Accessibility links

Foresight reducing risks of future disasters: priorities for decision makers

Science plays a key role in reducing the impacts of future natural hazards in developing countries according to this Foresight report. The threat of future disasters can be stabilised, if decision-makers make better use of technological developments and existing risk assessment methods. The report also urges that disaster risk reduction (DRR) is routinely built into developments, including urban infrastructure, ecosystem protection and mobile telephone regulation. This could help reduce the cost of disasters, which has outstripped the total development aid in the past 20 years, leading to the loss of 1.3 million lives and US$2 trillion of damage. A virtuous cycle is promoted, in which: risk forecasts that take account of specific local vulnerabilities and priorities are routinely provided; decision-makers use these forecasts to take decisions that weigh up costs and benefits; and the effectiveness of the resulting DRR actions are routinely evaluated and made publicly available.