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

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Chapter 1
a perceived need for stronger international coordination of response and relief efforts (Hannigan, 2012

Hannigan, John. 2012,Disasters Without Borders: The International Politics of Natural Disasters, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.. .
; FAO, 2010

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). 2010,On Solid Ground: Addressing land tenure issues following natural disasters, Bangladesh: Eroding rivers, eroding livelihoods. Early Recovery, Global Land Tool Network, UN-HABITAT and FAO.. .
; Bamidele, 2011

Bamidele, Oluwaseun. 2011,Climate Change and Conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa: Trends, Challenges and Policies Sustainability, Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, Vol. 13, No. 7: 35-45.. .
; CEPAL, 1973

CEPAL (Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe). 1973,Informe sobre los daños y repercusiones del terremoto de la ciudad de Managua en la economía nicaragüense, Comité Plenario, Séptima Reunión extraordinaria. Nueva York.. .
; CEPAL, 1976

CEPAL (Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe). 1976,Daños causados por el terremoto de Guatemala y sus repercusiones sobre el desarrollo económico y social del país, Febrero de 1976.. .
; European Commission and Comunidad Andina, 2006

European Commission and Comunidad Andina. 2006,Pérdidas por desastres en Perú entre 1970-2006, Lima: PREDECAN and Comunidad Andina.. .
). This was supported by the creation of the United Nations Disaster Relief Office (UNDRO) in 1971 to coordinate international efforts to respond to disaster and conflict (Hannigan, 2012

Hannigan, John. 2012,Disasters Without Borders: The International Politics of Natural Disasters, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.. .
The governance arrangements developed for emergency management displayed a number of characteristics that would later influence the way disaster risk management has been approached.
These arrangements were adopted to protect societies against what were conceived as external threats to civilians and to national security. Disasters were perceived as one such threat, along with technological, maritime and aviation accidents and the effects of conflict. Disasters were regarded as unpredictable, extreme events, which is aptly illustrated by an early 1990s slogan from the Pan American Health Organization: “Disasters don’t warn; be prepared”.
An effective response to such external threats required increasingly sophisticated, professionalized and technically specialized institutions and mechanisms at all levels, leading to the structuring of a distinct sector with its own doctrine, dogma, and distinctive signs and symbols. In some countries, civil defence and protection organizations were military structures, while in others they were located in the interior or home ministry, which is also responsible for law enforcement, emergency services and domestic security.
The sector and the institutions it comprises have demonstrated a remarkable institutional resilience and capacity to adapt to changing circumstances and needs, as the series of shifts from warfare to nuclear threat, to disaster and to terrorism have shown. This highlights a consolidated sector that defends not only national
security but also its own interests and agenda and expresses this in its distinctive community identity and branding.
Standards and regulation
In parallel with the evolution of emergency management, countries adopted other kinds of governance arrangements to manage disaster risk, including statutory norms and standards in areas such as public health, environment, planning and building.
Societies have always adapted their building, agricultural and other practices to manage disaster risks within a range of environmental, technological, social, economic and political constraints.
In the wake of large disasters, it was common for building practices or urban design to be modified with a view to reducing risk. For example, following the 1746 earthquake in Lima, Peru, Viceroy Jose Antonio Manso de Velasco commissioned French mathematician Louis Godin to develop a reconstruction plan for the city. While never fully implemented, Godin’s plan included detailed specifications for widened streets and reduced building height to avoid future earthquake damage (UNISDR, 2011a

UNISDR. 2011a,Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: Revealing Risk, Redefining Development, Geneva, Switzerland: UNISDR.. .
), an early example of reconstruction planning which integrates risk-sensitive planning and building codes.
From the nineteenth century onwards, industrialized countries has begun to codify risk-reducing practices into statutory regulations and standards on a scientific basis. For example, during the 1854 epidemic in London, Dr. John Snow used a geographical analysis of cholera cases to trace the cause of the epidemic back to contaminated water from a single well in Broad Street (Figure 1.5). This led not only to the identification of the causes of cholera but also to the introduction of public health regulations in the United Kingdom, which dramatically reduced the risk of devastating epidemics.
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