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.


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