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

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warning, in the production of risk information and in the formulation of policies and strategies at all levels. From that perspective the HFA has undoubtedly been a success.
While the HFA gave detailed guidance on managing underlying risk, most countries have understood and practised disaster risk reduction as the management of disasters. The latter approach includes appropriate and effective actions to strengthen disaster preparedness and early warning, and to reduce disaster impacts through appropriate response. But while this approach is appropriate to manage disasters, it has proved unfit for purpose to manage the underlying risks. Given that these risks are generated inside development, addressing them requires actions such as reducing poverty, planning and managing cities appropriately and protecting and restoring ecosystems. This is the area where most countries have made least progress during the HFA. Cases where disaster risk considerations are fully factored into social and economic investments or where risk knowledge is integrated into development plans and practice are still the exception. As such, and despite notable improvements in disaster management, new risks have been generated and accumulated faster than existing risks have been reduced.
This approach reflects an interpretation of disasters as external threats and shocks. As a result, the policy goal of disaster risk reduction has been interpreted as the protection of social and economic development from those externalities. The expected outcome of the HFA has not been achieved because, on the contrary, disasters are socially constructed inside development. Development cannot be protected from itself, and until development itself is transformed, disaster risk will continue to increase.
Economic growth, overconsumption and inequality
In its pursuit of economic growth, the current development paradigm generates an
overconsumption of natural capital, social inequality, as well as the generation and accumulation of disaster risk. GAR15 highlights four interlinked global drivers that, if left unmanaged, are likely to lead to dangerous increases in risk.
Increasingly globalized disaster risks
Investment decisions rarely take hazard exposure into account, or otherwise they excessively discount disaster risk due to the potential for short-term returns. As competition increases, large flows of investment may continue to flow into hazard-exposed areas, leading to further increases in intensive risk. These risks become increasingly systemic as both risk drivers and disaster impacts ripple through global supply chains and spill over from one sector to another.
Growing risk inequality
Social and economic inequality is likely to continue to increase, and with it disaster risk for those countries, communities, households and businesses that have only limited opportunities to manage their risks and strengthen their resilience. The geography of risk inequality expresses itself at all scales: between regions and countries, within countries and inside cities and localities.
Segregated cities
Disaster risk is increasingly concentrated in hazard-exposed cities. However, within cities, particularly in low and middle-income countries, urban space is structured in a way that accentuates risk inequality. Globally, the population living in informal settlements continues to grow in absolute terms. Disaster risk is thus amplified as low-income households are forced to occupy hazard-exposed areas with low land values, deficient or non-existent infrastructure, an absence of social protection and high levels of environmental degradation.
Consumption surpassing biocapacity
The overconsumption of energy, water and other resources arising from economic growth has
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