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Name International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)
Logo Image:Logo-isdr.gif
Geographic Scope Global
Subject Focus Expertise Disaster Risk Reduction
Contact E-mail: isdr@un.org
URL http://www.unisdr.org/
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Recognising that natural hazards can threaten any one of us, the ISDR builds on partnerships and takes a global approach to disaster reduction, seeking to involve every individual and every community towards the goals of reducing the loss of lives, the socio-economic setbacks and the environmental damages caused by natural hazards. In order to achieve these goals, the ISDR promotes four objectives as tools towards reaching disaster reduction for all:

  • Increase public awareness to understand risk, vulnerability and disaster reduction globally - The more people, regional organizations, governments, non-governmental organizations, United Nations entities, representatives of civil society and others know about risk, vulnerability and how to manage the impacts of natural hazards, the more disaster reduction measures will be implemented in all sectors of society. Prevention begins with information.
  • Obtain commitment from public authorities to implement disaster reduction policies and actions - The more decision-makers at all levels commit themselves to disaster reduction policies and actions, the sooner communities vulnerable to natural disasters will benefit from applied disaster reduction policies and actions. This requires, in part, a grassroots approach whereby communities at risk are fully informed and participate in risk management initiatives.
  • Stimulate interdisciplinary and intersectoral partnerships, including the expansion of risk reduction networks - The more entities active in disaster reduction share information on their research and practices, the more useful the global body of knowledge and experience will progress. By sharing a common purpose and through collaborative efforts we can ensure a world that is more resilient to the impact of natural hazards.
  • Improve scientific knowledge about disaster reduction - The more we know about the causes and consequences of natural hazards and related technological and environmental disasters on societies, the more we are able to be better prepared to reduce risks. Bringing the scientific community and policy makers together allows them to contribute to and complement each other's work.

The ISDR aims at building disaster resilient communities by promoting increased awareness of the importance of disaster reduction as an integral component of sustainable development, with the goal of reducing human, social, economic and environmental losses due to natural hazards and related technological and environmental disasters.

Key Resources

Databases and Statistics

1.Terminology of Disaster Risk Reduction

  • ISDR Terminology of Disaster Risk Reduction provides basic definitions on disaster risk reduction in order to promote a common understanding on this subject, for use by the public, authorities and practitioners. The terms are based on a broad consideration of different international sources. This is a continuing effort to be reflected in future reviews, responding to a need expressed in several international venues, regional discussions and national commentary. Feedback from specialists and other practitioners to improve these definitions will be most welcome.

2. Disaster Statistics

  • ISDR Disaster Statistics (1991-2005) presents a set of selected data and statistics on natural disaster occurrence and their impact for the different periods : 1900-2005, 1970-2005 and 1991-2005. They are all based on the data available at the OFDA/CRED International Disasters Database (EM-DAT). The statistics are presented in three main categories: a) disaster occurrence; b) disaster impact and c) top 50 countries for economic damages. The types of natural disaster are segregated into three specific groups:
Hydro-meteorological disasters: including floods and wave surges, storms, droughts and related disasters (extreme temperatures and forest/scrub fires), and landslides & avalanches;
Geophysical disasters: divided into earthquakes & tsunamis and volcanic eruptions;
Biological disasters: covering epidemics and insect infestations

3. Country Information Database

General profiles developed in collaboration with UNEP-DEWA-GRID-Europe, providing national data, world maps with country identification and national maps with population density and main cities.
Official Contacts, Institutional contacts and National Platforms for disaster risk reduction.
Disaster Profiles with a set of charts and tables on disaster occurrence by hazard type and their impacts: percentage of killed and affected people and economic losses by country in the last century, based on data from OFDA/CRED.
Hazard Profiles developed in collaboration with UNEP-DEWA-GRID-Europe, offering the possibility to create on-line maps on natural hazardous events.
National Reports giving access to full-text official reports received from countries, and classified by the priorities of the Hyogo Framework.


Source:ISDR website
  • ISDR Biblio 3: Health, Disasters and Risk (2008) - Supports the theme of the 2008-2009 World Disaster Reduction Campaign: Hospitals Safe from Disasters, Reduce Risk, Protect Health Facilities, Save Lives. The biblio contains literature on health and disaster risk; disaster and emergency management; health facilities and services; environmental impact on health; climate change effects on health; mental health; mitigation and preparedness; public health; water and sanitation; and gender and health.
  • ISDR Biblio 2:Drought, Desertification and Water Scarcity (2007) - The planet we live on is abundantly supplied with water. Oceans cover 70 per cent of the earth’s surface and these contain 97 per cent of the total water supply on earth. However, this is all salt water. Only 2.5 per cent of the water supply on earth is fresh water. Water scarcity is an issue of major concern. It is causing mounting problems for human populations and ecosystems all over the globe (SI-EUR). ISDR-Biblio 2 gives an overview of literature covering drought, desertification and water scarcity. This bibliography is of course not exhaustive. A CD-Rom containing key documents and publications in PDF version complements this bibliography.
  • Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015:ISDR International Strategy for Disaster Reduction:Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters - The World Conference on Disaster Reduction was held from 18 to 22 January 2005 in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan, and adopted the present Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters (here after referred to as the “Framework for Action”). The Conference provided a unique opportunity to promote a strategic and systematic approach to reducing vulnerabilities1 and risks to hazards. It underscored the need for, and identified ways of, building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters...
  • Water:A focus of UN/ISDR Africa Programme in 2003 - The year 2003 is the International Year of Freshwater (IYFW), the aim of which is to raise awareness on the need to protect and manage freshwater, and to re-assert the UN’s Millennium Declaration Goal on Water which pledged “to halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of the world’s people unable to reach, or to afford, safe drinking water” and “to stop the unsustainable exploitation of water resources”...

Click Here for all ISDR publications and documents.

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External Resources


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