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Emerging issues and new risk patterns: what is needed for identifying risk? Pascal Peduzzi, UNEP Symposium on Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems for Integrated.

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Presentation on theme: "Emerging issues and new risk patterns: what is needed for identifying risk? Pascal Peduzzi, UNEP Symposium on Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems for Integrated."— Presentation transcript:

1 Emerging issues and new risk patterns: what is needed for identifying risk? Pascal Peduzzi, UNEP Symposium on Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems for Integrated Disaster Risk Management May 2006, WMO Geneva, Switzerland

2 Risk = Hazard x Element exposed x Vulnerability* * UNDRO (1979), Natural Disasters and Vulnerability Analysis in Report of Expert Group Meeting Risk evaluation Expected Nb people killed, economical losses Frequency and magnitude of the hazards Population, infrastructures, … other element in the exposed areas Degree of fragility of the exposed elements [0;1] Physical Exposure

3 UNEP - PREVIEW database Used for the UNDP Disaster Risk Index and for the Hotspots study (cyclones/volcanoes) PREVIEW: Cyclones, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, forest fires, drought.

4 Modellisation of past tropical cyclones ( ) Cyclone’s Direction

5 From frequency to exposuresique Please visit to see and access data on earthquakes, volcanoes, drought, forest fires, floods, cyclones, tsunami.

6 Vulnrability and development Result from the DRI analysis

7 How can risk increase ? Hazard (new hazard, or higher frequency or strength) Element exposedVulnerability Risk Hazard Vulnerability Element exposed

8 A Growing population The world population reaches 6.4 billions (2004) +80 millions /year, (equ. to the population of an additional country the size of Germany or Vietnam) In 2050 we will be at least 9 billions

9 Urban population (%) Sources: UNEP/GEO 2004 Urban world population Sources: UNEP/GEO % of urban population is living in slums NASA, DSMP Homo Sapiens: an urban species

10 Mexico city  1973 (9 millions inhabitants)  1986 (14 millions)  2000 (20 millions) On 19 sept an earthquake stroke Mexico killing 9500 and causing more than 4 billions US$ damages (Em-Dat). At that time Mexico had around 14 millions inhab.

11 Increasing climatic disasters? Data sources, OFDA/CRED, EM-DAT The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database, P.Peduzzi, Environment & Poverty Times, UNEP, 2005

12 Glacier are losing between 0.2 and 1 m of thickness every year. Aletsch glacier between 1905 and 2005 (Switzerland) 1/6 of world population depends on glaciers for water supply. Rocks and debris are exposed Permafrost limit is higher

13 Since mid-1960's, no hurricane has ever been observed in the South Atlantic. Sources NASA: March 2004 Identifying hazards,… but there are surprises Catarina, 4 killed, 350 mio US$ damages

14 Highest number of Tropical cyclones. (26) (14 became tropical cyclones and 7 supercyclones). Previous record = 21 in highest economical losses from climatic events: 200 billions US$ losses. (Katrina alone:125 billions US$). Strongest winds: Wilma gusts of winds reaching 330 km/h. Lowest central pressure 882 hPa (previous record 888 hPa - Gilbert in 1988). 2005, warmest year in northern hemisphere Tropical cyclones affected by global warming ?

15 Sources: P. J. Webster, G. J. Holland, J. A. Curry, H.-R. Chang, (2005) Changes in Tropical Cyclone Number, Duration, and Intensity in a Warming Environment, Science. Change in the number and percentage of hurricanes in categories 4 and 5 for the 15-year periods 1975–1989 and 1990–2004 for the different ocean basins Debate on cyclic effect or global warming ?

16 Santa Cruz, Boliva: Land Use Change Body text  1975: Forests  2000: agriculture fields for large companies Deforestation and soil erosion/landslides?

