Document / Publication
The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2017 reviews progress made towards the 17 Goals in the second year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The report is based on the latest available data. It highlights both gains and challenges as the international community moves towards full realization of the ambitions and principles espoused in the 2030 Agenda.
There are particular highlights for the disaster risk reduction community. In 2014-2015, most reporting countries indicated that environmental impact assessments, legislation on protected areas, climate change adaptation projects and programmes, and integrated planning played a major role in reducing underlying risk factors.
Economic losses from natural hazards are now reaching an average of 250 billion to 300 billion US dollars a year, with a disproportionate impact on small and vulnerable countries. Based on estimated future loss—as measured by Average Annual Loss (AAL)—the largest economic losses attributed to disasters will be concentrated in bigger economies. However, smaller and more vulnerable countries, particularly the small island developing States, will bear a disproportionate impact in relation to the size of their economies.
From 1990 to 2015, more than 1.6 million people died in internationally reported natural hazards, and the trend is moving upward. Data on smaller-scale disasters show a statistically significant trend towards increasing mortality in events with fewer than 100 deaths. Disaster mortality reflects not only exposure to hazards, but also a confluence of other vulnerability factors, such as poor urban management, environmental degradation, lack of disaster preparedness, and poverty and inequality.
Over the last decade, countries have made progress in managing the worst impacts of disasters, mainly by developing institutions and policies for disaster risk reduction and strengthening capacity for disaster preparedness, response and early warning. That said, progress has been limited in tackling the underlying drivers of disaster risk—poverty, poor urban planning and land use, weak environmental and resource management, and climate change. Countries have thus begun implementing national and local disaster risk reduction strategies that also address these risk factors. Of 96 countries that reported data, all used environmental impact assessments as a mechanism to address such factors. However, only 51 countries used payment for ecosystem services as a mechanism, which is known to promote better land management and the protection of ecological services.