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

EIRD Global


World Summit on Sustainable Development Outcome of WSSD, September 2002

The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) took place from 26 August to 4 September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa. It brought together one hundred world leaders, over 10000 delegates, some 8000 representatives from NGOs and civil society, as well as 4000 members of the press.

While the results in some areas, like the commitments on renewable energy, were disappointing for many, the outcome of the WSSD certainly brought more commitment to disaster reduction and a multi-hazard approach to reduce risk and vulnerability, within the context of sustainable development. The main outcome:

  1. The political statement adopted by the Heads of States which identifies natural disasters as one of the priority conditions that pose a severe threat to sustainable development and need priority attention.
  2. The Plan of Implementation (PoI), which relates to disaster and vulnerability reduction and improved early warning capacities under the chapters of poverty eradication, protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development, Africa, small island developing States and means of implementation.
  3. A set of initiatives and partnerships (Type 2 outcome), which support the implementation of the areas committed to in the PoI that were launched during the WSSD. The following partnerships, grouped under the cluster “Early warning/disaster preparedness”, are of immediate interest to the work of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Reduction, and those where the ISDR Secretariat is contributing in an advisory capacity:
    • Integrating early warning and disaster risk management into the sustainable development agenda and practice (presented by ISDR);
    • Subregional Initiative for the Promotion and Implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) -Central America (presented by El Salvador);
    • ·Initiative to Develop Capacities in SIDS to manage Vulnerability and Build resilience Particularly to Disasters (presented by UNDP and SOPAC);
    • Integrated Approach to Prevention, Preparedness for and Response to Environmental Emergencies (presented by OCHA, UNEP);
    • Resilient Communities (presented by ICLEI);
    • Human Resource Development in Disaster Management (Southern Africa) presented by Germany and Mozambique).

(Full text of all these outcome documents are available at

Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture and Bidoversity were the five key thematic areas (known as “WEHAB”) proposed by the UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, as a contribution to the preparation for WSSD. The initiative seeks to provide focus and impetus to action in these five areas which are integral to a coherent international approach for the implementation of sustainable development. Five thematic papers were produced by the WEHAB Working Group, in consultation with concerned organizations of the UN System, to suggest a framework for action and targets in each area. Due to its limited capacity, the ISDR Secretariat was only able to contribute substantially to the “Water and Sanitation” paper within the WEHAB context. However, risk reduction needs to be promoted in the other subject areas as well.

The challenge is now the follow-up for implementation, involving both the UN System and non-UN entities. The Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Reduction will discuss the ways forward and a plan to support the implementation in the area of disaster reduction, within the framework of ISDR, in its Sixth meeting in October.

For more info, contact
Ms. Helena Molin Valdés at, or visit,