Disaster risk reduction has been identified as one of the seven new and emerging issues for Rio+20.
The cost of the severe floods which hit Bangkok in 2011 is estimated at $40 billion. More than 1,000 factories were shut down and 700,000 people were out of work. Over 800 people died in the floods.
Cities are becoming more sustainable and reducing their risk to disasters through partnerships and collaboration.
Children and youth are stepping up to the challenge of makeing their communities safe and sustainble for the future.
Local communities are getting involved with innovative and sustainable ideas for development and disaster risk reduction.
Bangladeshi women use local knowledge to develop a risk assessment plan.
Indonesian children learn about disaster risk reduction by playing the Riskland board game. (Photo: IFRC)
An innovative and low-cost strategy for reducing disaster risk.

What's New?

Two important discussions on disaster risk reduction leading up to Rio+20 took place in New York in April. The dialogue 'From Sendai to Rio: Cultivating a Disaster-Resilient Society for Sustainable Development' discussed the significance of building climate and disaster resilience in coastal cities. The President of the 66th Session of the General Assembly also convened an informal thematic debate on disaster risk reduction to support and advance the integration of disaster risk reduction in the outcome of Rio+20.

For the programme of the thematic debate, visit the UN General Assembly website.

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What is Rio+20?

The 1992 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) also known as the "Earth Summit", was an important milestone that brought environment and development issues into the public arena. Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development are two important outcomes of the Summit that outlined the key policies for achieving sustainable development. To mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development dubbed as "Rio+20" will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 20-22 June 2012.

Discussions in the Conference will also focus on two themes: (1) A green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (2) the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development.

Disaster Risk Reduction in major international development-related documents

Governments are increasingly recognizing that disaster risk reduction is crucial to sustainable development. This has been reflected in a number of inter-governmentally agreed, development-related outcome documents such as:

UNISDR Contact

Elina Palm, Liaison Officer (palm@un.org)