ELLA AREA: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT| ELLA THEME: DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT IN CITIES
into poverty as a result o the 2004 tsunami.
Underlying Causes of Risk
Disaster risk is augmented by actors such as rapid urbangrowth and occupation o new areas o land, which in turn leadto increases in the quantity o people and assets exposed torisk. At the same time, weak institutional capacities amongstlocal government authorities or acilitating access to landand services by poor people has resulted in a model ourban growth characterised by the expansion o inormalsettlements into non-regulated areas prone to hazards. Today,at least 900 million people live in inormal settlements in citiesin developing countries, and many o these are located in highrisk zones.
As it is, the livelihoods o poor urban populationsbarely cover basic necessities in terms o shelter, transport,education and health; a lack o sae housing, inrastructureand adequate public services - that could oer protection inthe event o earthquakes, cyclones and heavy foods – onlyserves to urther increase mortality risk.The degradation o ecosystems is another important actorthat increases disaster risk and poverty in urban areas.As well as causing a higher requency and intensity odisasters,
environmental damage produces direct lossesor poor populations that depend on ecosystem servicesor their livelihoods. Weak or non-existent social protectionmechanisms and scarce availability o insurance schemesalso heighten the impact o disasters on poorer urbanpopulations. Losses resulting rom disasters oten exceed theirresponse capacity and the high requency o extreme eventserodes resilienceover time. Progressive climate change acts
as a powerul propeller in the cyclical relationship betweendisaster risk and poverty, drastically increasing the impact odisasters on poor people and on poverty reduction eorts .
In the case o large-scale disasters, international aid onlyprovides or 10% o actual recovery and reconstruction costs.
Disasters thereore require developing countries to divertsignicant resources that could otherwise be used to addressthe underlying causes o risk via poverty reduction and socio-economic development objectives. In this context, developingcountries across Asia,
havebeen developing Disaster Risk Management (DRM) strategiesaimed at increasing the resilience o communities as wellas stimulating growth and protecting poverty reduction anddevelopment investments.
This Brie ocuses on the LatinAmerican experience in implementing DRM strategies thatcombine with a poverty reduction approach.
REDUCING BOTH DISASTER RISK AND POVERTY:KEY LATIN AMERICAN EXPERIENCES
Across the region, Latin American actors have implementeda range o strategies or reducing the underlying actors orisk, while at the same time breaking the disaster risk-povertycycle. Some o the main strategies include: strengtheninglivelihoods (natural resource management; provision obasic services; and inrastructure development); goodurban governance (regulatory rameworks; planning orgrowth); nancial tools (credits and insurance); ecosystemmanagement (protected areas; payments or ecosystemservices); and community-based risk reduction approaches.
. UN HABITAT, Washington, DC.
Natural ecosystems such as wetlands, orests, mangroves and watersheds play a undamental role in regulating the requency and intensity onatural hazards such as fooding and landslides. For urther inormation, see: UNEP. 2005.
. UNEP, Washington, DC.
. ISDR, Geneva.
See: Global Humanitarian Assistance. 2011.
. GHA, Bristol.
. UNISDR, Geneva.
Regional Platorm or Disaster Risk Reduction o the Americas.
. UNISDR, Geneva.
See: Inter-Parliamentary Union, UNISDR. 2010.
IPUand UNISDR, Geneva.
Though this Brie is part o a set o materials ocused on DRM in cities, this particular Brie, given the nature o the subject matter, includesexamples both rom cities as well as rom national governments. In researching this Brie, we have given priority to technical studies andreports carried out by UN agencies, as well as international and multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, Economic Commission or LatinAmerica and the Caribbean and the Inter-American Development Bank. The reports o these bodies, undertaken as part o the internal work o theorganisation or commissioned to external experts, are high-quality and reliable, and oer applied and comparative research o dierent countrieso Latin America. We also drew on reports o the public institutions working on DRM in individual countries, and in some cases we consulted theresearch o private institutions, such as NGOs, with DRM expertise. Eorts have been made to ensure that the sources are as current as possibleand available online or easy reerence.