UNEP Environmental Protection and DR

Information about UNEP Environmental Protection and DR

Published on January 14, 2008

Author: Rina

Source: authorstream.com

Content

Africa Regional Consultation on Disaster Reduction: A Preparation for the World Conference on Disaster Reduction Johannesburg, South Africa, 2 to 3 June 2004:  Africa Regional Consultation on Disaster Reduction: A Preparation for the World Conference on Disaster Reduction Johannesburg, South Africa, 2 to 3 June 2004 Environmental Protection and Disaster Reduction Presented by Dr. James Kamara UNEP/DEPI Disaster Management Branch Introduction :  Introduction The environment is made up of the earth, water, atmosphere and biosphere which form the environmental pillars. Slide3:  Environmental pillars provide the physical resources and ecosystems services on which human life depends. Slide4:  Growing evidence that many aspects of the environment are still being degraded, for example: In 1996, 25% of the world’s 4,630 mammals and 11% of the 9,675 bird species were at significant risk of extinction. More than half of the world’s coral reefs are threatened by human activities. 80% of the forests that originally covered the earth have been cleared; Slide5:  Africa is the only continent on which poverty is expected to rise during the next century. 500 million hectares of land have been affected by soil degradation since about 1950; Slide6:  An estimated 21 million barrels of oil run into the oceans each year from street run-off, effluent from factories, and from ships flushing their tanks; and, Slide7:  Climate change threatens to destroy the majority of the world’s coral reefs, as well as wreak havoc on the fragile economies of Small Island Developing States. Slide8:  UNEP has the mandate for providing leadership and encouraging partnerships in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and people to improve the quality of life without compromising that of future generations. Slide9:  Sustainable development rests on three pillars, namely, society, economy and environment. Human - Environmental Protection - Disaster Reduction - Nexus Slide10:  Environmental protection is a major component of sustainable development and is consistent with poverty reduction as well as with the prevention and mitigation of disasters. Slide11:  In Africa, the trends of increasing demographic pressure is escalating environmental degradation, increasing human vulnerability and the intensity of the impacts of disasters. Slide12:  Factors increasing the severity of catastrophic disasters in Africa: Widespread and uncontrolled deforestation and destruction of vegetation cover which also disrupts catchment areas; Slide13:  Impact of climate-induced changes on the environment and social system. Increase in drought, flood and other extreme events negatively affect food security, water resources, human health, industrial production and infrastructure. Changes in precipitation and land use intensities worsens desertification; Slide14:  Growing human populations having to live in vulnerable lands in cities and along coastlines; Slide15:  Lack of or existence of weak early warning environmental emergency and disaster management systems in many countries in Africa; and, Slide16:  Unfortunate human and politically induced conflicts and situations impacting adversely on the environment, for example, the so called environmental refugees and displacement. These interfere grossly with security access, food security and environmental sustenance. Slide17:  As the frequency of disasters increase, it has become evident that neither government authorities nor local communities can afford to meet the rising cost of compensating affected people for the losses incurred. Slide18:  Affordable solution lies in environmental protection and in prevention and preparedness for disasters. Slide19:  The environment plays an important protective role from the effects of disasters, for example, important wetlands functions include: water storage, storm protection, flood mitigation, shoreline stabilization and erosion control. Slide20:  Many communities all over the world depend on natural resources for their livelihoods. They are vulnerable to changes in the environment and to the impacts of extreme natural events. Slide21:  When the environment becomes degraded all forms of life are threatened. Slide22:  UNEP’s work focuses in inspiring people to protect the integrity of the environmental resources and use them in sustainable manner through promotion of development of better policies, plans and programmes for effective environmental management at the national, sub-regional, regional and global levels. Slide23:  Environmental protection and disaster risk reduction support and complement each other. Slide24:  Environmental protection and disaster management must therefore always be integrated into any policies, plans and programmes for disaster risk reduction. Slide25:  Disaster reduction are measures taken to reduce the vulnerability of the socio-economic system and the environment to disasters. Slide26:  Measures cover a wide spectrum of activities ranging from avoiding disasters all together (prevention) to measures aimed at limiting the severity of a disaster when it strikes. Slide27:  Examples of measures include integrated policies for environmental and disaster management, sensitization and awareness raising, capacity building, forecasting disasters, early warning and responding to disasters, information on damages, restoration and rehabilitation, and environmental and disaster vulnerability mapping. Slide28:  Community-based environmental protection and disaster reduction approaches are therefore very important in reducing impacts of disasters because it is at the community level that the physical, social and economic risks can be adequately assessed and managed. Slide29:  Questions

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