The UN has called on the world community to take active measures to reduce the threat of natural disasters.
As noted in a UN Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) report released on Wednesday in Geneva, the risks become systematic: one disaster can quickly lead to another due to the complexity of the global economy and the close interaction of man and nature, and this requires strategies to prevent them.
"Extreme changes in planetary and socioecological systems are happening now; we no longer have the luxury of procrastination," china.org reported quoting Mami Mizutori, the UN Secretary-General special representative for Disaster Risk Reduction. "If we continue living in this way, engaging with each other and the planet in the way we do, then our very survival is in doubt," she said.
Pressure on ecosystems
UNISDR noted that economic models that are not based on the principles of sustainable development pose great dangers.
According to experts, growth of the population and the level of consumption have, as never before, a strong pressure on world ecosystems.
There is also a growing potential of situations when one natural disaster aggravates the consequences of another. This happens, for example, when heavy rains lead to landslides and mudslides following forest fires that have erupted after a long drought, experts noted. Humanity faces not only well-known, but also new risks, UNISDR warns .
This is a situation where extreme weather events lead to technological accidents, and this turns into serious problems for business, experts explain.
The authors of the report also draw attention to serious inequalities in the distribution of burden between low and high income countries. According to them, the poorest countries suffer the worst disasters. Human losses and material damage relative to gross domestic product tend to be higher in countries with the least capacity to respond to disasters.
Experts urge governments to actively implement the 2015 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.