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

background image
By the time of the Second International Conference on Early Warning, which was held in Germany in 2003, this systems approach to early warning had become orthodox and influenced national legislation such as the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-430) in the United States of America.1
Further momentum for the development of early warning systems was generated by the Indian Ocean tsunamis in 2004, which highlighted how many lives could have been saved if a regional tsunami early warning system had existed. As a consequence, early warning featured heavily on the agenda of the Second World Conference on Disaster Reduction in 2005 and was given heavy emphasis in the HFA, which reprises the emerging early warning systems concept in key activities within Priority for Action 2 (Box 8.1).
Government self-assessment reports prepared using the HFA Monitor show significant progress against the third core indicator under Priority for Action 2: Early warning systems are in place for all major hazards, with outreach to communities
(Figure 8.1). Each biennial reporting period since 2007 has shown growing achievement, although the indicator is too generic to capture how much progress has actually been made against each of the key activities listed above.
The development and implementation of early warning systems has been repeatedly cited as one of the areas where the most progress has been made within the HFA (WMO, 2011

WMO (World Meteorological Organization). 2011,Institutional Partnerships in Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems, A Compilation of Seven National Good Practices and Guiding Principles. Golnaraghi, Maryam, ed. Springer.. .
, 2014a; UNISDR, 2013b

UNISDR. 2013b,Implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action, Summary of Reports 2007-2013. Geneva, Switzerland: UNISDR.. .
, 2011b). Success stories from Bangladesh, Chile, India, the Philippines and other countries show that timely and effective warning and communication coupled with risk information and a prepared population significantly reduces mortality. The Third International Conference on Early Warning, which was held in Germany in 2006 took advantage of the momentum generated by the HFA and, under the slogan From concept to action, documented over one hundred initiatives to develop early warning systems at different levels (UNISDR and Government of Germany, 2006

UNISDR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) and Government of Germany. 2006,Developing Early Warning Systems: A Checklist, EWC III: Third International Conference on Early Warning. From concept to action. 27-29 March 2006, Bonn.. .
In particular, HFA progress reports highlight success in developing early warning systems that correspond more closely to local needs. For example, Australia reports that every state and territory now has the ability to tailor core messages to fit local conditions and evacuation plans. In Sri Lanka, a people-centred early warning system was established that includes teams of volunteers using local communication methods. In Thailand, volunteers have been trained at the village level to monitor hazards and transmit early warnings in a timely manner.
Technical, institutional and social challenges in developing and maintaining these systems are often reported in conjunction with the remoteness of villages and difficulties of terrain, making outreach to the last mile difficult. Many countries also note financial constraints and limited
HFA Core Indicator 2.3: Multi-hazard early warning system with community outreach.
(Source: UNISDR with data from the HFA Monitor.2)
Figure 8.1 Progress in early warning
Previous page Previous Section  
Contact us  |  Disclaimer  |  Our Partners  |  References  |  Acknowledgements  |  PreventionWeb |  WCDRR  |  © United Nations 2015.