|Disaster Mitigation - 2nd Edition (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - Disaster Management Training Programme - United Nations Development Programme , 1994, 64 p.)|
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United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs
Palais des Nations
UNDRO, the predecesor to UN DHA, was established in 1971 to mobilize and coordinate international emergency relief to areas struck by disaster. In 1991 it was reorganized as the Geneva office of the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs. This office is also charged with promoting disaster preparedness and prevention measures in nations and regions at risk. The main focus of its activities in mitigation (disaster prevention and preparedness) is to promote the study of risks and their reduction as well as emergency planning for natural disasters through such means as collection and dissemination of information on relevant scientific and technological developments. Divisions in DHA-Geneva consist of the Relief Co-ordination Branch, the Disaster Mitigation Branch which is part of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR), and the Information and Disaster Data Systems Management.
Technical assistance in disaster mitigation
UN DHA is encouraging national authorities to make disaster preparedness an integral part of national planning. Technical assistance is provided to countries on request. Assistance in mitigation planning has been provided to
Saudi Arabia and Somalia
Tunisia and others.
Past projects in disaster mitigation
Activities in cooperation with regional inter-government organizations include:
1986 establishment and subsequent development of a regional training center for Disaster Management at the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok
Training activities for the Pan Caribbean Project on disaster mitigation
National training projects in Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Nepal etc.
Mediterranean Seismic Risk Project
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
7, place de Fontenoy
UNESCO has been engaged since 1960 in the assessment and mitigation of risks from natural hazards of geological origin (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and landslides) and contributes to the study of hazards of hydrometeorological origin (storms, floods, prolonged droughts, desertification and avalanches). UNESCO undertakes a Natural Hazards subprogram in the science sector of its activities within which most of its work on disaster mitigation is carried out. Other associated work, such as the protection of educational buildings and of cultural monuments is implemented through its Educational and Cultural Sectors. The relatively small budget available to the Natural Hazards subprogram has been successful in mobilizing extra budgetary operational projects in most parts of the world. UNESCO became, in 1965, the organization through which international cooperation in tsunami warning was formally initiated, and set up the International Tsunami Information Center, based in Honolulu.
Intergovernmental Meetings on Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (1964), Assessment and Mitigation of Earthquake Risk (1976) which began much of the research and application of earthquake protection.
Establishment of specialized centers
International Seismological Center, United Kingdom
Regional Seismological Center for South America (CERESIS) Peru, 1968
International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering, Japan, 1963
Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology, Yugoslavia, 1965
Initiation of regional project initiatives
Regional Seismological Network in Southeast Asia, 1973
Earthquake Risk Reduction in Balkan Region 1970-76, 1980-84, 1988-
Program for Assessment and Mitigation of Earthquake Risk in the Arab Region (PAMERAR)
National project initiatives
Flood Forecasting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Andes Valleys and Cuzco area, Peru
National Seismological Observatory Network, Romania 1979
Strong-Motion Telemetry Network in Beijing Region, China 1981
Modernization and Reinforcement of Seismological Services, Vietnam, 1987
Seismic Microzonation Study in El Asnam region, Algeria 1983
Protection & preservation of cultural heritage
Post disaster missions to many countries to advise on repair and future protection, including floods in Florence and land subsidence in Venice, Italy, Restoration of earthquake damaged monuments, Burma 1981, Protection against flooding of Moenjadoro, Pakistan 1974
Studies and publications
Cause and Prevention of landslides and publication of guidelines on landslides hazards zonation
World Catalogue of Very Large Floods
Flood Flow Computation
United Nations Center for Human Settlements
PO Box 30030
UNHCS (Habitat) is the organization within the United Nations system charged with the specific responsibility of promoting human settlements development world-wide through the execution of human settlements technical cooperation projects. Since its establishment in 1978, UNHCS has undertaken a number of pre and post disaster mitigation projects. Of the approximately 250 projects in over 100 countries currently being supported by Habitat, over 30 of them focus on disaster mitigation in human settlements or incorporate disaster-mitigation aspects in development projects.
