Earth Science News  





. Disaster Convention Warned On Urbanisation Risk

"Most of the new citizens in urban environments end up in various slums, more often than not areas most prone to the devastation caused by natural hazards such as earthquakes, flooding and tropical storms," Wijkman said.
by Staff Writers
Bangkok (AFP) Feb 02, 2006
Natural disasters will continue affecting the world's poorest people until decision makers address factors including rapid urbanisation and environmental destruction, a conference heard Thursday.

European parliamentiarian Anders Wijkman told an international convention on disaster prevention while the global proportion of people living in poverty had fallen in recent decades, they continued to live in risk-prone areas.

The earth's population had doubled in the past 40 years while people living in urban areas had increased five-fold, a trend that was continuing, Wijkam said.

"Most of the new citizens in urban environments end up in various slums, more often than not areas most prone to the devastation caused by natural hazards such as earthquakes, flooding and tropical storms," he said.

"By the year 2025, more than half the population in developing nations are expected to live in urban areas, and most will reside in areas at high risk."

The indiscriminate logging of forests, soil erosion and diking wetlands may well lead to future natural disasters because natural protection such as water retention and barriers against storms are removed, he said.

"The irony is that while disasters are triggered by natural phenonema, a healthy natural environment is very often the best possible protection against storms, heavy rains or droughts turning into disasters.

"The sad fact is that so relatively few decisions-makers are conscious about this."

Decision makers, from politicians to policy-makers to members of humanitarian organisations, needed to be made aware that most disasters are rooted in development failures, he added.

"The separation of development activities from humanitarian operations have to be reconsidered," Wijkman said.

"Risk reduction must be seen as a development concern and not, which is the case today, as primarily a humanitarian concern."

Suvit Yodmani of the Bangkok-based Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre said catastrophic disasters in the past two years including the Indian Ocean tsunami and several earthquakes meant urgent action was needed.

"We need to find ways to maintain this high level of political attention and leadership on the subject of disaster reduction, not easy when there are other competing development priorities," Suvit said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
-

Tsunami Victims' Rights Abused?
United Nations (UPI) Feb 01, 2006
A new report examining post-tsunami reconstruction chides the international community for not doing enough and accuses several Southeast Asian governments of contributing to human rights abuses and letting discrimination stand in the way of helping survivors.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Tsunami Victims' Rights Abused?
  • Disaster Convention Warned On Urbanisation Risk
  • NATO Ends Quake Relief Operations In Pakistan
  • Workshop On Telemedicine For Africa

  • World's Temperature Second Highest On Record In 2005: Japan
  • Sat Portrait Of Global Plant Growth Will Aid Climate Research
  • Two New Lakes Found Beneath Antarctic Ice Sheet
  • Polar Ice Sheets Could Start To Melt This Century

  • MSG-2 First Images
  • EADS Astrium To Supply Algeria's ALSAT-2 Optical Observation System
  • Daichi Returns To Normal Operation Conditions, Completes Critical Phase
  • Intersat Provides DigitalGlobe Imagery to Brazilian Telecommunications Company

  • New Material Brings Hydrogen Fuel, Cheaper Petrochemicals Closer
  • China To Produce Gas From Disputed Field Soon
  • Biofuels Can Pick Up Oil's Slack
  • Scepticism Over Bush's Call For Dramatic Cut In Mideast Oil Imports

  • Hong Kong Bird Flu Finds Raise New Fears About China Reporting
  • In Indonesia, 2 More Flu Deaths Suspected
  • Climate Scientists Predict Malaria Epidemics In Advance
  • Bird Flu Strain Found In Hong Kong Same As In China Outbreak

  • Clay Major Contributor To Oxygen That Enabled Early Animal Life
  • Hot-Spring Bacteria Flip A Metabolic Switch
  • Secrets Of The Sea Yield Stronger Artificial Bone
  • Wildlife Experts Meet In India To Save Vultures From Extinction

  • Liberian-Flagged Ship Suspected Of Deadly Oil Slick Off Estonia
  • Pesticide Combinations Imperil Frogs
  • Chronic Oil Pollution Takes Toll On Seabirds Along SAmerican Coast
  • French Nuclear Watchdog Gives Thumbs-Up To Deep Waste Burial

  • Study Suggests Why Neanderthals Vanished
  • New Technique Puts Brain-Imaging Research On Its Head
  • New Maps Reveal True Extent Of Human Footprint On Earth
  • Distinct Brain Regions Specialized For Faces And Bodies

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement