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

ISDR Global


Global ISDR Report: Living with Risk

A hundred positive examples of how people are making the world saferThe Inter-Agency Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) launched its 2004 version of “Living with Risk: A global review of disaster reduction initiatives ” on 14 July in New York. The publication was presented by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland, coinciding with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The current version is an updated version of the first report, which was launched in August, 2002.

Drawn from studies commissioned by UN/ISDR and activities carried out by regional partner organizations, with inputs from various UN organizations, national governments and specialized institutions, the global review is an indispensable guide and a key reference document for all those interested in disaster risk reduction, humanitarian action and sustainable development. It directly complements the UNDP report “Reducing Disaster Risk: A Challenge for Development” launched in early 2004, with future versions planned to be jointly produced by both organizations.

In 2003 alone, over 70,000 people perished in some 700 disasters that affected 600 million men, women and children and caused US$ 65 billion in damages. Global trends show that disasters will increase because of human activities and more people – in particular the poor – will be affected as they grow more vulnerable. Over three-quarters of the 100 largest cities in the world are situated in locations exposed to potential serious natural hazards.

“Living with Risk” explores the ways in which the understanding of disaster management and risk have evolved over recent years and provides a comprehensive compilation of initiatives and reference information on disaster risks around the world.

“The report gives more than a hundred positive examples of how countries such as Costa Rica, India, South Africa, Pacific island states, Canada, Vietnam, Japan, the United States, Australia manage the challenge of living with natural hazards. A natural hazard becomes a disaster only because people find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time,” explained Sálvano Briceño, Director of the ISDR Secretariat in Geneva. “There are many ways to make the world safer if we learn to be less vulnerable.”
Many of the issues outlined in “Living with Risk” will be addressed at the forthcoming World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Kobe, Hyogo (Japan) in January 2005.

Living with Risk is currently being translated into Spanish, and the Spanish version will be available around November 2004.

On-line extracts of “Living with Risk: A global review of disaster reduction initiatives”

available on the ISDR website
(direct link: