|IDNDR - Informs - Number 04, January - March, 1994 (IDNDR-DIRDN, 1994)|
· Development objectives must focus more on the absolute conditions of vulnerability and less on the relative conditions of wealth. Development objectives have traditionally focused on wealth, but for whom development gains are directed is often not addressed. Vulnerability reduction focuses on the assignment of development resources to certain segments of the population.
· Natural hazard management cannot be separated front environmental management. Degradation of ecosystems affect the capacity of naturally occurring elements to protect populations, and social and economic infrastructure from natural events: this degradation is a result of choices made by societies and must be identified in environmental profiles.
· Natural hazard management issues are part of green accounting. Green accounting attempts to record the income from stocks of natural resources. which should include hazard mitigation elements in ecosystems. Green accounts should also record the losses associated with the degradation of such stocks, the losses to social and economic infrastructure incurred from natural hazards, and the depreciated value of stocks due to natural hazard risks.
However. I believe that much remains to be done: evaluation of natural risks (estimations of severity frequence and location of natural phenomena that could cause disaster): studies of community vulnerability. be it structural. social. economic or cultural. estimation of losses; research that leads to a better understanding of the factors that contribute to natural phenomena prediction methods, the inclusion in curricula of material appropriate for children of all ages and their particular living situation, and social studies to identify human activities that exacerbates the impact of natural phenomena.
I feel that the Decade, in practice is giving preferential treatment to disaster of course is very important-but this has been developed in varying degrees over the years. with certain success in our countries.
I am unaware of IDNDR funds devoted to the activities cited above. I believe in the idea of National Committees, but they do not actually exist in most of our countries. We need suitable people who work at the national level. like a National High Level Council of IDNDR who have a specific responsibility can learn from expert; opinions have access to the highest levels of government. institutions. and have the moral and authorithy prestige to communicate with the population.
A letter from Dr. Alberto Giesecke, Member of the IDNDR