific, technological and innovation-related issues.
Source: IISD | June 2012
This paper gives an overview of the financing needs of smallholder farmers, their current sources of financing, and ways to deliver these funds to help them achieve the triple dividends of enhanced food security, increased resilience to climate change, and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. It offers recommendations for mobilising investment to enable further progress towards this goal.
The authors argue that there is no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution, and suggest that adaptation funds and the private sector could be a source of additional support, in the absence of public sector financing for agriculture or a carbon market for smallholders. They conclude with recommendations for policymakers, such as building on prior experience and knowledge, and creating an enabling environment for climate-smart agricultural investment.
Source: UNESCO International Hydrological Programme | July 2012
This collection of papers was presented at a conference on linkages between climate change, water, conflict and migration, held in September 2011 at The Hague, in the Netherlands, where the discussion focused on: capacity building and resilience in climate hotspots; conflict prevention; and a legal framework to protect environmental migrants.
The publication includes a conference summary and a background document providing an overview of how climate change, water stress and environmental problems are increasingly seen as major threats to human security. Also included are papers that explore connections between these issues from the perspective of vulnerability; put forward a research and capacity-building agenda for climate-induced migrations; and review current literature, evidence and implications for policymaking on the environment, climate change and human displacement.
This report gives an overview and analysis of early warning technologies and capacities in the developing world, including the basic concepts of early warning systems and the role of earth observation for disasters and the environment. While focusing on existing systems, it also addresses gaps in monitoring, communication and response that need to be filled to improve timely decision-making for slow-onset emergencies.
The authors highlight that much more needs to be done before a global multi-hazard system can be developed. Recommendations for filling operation gaps include: improving existing technologies and systems; building infrastructure and capacities in developing countries most at risk; and bridging science and decision making.
This report presents the results of a study of six African agricultural carbon projects and identifies institutional innovations — such as financial management and carbon monitoring systems — that have helped make them successful. It also puts forward emerging research questions and discusses the future of the project.
The study found that direct carbon payments to farmers were low, but non-cash benefits were received after careful management. The projects successfully established systems for financial management, agricultural extension, and carbon monitoring, using a complex set of partnerships. They also found that mechanisms for settling conflict over land and benefits were crucial, as were methods for managing power dynamics to ensure equitable decision-making and participation.