International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Issue: 13/2006- 12/2006 - 11/2005 - 10/2005 - 9/2004 - 8/2003 - 7/2003 - 6/2002 - 5/2002 - 4/2001- 3/2001



For more information please contact the author at or at the following address: Luis Xamar No. 182 (Parque Mercedes Cabello), Miraflores, Lima 18, Perú, +511 222-4252, or visit

Disaster Reduction – Living in Harmony with Nature

Reducción de desastres: Viviendo en armonía con la naturaleza, a new book by well-known Peruvian expert Julio Kuroiwa, deals with disaster reduction from a comprehensive, multidisciplinary standpoint, transcending traditional approaches by incorporating insights from the social sciences and economics to reduce the vulnerability of local populations to natural hazards, based on the innovative concept of “sustainable cities”.

The result of countless field studies by the author at the site of the worst disasters to hit the Americas in the last 30 years, the book is also enriched by research carried out at the National Engineering University (UNI) of Lima, Peru and at CALTECH in Pasadena, California, often commissioned or funded by such agencies as the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the National Science Foundation. the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (UNDHA) in Geneva, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the former United Nations Disaster Relief Office (UNDRO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and UN-Habitat.

The various types of disasters—geological, climatic, geological-climatic, and technological—are described in detail, employing the most up-to-date information available. Throughout the various chapters, it is continually stressed that disaster mitigation requires us to to apply the lessons taught to us by nature.

The content of this book has been reviewed by the best Peruvian specialists in each field, and it has been written in a simple, lucid style, employing many photographs and graphs, for easy comprehension by students and professionals in all fields.


For more information:
Ricardo Zapata

Handbook for Estimating Socio-Economic
and Environmental Effects of Disasters

This new version has greatly benefited not only from the aforementioned additional experience but also from the co-operation and contributions of distinguished experts and consultants both from both Latin America and the Caribbean and other parts of the world, and is the result of the conceptual analyses of many diverse disasters that have occurred in the region over the past three decades.

This new handbook refines and improves the methodology for damage assessment in several sectors already included in the first version published in 1991. In addition, it incorporates new and significant developments. In that respect, special reference should be made to the inclusion of cross-sectoral subject areas such as the environment, employment and income, and the differential effects on women, whose action is essential during reconstruction as well as in mitigating the future impact of disasters. Furthermore, new tools available for this type of analysis are proposed, based on electronic information in databases accessible over the Internet, the use of remote sensors and the systematization of geo-referenced information. Some of the analytical difficulties are noted associated with lags in the compilation of sufficiently detailed or itemized information - for example by sex, by income group or by geographic or political areas within a country - or the lack of “baselines” defining “normal” or pre-disaster situations - for example environmental situation diagnoses, and human development and social fabric indicators.

Disaster Readiness CD-ROMS for Caribbean Primary Schools

The Caribbean Disaster Readiness Manual CD-ROM provides comprehensive information on disaster reduction, mitigation and preparedness that is easily accessed on any computer. It will now be made available to primary schools throughout the Caribbean, in order to introduce children to a true culture of prevention and help them to disseminate it among their parents and neighbours.

A compilation of essential training material produced by some of the best organizations working in the field of disaster mitigation in {Latin America and the Caribbean, it also includes “live” links to many of their Web sites as well as contact information, helping to ensure that users can continue to access the most up-to-date information in this evolving field.

The CD would not have been possible without the support of Insurance Brokers West Indies Limited (IBWIL) and all the organizations and individuals who provided information, including the Caribbean Disaster Response Agency (CDERA),, the Caribbean Disaster Information Network (CARDIN),, the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR),, and the Regional Disaster Information Center (CRID),