|Natural Disasters and Vulnerability Analysis (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office, 1979, 53 p.)|
1. UNDRO, as the focal point in the United Nations system for activities and studies concerned with disasters, should in the implementation of the following recommendations and in other appropriate ways, further develop and extend its co-operation with UN agencies and with other bodies having responsibilities in the field of disaster management.
2. In view of the very wide potential application context of risk and vulnerability analysis, UNDRO should make fuller use of specialist advice in the formulation of projects in this field.
3. The report of this meeting should be regarded as an interim study of the problems of vulnerability and risk. UNDRO should circulate the report, inviting comment from UN member countries, specialized agencies and other interested bodies. At the same time UNDRO should arrange for detailed studies of vulnerability analysis leading to a comprehensive publication on the subject. The proposed new publication would cover such activities as the testing of the terminology proposed in Chapter I for all types of natural disasters, the preparation of a more detailed specification of the types of information required for all the different natural disasters, the calculation of specific risk and total risk for a number of examples of important natural hazards, assembly of examples of the use of information on natural hazard and vulnerability in the planning process, and so on. (The meeting was pleased to learn that plans for the proposed publication are included in the UNEP/UNDRO series of monographs on Disaster Prevention and Mitigation).
4. It is recommended that existing UNDRO publications be reviewed, where appropriate. The case study on composite vulnerability analysis in the Metro Manila Area should be revised in the light of the concepts developed at the present meeting. In this way consistent series of publications would be produced comprising:
a) a basic report on concepts and methodology,
b) a series of volumes on current knowledge of various aspects of vulnerability analysis and related problems,
c) case studies providing valuable guidance to all concerned.
5. Taking into account the recommendations and proposals of this meeting, studies of vulnerability analysis, such as that concerned with the Metro Manila Area, should be continued, preferably in the form of pilot projects involving the participation of local organizations and their staffs and co-ordinated by UNDRO. In addition, UNDRO in conjunction with UNCHS (Habitat) should promote studies of the impact of national disasters on human settlements.
6. UNDRO should initiate and collaborate in programmes aimed at a considerable expansion of the amount of data available on natural hazard, vulnerability and risk relating to all types of natural disasters and should organize a project for the development of a methodology on damage assessment.
7. UNDRO and UNCHS (Habitat) should jointly organize an emergency task force for immediate and appropriate response to on the occurrence of a natural disaster affecting human settlements.
The task force would evaluate the impact of a disaster on the settlement structure and would draw conclusions on physical planning and urban design patterns and the interrelated vulnerability. The task force would also advise local authorities on action to be taken urgently and would formulate proposals for technical assistance programmes.
8. UNDRO should organize training courses in developing countries on damage assessment, vulnerability analysis and risk assessment.
9. UNDRO should undertake periodical reviews of progress achieved in damage assessment, vulnerability and risk, and should try to ensure steady advance over the whole spectrum from hazard analysis to policy and planning decisions. Such reviews might usefully be carried out in conjunction with appropriate research institutions. In these reviews the main emphasis should gradually shift from hazard/vulnerability/risk definition and analysis to the development of planning techniques using knowledge and experience gained.
10. UNDRO, besides adopting the terms and definitions produced by the meeting, should endeavour to promote their general usage, at the same time inviting comments on the value of these terms and definitions in practical application.
11. UNDRO should support in all appropriate ways earthquake reconnaissance missions, such as those organized by UNESCO. Such missions would, inter alia, gather quantitative observational data, thereby helping to overcome the extreme paucity of such data relating particularly to the vulnerability of buildings and structures to earthquake ground movements.