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Disaster Risk

Societies with high climate-related risk also tend to have low levels of resilience and limited capacity to absorb disaster losses. In particular, countries with small and vulnerable economies will have particular difficulties to absorb and recover from disaster impacts.

ICSU has a long history of involvement in the coordination of international research on disaster risk. In 2008, this led to the decision to create the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Programme (IRDR), which commenced operation in 2010 and builds upon decades of work by ICSU's GeoUnion members. Both UNISDR & ISSC are co-sponsors. The creation of IRDR stemmed from the recognition that there is a need for interdisciplinary science to address the most pressing problems in the field.

Based on its track-record at the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development, ICSU in 2014 was invited by Margareta Wahlström, head of UNISDR, to represent the science & technology community in preparations for the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Sendai, March 2015. This conference adopted a new global post-2015 agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (PDF) – to follow up on the 2005 Hyogo Framework for Action.

ICSU advocated for a strong science base for this framework, including at the two meetings of the conference's Preparatory Committee, held on 14-15 July and 17-18 November 2014 in Geneva. The Sendai Framework, adopted at the WCDRR, contains a strong recognition of the importance of science in the DRR field, and offers many avenues for the scientific community to help implement the framework in the coming years. Read more about our work at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

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