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Getting Disaster Resilience Right

World leaders and decision-makers from more than 100 countries will gather later this month in Sendai, Japan, to finalize a new global framework for disaster risk reduction which will replace the 2005 Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). The stakes could not be higher, especially for the countries of Asia and the Pacific – by far the most disaster-prone region in the world. 2014 was a year without a single large-scale Asia-Pacific earthquake or tsunami, yet 119 disasters still caused more than 6,000 fatalities and economic losses of almost US$60 billion, as storms, floods and landslides wreaked havoc…


UN calls for investment in disaster resilience as costs reach $300bn per year

The UN is calling on countries to increase investment in risk reduction strategies after it revealed in a report that the cost of disasters worldwide has reached an average of $250 billion (£164) to $300 billion (£197bn) every year…


Florida banned state workers from using term ‘climate change’ – report

Officials with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the agency in charge of setting conservation policy and enforcing environmental laws in the state, issued directives in 2011 barring thousands of employees from using the phrases “climate change” and “global warming”, according to a bombshell report by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR)…


California farmers resign themselves to drought: ‘Nobody’s fault but God’s’

Kim Hammond does not want responsibility for her neighbours’ livelihoods, or for the crops which stretch in all directions as far as the eye can see, or for the earth itself in this corner of California. But these days, her little bungalow office in the yard of her family’s drilling company can feel like Mount Olympus. “It’s just way too stressful, playing God,” said Hammond, a grandmother who co-owns the company and works as its secretary. “Every day we have people on the phone or here in person, pleading. It breaks your heart. But I always give it to them straight. I don’t sugarcoat it.” It is her job to tell farmers when – or if – a team can visit their property to drill for groundwater and make a well which can save a crop, avert bankruptcy and, perhaps, preserve a way of life…



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