United Nations University

UN & International Organizations

The programme space within which UNU undertakes its academic activities encompasses five interdependent thematic clusters within the overarching thesis of “sustainability”:

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African woman fetching unclean and contaminated water from a pond for their daily consumption.
First-ever assessment of water security in Africa is based on 10 indicator scores; Egypt, Botswana, Gabon, Mauritius and Tunisia deemed Africa’s top five (but modestly) water-secure countries; Somalia, Chad, Niger least water-secure
United Nations University
Cover and title of publication
This report aims to understand and elaborate upon the characteristics of Sustainable Land Management (SLM), Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) and Nature-based Solutions (NbS).
United Nations University

This report examines the pandemic’s impact on humanitarian access and operations. The analysis is based on developments in Colombia, Myanmar, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen. The report finds that the pandemic has contributed to significantly greater

United Nations University
Extreme weather events and climatic changes are displacing people at the same time as the pandemic.
United Nations University

This paper examines the role of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes in the face of COVID-19 and towards transformative change. The emergence of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 is correlated with increasingly unsustainable interactions

United Nations University
By 2050, most of humanity will live downstream of large dams built in the 20th century. Increasingly expensive to maintain, experts foresee a trend to decommission dams.
United Nations University
UNU-EHS and the InsuResilience Secretariat launched their new report, Disaster Risk and Readiness for Insurance Solutions in Small Island Developing States.
United Nations University

The overarching goal of the United Nations University is to contribute to global sustainable development that will enable present generations to live a decent life in peace, in freedom, in safety, and in good health, without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. In pursuit of this ideal, the UN University employs a systems-oriented, interdisciplinary, problem-solving approach that integrates the methodological rigor of the natural and physical sciences with the insights of the social sciences and humanities.

The programme space within which UNU undertakes its academic activities encompasses five interdependent thematic clusters within the overarching thesis of “sustainability”:

• Population and Health;
• Development Governance;
• Peace, Security and Human Rights;
• Global Change and Sustainable Development;
• Science, Technology and Society.

These five thematic clusters, and the topics of focus that they encompass, are interlinked and interdependent in the sense that none can be addressed in isolation.

Disaster Reduction Goal

Some of the UNU Institutes have at the core of their mandate to contribute to disaster risk reduction and increase resilience of exposed communities. Notably, the UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security addresses the risk and vulnerability aspects of human security and the consequences of complex environmental hazards for sustainable development.

DRR activities
Membership in Key Networks

• International Flood Initiative (IFI)
• International Programme on Landslides (IPL)
• Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM)
• Global Risk Identification Programme (GRIP)
• Global Environment Fund (GEF)
• International Council for Science (ICSU)
• International Consortium of Landslides (ICL)
• DesertNet International
• Group on Earth Observation (GEO) - Institutions and Development Implementation Board
• Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII)
• Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction
• In the year 2007 alone, UNU worked with almost 50 UN system partners.

National Counterpart

National universities, research institutions, ministries, depending on the system of governance and focus of the activities.

Disaster Reduction Focal Point(s)

Dr. Fabrice Renaud, Head of Section, UNU-EHS, UN Campus, Hermann-Ehlers-Str. 10, 53113 Bonn, Germany (renaud@ehs.unu.edu)

Alternate: Dr. Joerg Szarzynski, Head of Section (same address as above, (szarzynski@ehs.unu.edu)



Risk assessment and early warning systems (HFA 2)

View 2011 UNU DRR profile

Research in Africa, Asia and Europe on vulnerability, resilience and risk assessment. The work consists in developing new assessment concepts and frameworks, as well as assessing risks to environmental hazards.

Education, information and public awareness (HFA 3)

Joint International MSc Programme on the Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security. The joint international MSc Programme, developed by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and the University of Bonn is expected to launch in October 2013. The main purpose of the MSc Programme is to educate students on how to investigate and manage various resources related to environmental hazards by implementing science-based principles and methodologies in disaster risk management.

UNU-EHS PhD Block Courses: From Vulnerability to Resilience in Disaster Risk Management. The UNU-EHS PhD Block Courses highlight the complexity and importance of vulnerability and resilience in disaster risk management. They are offered every year in collaboration with the University of Bonn; Germany, as well as with the Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa (DiMTEC), University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. The courses are designed for postgraduate candidates in the early stages of PhD research (or about to begin PhD studies) and advanced Master’s degree students.

West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) Graduate Research Programme. Starting in 2013 UNU-EHS is contributing to the WASCAL Graduate Research Programme, which is supporting and facilitating academic education amongst West African universities, in association with German counterpart institutions. Out of a total of nine different PhD and Master programmes, UNU-EHS actively supports the following programmes: Climate Change and Human Security (University of Lomé, Togo); and Climate Change and Education (University of The Gambia, Serrekunda, Gambia).

Reducing underlying risk factors (HFA 4)

The Climate Risk Adaptation and Insurance in the Caribbean project led by the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), in St. Lucia and Jamaica, implements parametric insurance products for people in the low income sector to help them cope with losses to their livelihoods caused by excess rain and heavy winds.

UNU-EHS contributes scientific knowledge and capacity development modules as part of the Partnership for Ecosystems and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR).

The organization has no registered commitments.

The Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitments (SFVC) online platform allows stakeholders to inform the public about their work on DRR. The SFVC online platform is a useful toolto know who is doing what and where for the implementation of the Sendai Framework, which could foster potential collaboration among stakeholders. All stakeholders (private sector, civil society organizations, academia, media, local governments, etc.) working on DRR can submit their commitments and report on their progress and deliverables.'|t }}

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