17 Deforestation and landslides induced by tropical cyclones P.Peduzzi, Environment & Poverty Times, UNEP, 2005

18 DateMio ha , , , ,7 1 Harcourt et Collins (1992) 2 FAO (2005) Primary forest extent in Ivory Coast – 1900: % Effect of deforestation on precipitations ? Cartography: UNEP/GRID-Arendal

19 Trend line -> y = x Annual trend -> mm / year Yearly average reduce by mm lost between 1922 and 1993 Precipitations has a cyclic pattern… sure ?

20 Correlation between forest cover in Ivory Coast and precipitation in Dedougou Mil request 600 mm For growing

21 Lake Chad (from 23’000 km 2 to 300 km 2 in 2001) Sources: UNEP (2005) One planet Many People

22 Landslides: higher frequencies due to higher permafrost limit at high altitude and from deforestation. Floods: higher frequency due to higher concentration of water vapour and higher evaporation. Tropical cyclones : either more frequent or more powerful. (Webster et al. 2005) Drought: higher evaporation might induce more frequent drought. Removal of vegetation reduces rains. Heatwave: probability of occurrence is increasing (Stott and al., 2005) Costal erosion: 15-20cm / century (Miller & Douglas 2005). Might cause millions eco-refugees by 2080 (Nicholls, 2004). Summary of environmental changes & hazards

23 AIDS Conflicts Poverty Environmental degradation Increase in Vulnerability

24 7 causes for failure in risk reduction 1.Ignorance of a new danger e.g. long latent periods before impacts 2.Under estimation of a danger: the wait & see approach. 3.Short-term vision e.g. decision taken from past situations without taking into account increase and changes. 4.Trust in future technologies that will solve the issue later. 5.Prioritizing economical/political benefits versus sustainable development (costly or unpopular decisions). 6.Following general move (e.g. not willing to apply stricter rules if others do not apply them.) 7.Scare by costs of false alarm (crying wolf)

25 7 ways to improve risk management governance 1.Better consideration of scientific (early) warning 2.Identification of trends (incl. Climate change) 3.Development of plans for urban growth (and land planning). 4.Prioritise sustainable use of resources over short- term benefit (protection of oceans, forest, climate). 5.Apply precautionary Principle. 6.Eliminate corruption. 7.Take long term impacts / costs into consideration for decision making

26 7 needs for risk reduction 1.Improve understanding of new issues (climate change, risk patterns and trends). 2.Free access to data on risk issues (e.g. precipitation, temperature, natural resources) for stimulating researches. 3.Better public support of monitoring centres (such as meteorological stations). 4.New law and control enforcements 5.Place scientists, industries and politics at the same table. 6.Develop public awareness (schools, media,…) 7.Better understanding of interconnectivity between natural features & hazards, SST.

27 References: P. J. Webster, G. J. Holland, J. A. Curry, H.-R. Chang, (2005), Changes in Tropical Cyclone Number, Duration, and Intensity in a Warming Environment, Science. Nicholls, R.J., (2004), Coastal flooding and wetland loss in the 21st century: changes under the SRES climate and socio-economic scenarios". In Global Environmental Change, 14(1): Miller, l., B.C. Douglas, (2004), Mass and volume contributions to twentieth- century global sea level rise”, in Nature, Vol. 428, pp UNEP, (2005), One Planet Many People: an atlas of our changing environment. 334 p. Migraine, J.B., P. Peduzzi (under preparation), Analysing global precipitation trends ( ) Peduzzi, P., C. Herold, W. Silverio, (under preparation), Impacts of climate change on Coropuna glacier and related threat on water supplies. Peduzzi, P. (2005), Tropical cyclones: paying a high price for environmental destruction, in Environment & Poverty Times, No.3, Special Edition for the World Conference on Disaster Reduction January 18-22, 2005, Kobe, Japan. Giuliani, G., A., De Bono, K., Kluser, P., Peduzzi (2004), Overfishing, a major threat to the global marine ecology. UNEP

28 Thank you Please visit

29 Late lessons from Early Warning: the precautionary principle Precautionary-Principle-EEA-Harremoes.pdf

30 Sources UNDP 2003


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