International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   


2006 - 2005 - 2004

March- 2005

Follow up to the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR)
Kobe, Hyogo, Japan, 18-22 January 2005

All official WCDR documents are now available on the website in a user-friendly format, allowing for easier navigation. Participants who have documentation and additional information (including reports from the Thematic Segment and Public Forum) are requested to contact the ISDR webmaster at

Of particular interest are WCDR official documents including the “Hyogo Declaration”, the “Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters”, in addition to “Review of the Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action for a Safer World” and “Common Statement of the Special Session on the Indian Ocean Disaster: Risk Reduction for a Safer Future”. Civil society contributions are available at the section “Other inputs received”, including a student
e-discussion organized by Oberlin College.

Please refer to


2005 World Disaster Reduction awareness campaign focuses on reducing risk using micro-finance tools and safety nets
In 2005 ISDR network will contribute to the International Year of Microcredit by collaborating with partners involved in micro-finance and safety nets for disaster reduction. This will also be the theme of the International Day for Disaster Reduction on Wednesday 12 October. Micro finance is a tool that has successfully been utilized to improve livelihoods options and reduce poverty. It has been very little used yet in the context of disaster risk reduction. Leading up to the International Day, we will stimulate dialogues with the micro-finance community on the possibilities of using these tools to reduce disaster risk and increase community resilience to disasters. In addition we aim at raising awareness among disaster risk managers on how micro-finance and safety nets are potential options to reduce vulnerability and help recover from disasters. The ISDR secretariat, in collaboration with other UN agencies and NGOs working on micro-finance, is currently seeking good practices and lessons learned in this area to share with others around the world. If you are aware of good practices and experiences, please send your contributions to us, and we will adapt them for out information products or discussion forums. Please send to

Further information on the International Year of Microcredit is available at

2005 nomination process of the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction
Nomination booklets are now available for the annual nomination process of the UN Sasakawa for Disaster Reduction. Join us in rewarding individuals and institutions from around the world that contributed, through innovative practices and outstanding initiatives, to reducing the risk and vulnerabilities of communities to natural hazards. Candidates with expertise related to micro finance and disaster reduction are also welcome. Nomination forms are available in English, French and Spanish at and must be submitted by 29 July 2005.

For further information on the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction, please refer to or contact

Indian Ocean interim early warning system demonstrates results following Indonesia quake
Numerous tsunami alerts were issued throughout the Indian Ocean following the earthquake of 28 March that struck Indonesia, prompting immediate reaction and evacuation to safer areas. Warnings were issued to six Indian Ocean countries by the Japan Meteorology Agency only 40 minutes after the quake, including India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

The interim tsunami early warning system was set in place after a meeting held in Paris 3-8 March, organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO in conjunction with the ISDR Platform for the Promotion of Early Warning (PPEW). The next meeting on the subject will be held in Mauritius on 14-16 April to further elaborate the plan of action as well as to clarify responsibilities of national, sub-regional and regional stakeholders, followed by another in Bangkok planned for June.

Further information on early warning is available at

Clinton commences work as UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery and risk reduction
Upon the request of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former US President Bill Clinton has agreed to serve as the UN’s Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, with the support of Erskine Bowles as Deputy Special Envoy. Both will play an active role in communicating, coordinating and informing donors, governments and general public on post-tsunami activities following the tragedy of December last year. President Clinton is also expected to work with the ISDR secretariat, UNDP, UNESCO, WMO and others on raising awareness and generating support for disaster risk reduction.

Platform for the Promotion of Early Warning Website - New Section on Tsunami
The 26 December 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean caught most people by surprise; if tsunami early warning systems had been in place in the region, many thousands of lives could have been saved. The international community is acting to ensure the implementation of effective early warning systems as soon as possible. Special conferences are underway to plan and determine how the tsunami early warning system for the Indian Ocean should be most effectively organized, supported by a multi dollar project coordinated by ISDR/PPEW.

This new section provides information on these developments. It also contains a concise summary of information on tsunamis and links to other tsunami expert websites. At the moment, the main focus of tsunami early warning activities is on the Indian Ocean region but the site will also highlight endeavours in other tsunami-prone regions of the world.

For further information please visit the tsunami section at PPEW’s homepage at:

Seoul: an opportunity to recall the priorities of the Hyogo Framework of Action
Ministers of Environment from Asia and the Pacific met on 24-29 March 2005 in Seoul, Republic of Korea, at the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific convened by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN/ESCAP). Among the major events in the margins of the Ministerial Conference, an Eminent Scientists Symposium was held discussing issues relating to "Global Change, Environment and Development" on 24-25 March 2005. UN/ISDR Director Salvano Briceno took this opportunity to recall participants of those priorities identified in the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction Kobe in Japan in January this year. A high level panel with heads of ESCAP, UNEP,ADRC,and ISDR informed of tsunami follow up action.

Further information on the meeting is available at

Sustainable human settlements for disaster-resilient cities
On 4-8 April the UN Human Settlements Programmer’s (UN-HABITAT) Governing Council met for its twentieth session in Nairobi, Kenya. Disaster risk reduction was singled out as one of two special themes that were included within the agenda under item 5(b): Post conflict, natural and human-made disasters assessment and reconstruction. A dialogue session on the theme was held on 5 April, which generated lively discussion among panelists and participants. UN/ISDR’s intervention is available at

Further information on UN-HABITAT’s Governing Council is available at

African National Platforms for disaster risk reduction to meet in Nairobi
UN/ISDR Africa in cooperation with UNDP/BCPR is organising a “First Consultative Meeting on National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa” in Nairobi, Kenya, on 21-23 April 2005. This forum for focal points of national platforms in Africa will provide an opportunity to share successes, difficulties and lessons learned in coordinating national platforms for disaster risk reduction. National coordinators will also review the purpose and guiding principles of national platforms and the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action and the Africa’s Plan of Action.

Further information on UN/ISDR Africa is available at
Information on ISDR National Platforms is available at

Forum on drought risk management in Africa to launch regional network
The Forum on Drought Risk and Development Policy was held in Kenya following a recommendation from the ISDR Ad Hoc Discussion Group on Drought in coordination with UNDP/DDC/BCPR. The main recommendation of the forum was to launch an African Drought Risk and Development Network, which will advocate for action on drought risk management in Africa at sub-regional, regional and international level

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