Disaster Risk Reduction & Related Topics

Disaster Risk Reduction and related topics at SDC

Disaster Risk Reduction: a decisive step towards sustainable development

Development gains can be lost by a wide spectrum of hazards, being natural, geopolitical, and economical. These shocks and stresses on a system (a nation, community, individual) cause the expansion of poverty.

The world is facing an unprecedented scale of disasters. The number of reported natural disasters including droughts, floods, windstorms and earthquakes has tripled in the past few decades. Disasters caused by natural hazards such as floods, wind storms, droughts, landslides, earthquakes left 2.9 billion people affected, 1.2 million killed between 2000 and 2012 (UNISDR). Over the same period, the number of affected persons has been even greater due to the following reasons:

  • Demographic pressure leading to rapid urbanization, use of marginal grounds, and unplanned settlements, increasing people's vulnerability and exposure to natural hazards.
  • Factors related to climate change, linked to more frequent and more intense natural processes and extreme weather events, such as droughts, storms and heavy rainfall. The number of disasters will augment as global warming generates more severe weather-related events.
  • Environmental degradation caused by the over-exploitation of natural resources, such as deforestation, leading to an increase in disaster risks.


For further details please also see the tab that links to "Disaster Impact on Development".

While events are inevitable, their impact on human and economic losses and on the number of people affected can be limited by building resilience of a system to these various shocks and stresses.

Disaster Risk Reduction Mechanism (SDC follows UNISDR terminology):

The basis for building disaster resilience is to assess hazards and risks.

The various mechanisms exist to reduce risks of disasters caused by natural hazards:

  • Prevention (avoid hazards and hazardous zones);
  • Mitigation (reduce effects of hazard or reduce vulnerability of element at risk);
  • Preparedness and response (get prepared and respond to damage);
  • Recovery (transfer risks for rehabilitation and reconstruction).


The reduction of risks depends on the mix of measures.


Do you want to test your capacity to reduce risks of disasters? Let's meet on www.stopdisastersgame.org 



For further readings on related topics please find the following recommended links:






Building Resilience

Special Report on Extreme Events and Disasters (SREX)