Ecosystems include forests, mangroves, wetlands, coral reefs, sand dunes etc, which can help prevent or mitigate hazards: Mountain forests reduce the risk of avalanches and landslides. Healthy ecosystems reduce people’s vulnerability to disasters by supporting livelihoods and meeting basic needs for food, water, fuel and shelter. Ecosystems enable vulnerable communities and countries to become more resilient to disasters.
UNEP works to promote environment as a disaster risk reduction solution - promoting ecosystem-based approaches such as river basin management, coastal zone management and protected area management as a means to reduce disaster risk and build resilience of vulnerable communities and countries.
"All disasters are preventable" - Muralee Thummarukudy
UNEP works with others to promote environmental solutions to risk reduction and ensure that those solutions are reflected in global standards and frameworks.
UNEP has also developed ecosystem-based DRR approaches and training with universities to strengthen the postgraduate teaching of environmental subjects.
In Haiti, UNEP, supported by the European Commission, promotes sustainable management of coastal zones to improve local livelihoods and reduce the risk of disasters. UNEP supports local government and communities to use coastal conservation approaches to protect communities from storm surges as well as landslides and erosion on neighbouring hills that put communities and the marine environment at risk.
Haiti, Coastal Partners - UNEP plans to expand this approach to other countries and ecosystems in Latin America and the Caribbean [See online]