Disasters are not random and do not occur by accident. They are the convergence of hazards and vulnerable conditions. Disasters not only reveal underlying social, economic, political and environmental problems, but unfortunately contribute to worsening them, hindering economic and social progress. On the other hand, healthy ecosystem services that protect lives from natural hazards, support livelihoods and other crucial aspects of human well-being, as well as effective environmental management and environmental information, offer opportunities to reduce risk, decrease poverty and achieve sustainable development.
UNEP works to prevent and combat future environmental threats based on early risk assessments. The Division of Early Warning and Assessment facilitates access to relevant environmental data for decision-making through monitoring, analyses and reports on the state of the global and regional environment and trends. UNEP’s Disasters and Conflicts programme primarily focuses on longer-term warning of emerging environmental problems and threats and provides scientific and technical support concerning natural disasters.
In its post-crisis assessment and recovery work, UNEP’s Disasters and Conflicts programme focuses on countries that have been identified as vulnerable to natural hazards, as well as on human-made disaster events with an environmental component. In addition, UNEP seeks to reduce and/or avert future vulnerabilities by integrating environment and disaster risk reduction into recovery efforts.
For further information on UNEP’s Disaster Risk Reduction and related policy areas please see the Disaster Risk Reduction Policy Page