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UN Warns Of Natural Disasters Linked To Global Warming

The eye of the storm.
by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) Feb 07, 2007
Global warming is likely to result in more typhoons and hurricanes and more severe and frequent droughts, a United Nations agency said on Wednesday, underlining the need for preparatory action by governments. The UN's International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) secretariat said that typhoons and hurricanes were likely to increase as ocean temperatures rose, while decreased precipitation would lead to harsher droughts, which would hit Africa in particular.

The ISDR called on governments to speed up the implementation of the 2005 Hyogo Framework for Action to reduce the risk of disasters caused by climate-related hazards.

The Hyogo Framework is a ten-year plan adopted by 168 governments in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan in 2005 for action against floods, droughts and storms caused by extreme weather.

"Action is needed to reduce people's vulnerability to climate-related hazards and the Hyogo Framework provides a blueprint for taking such action now," said ISDR director Salvano Briceno.

He pointed to successful policies in Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Caribbean for surviving floods and tropical storms, such as building houses, schools and hospitals away from areas prone to landslides, and using flood-resistant construction materials.

In Bangladesh, communities have switched to raising ducks rather than chickens, as the former can float in the event of a flood while the latter drown, he noted.

"We face a serious challenge but if we utilise what we know already we have a greater chance to reduce disasters and avoid the worst-case scenario," Briceno said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
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Ireland Launches Rapid Response Unit For International Crises
Dublin (AFP) Feb 05, 2007
The Irish government said Monday it was setting up a volunteer rapid response corps of skilled professionals to help with earthquakes, floods and other humanitarian crises overseas. Individual experts from the 50-strong corps within the foreign ministry will be deployed at 72 hours notice for periods of up to three months to assist in the humanitarian response efforts of three of Ireland's United Nations partner agencies.

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