Displaying 1-10 of 10 key documents
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: 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: The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) The Earth Institute at Columbia University | 2011
This report highlights advances in the use of climate information to predict and prepare for climate-related natural disasters. It draws together 17 case studies that capture the current state of knowledge within the humanitarian community, and identifies research innovations. It presents the challenges and opportunities that disaster risk managers face in using climate science with a three step approach: indentifying the problem, developing tools, and taking action.
The results show that effective partnerships are crucial and can help to build the information needed for effective response. They also suggest how the use of this information can be improved — for example by focusing on immediate opportunities for action in countries and regions more likely to benefit. Recommendations also include developing realistic expectations, in order to maintain trust in the information and those who provide it, and encouraging national meteorological services to tailor their information to the problem at hand.
Source: ActionAid | 2010
This report outlines the local, practical experiences and lessons learned from the action research project Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCA-DRR). The goal of the project was to help local people analyse their own vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and work collaboratively to explore better adaptation practices.
It ran from 2008 to 2010 in three areas of rural Bangladesh where natural hazards occur frequently: Sirajganj on the Jamuna River, which is vulnerable to floods; Naogaon in the north-west, vulnerable to drought; and Patuakhali on the coast, which is vulnerable to cyclones, sea-level rise and salinity intrusion.
The report includes an analysis of the strengths and weakness of activities that mobilise local communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. It concludes with several recommendations for future policy and implementation, and highlights that local people are best placed to understand changes in their environment.
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development | February 2010
This report analyses the lending activities of 22 microfinance institutions in Bangladesh and Nepal to assess the extent to which microfinancing can help the poor adapt to climate change. The authors find that microfinance is promoting some adaptation strategies such as crop diversification, better access to irrigation, and improved sanitation to reduce the risk of waterborne diseases. But they suggest that it could play a greater role in disaster preparedness and use of early warning systems.
Source: UN Economic Commission for Africa | April 2005
This report, prepared for the UN Economic Commission for Africa, reviews the status and prospects for remote sensing in Africa.
The authors argue that a real and immediate need exists for real-time remote sensing data to improve early warning, vulnerability assessment, mitigation, response and relief of disasters. This means, they say, supporting African countries to acquire data — including launching their own satellites, as well as improving bandwidth infrastructure and building capacity for analysing and processing geoinformation.
The authors highlight the continent's limited connectivity as a particularly challenging hurdle to overcome, as well as a lack of training and expertise in remote sensing. They briefly outline international donors' efforts to improve the situation and suggest improving collaboration and networking.
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory | March 2003
This report, written by solid-Earth scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, sets out the requirements for delivering high-accuracy, high-resolution surface deformation data for earthquake studies.
The authors build on recommendations made by NASA's Solid Earth Science Working Group. They propose a constellation of satellites for interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) — a technique based on combining two or more radar images in a way that can measure ground motion on a centimetre scale.
A constellation of InSAR satellites could provide earthquake prediction data, suggest the authors. The GESS report defines a 20-year roadmap for earthquake forecasting and outlines the measurement requirements, as defined by scientists and disaster managers.
Source: CEOS | 2008
This report, prepared by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), presents the main capabilities of satellite systems and their applications to detect, monitor and adapt to climate change, alongside plans for future relevant satellite missions.
The report is divided into three parts. The first discusses the Earth's changing climate, emphasising the role of satellite imagery in monitoring this. The second presents a number of case studies to illustrate how earth observing satellites provide data to improve our understanding of climate change, including charting sea-level rise to better cope with flooding.
The final part summarises satellite capabilities with a description of the different satellite missions and instruments as well as their applications, such as to improve weather forecasting or provide damage assessment associated with natural disasters.
Source: Institute of Development Studies | 2007
This report by the Institute for Development Studies details the results of a pilot project in Bangladesh aimed at developing a screening process for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to identify and manage climate change impacts on development investments.
The authors highlight predictions that climate change in Bangladesh may lead to stronger cyclones, increased flooding during the monsoon rains and exacerbated drought in the dry season.
They suggest that raising roads and improving drainage could be a cost-efficient way to reduce the impact. Other options recommended for managing risks include paying greater attention to infrastructure design in health, education and private sector development programmes; and to non-structural measures such as livelihood diversification, education and training about disaster risks and adaptation, and improved research and monitoring.
The authors conclude that DFID should support dialogue on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, integrate priorities identified by the Bangladeshi government, increase emphasis for assistance on urban areas, and stimulate a multi-donor dialogue about water issues.