Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

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However, the examples of Ratnapura and the Chao Phraya River illustrate that disaster risk is not an objective and tangible externality to be reduced. Similarly, risk awareness does not automatically lead to investments in disaster risk management. Risk can only be understood in terms of the dynamic relationship between exposed and vulnerable households, businesses or governments and the probability of hazard events of different intensity and extent. While risk awareness may be a precondition, the importance people attach to managing their risks can only be understood in the context of the full range of social, economic, territorial and environmental constraints and opportunities they face.
Box 7.1 Risk awareness and information
7.2 The information challenge
While much more disaster risk information is generated today than ever before, it is not necessarily accessible to households, businesses and investors.
Under Priority for Action 3, the HFA attached considerable importance to improving risk awareness and information in order to contribute to the adoption of a culture of disaster prevention and resilience (Box 7.1).
Information management and exchange

(a) Provide easily understandable information on disaster risks and protection options, especially to citizens in high-risk areas, to encourage and enable people to take action to reduce risks and build resilience. The information should incorporate relevant traditional and indigenous knowledge and culture heritage and be tailored to different target audiences, taking into account cultural and social factors.

(b) Strengthen networks among disaster experts, managers and planners across sectors and between regions, and create or strengthen procedures for using available expertise when agencies and other important actors develop local risk reduction plans.

(c) Promote and improve dialogue and cooperation among scientific communities and practitioners working on disaster risk reduction, and encourage partnerships among stakeholders, including those working on the socioeconomic dimensions of disaster risk reduction.

(d) Promote the use, application and affordability of recent information, communication and space-based technologies and related services, as well as earth observations, to support disaster risk reduction, particularly for training and for the sharing and dissemination of information among different categories of users.

(e) In the medium term, develop local, national, regional and international user-friendly directories, inventories and national information-sharing systems and services for the exchange of information on good practices, costeffective and easy-to-use disaster risk reduction technologies, and lessons learned on policies, plans and measures for disaster risk reduction.

(f) Institutions dealing with urban development should provide information to the public on disaster reduction options prior to constructions, land purchase or land sale.

(g) Update and widely disseminate international standard terminology related to disaster risk reduction, at least in all official United Nations languages, for use in programme and institutional development, operations, research, training curricula and public information programmes.
Public awareness

(h) Promote the engagement of the media in order to stimulate a culture of disaster resilience and strong community involvement in sustained public education campaigns and public consultations at all levels of society.
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