Pre- and post-disaster planning
The impacts of natural and man-made disasters on human settlements can be reduced to a large extent through appropriate pre-disaster and post-disaster planning. UNHCS (Habitat) had broad experience in the design and implementation of disaster-mitigation programs concerned with a variety of the most common natural disasters which affect human settlements - both their built and natural environments. Within the framework of these programs UNHCS (Habitat) has worked closely with national institutions to develop innovative methodologies of hazard and vulnerability analysis to determine risk levels and to assist in the preparation and implementation of plans to attenuate the effects of such events in the future. Designs for more resistant structures, as well as comprehensive strategies for post-disaster reconstruction have been developed in a number of countries. UNHCS (Habitat) is also in the forefront of promoting the incorporation of natural-disaster mitigation concepts in urban planning and management.
Earthquake reconstruction advisory mission, Philippines, 1990
Reconstruction and earthquake mitigation, Iran, 1990
Reconstruction of flood damaged areas, Punjab, Pakistan, 1990
Earthquake Reconstruction and rehabilitation programs, Nepal, 1988
Reconstruction of rural housing after floods, Bangladesh, 1988
Seismic Mitigation in the planning of the historic center of Mexico City, 1985
Hurricane rehabilitation and disaster-prevention program, Turks and Cacos Islands, 1985
Disaster prevention and rehabilitation after typhoon, Vietnam, 1985
Post-earthquake rural housing, Yemen, 1982
Reconstruction of Lamu, Kenya after fire, 1982
Hurricane-resistant housing, Domenica, 1980
Reconstruction of human settlements in Algeria, 1980
Physical development plan and master plans for region of Montenegro, Yugoslavia, 1979
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
Vienna International Center
UNIDO was established in 1967 to promote and accelerate industrialization in developing countries. UNIDO exists to promote international cooperation in industrialization and to provide technical assistance at the request of governments, to help acquire practical know-how in a broad range of industrial activities.
UNIDO has been involved in the field of disaster mitigation since 1979 within the overall context of promotion and strengthening of the construction industry, and has a mandate for the protection of industrial facilities in hazard-prone areas and in promoting industrial safety to reduce technological hazards to the population.
UNIDO provides technical assistance in the reconstruction and recovery following major disasters, including the rehabilitation of industrial sectors, revitalization of building material manufacture and the construction industry for reconstruction. Emergency Industrial assistance program of UNIDO includes activity after disasters in Jamaica, Mexico, Sudan, Bangladesh and Soviet Armenia.
UNIDO coordinates a program aimed at reducing the risks of natural disasters by increasing the awareness and know-how of government agencies and research institutions of participating countries in construction techniques for increasing the structural resistance of buildings to earthquakes, cyclones and floods and by strengthening their capability to formulate and implement policies and practical measures aimed at mitigating natural disasters.
Building Construction Under Seismic Conditions in the Balkan Regions, including Seismic Design Codes, Design and Construction of a range of building types and Repair and Strengthening of buildings, 1979
A Seismic Construction Strengthening and Repair of Buildings, Mexico 1985
Rubber Base Isolation for Protecting Buildings from the Effect of Earthquakes, Malaysia, 1982
Interregional Demonstration on Base Isolation for Seismic Construction USA, 1986
Participation in Seismic Risk Reduction in the Mediterranean Region, 1987
Regional Policy Seminar on Natural Disaster Resistant Housing, Beijing, China 1990
United Nations Environmental Program
P.O. Box 30552
UNEP has been described as the environmental conscience of the UN system. As such its primary function is not to do, but to motivate and inspire, to raise the level of environmental action and awareness on all levels of society, worldwide and to coordinate the environmental work of all the UN's organizations and agencies. UNEP's main tool within the UN system is the System-wide Medium-term Environmental Program (SWMTEP) - a six-year plan for action across the board of United Nations activities. SWMTEP gives the UN system the chance to streamline or expand existing programs and to identify what still needs to be done. The plan is coordinated through the UN Administrative Committee on Coordination. During 1988, UNEP cooperated on 63 projects with other UN agencies and bodies and on 123 projects with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
Environmental concerns of UNEP
The ozone layer
Waste and waste disposal
Water and water supply
Industry and industrial pollution
Energy efficiency and pollution
Settlements, health and population expansion