Disaster risk management


Mountains are hazardous places.
Many mountain communities live under the threat of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions caused by shifting tectonic plates.
Gravity pushing down on sloping land compounds the destructive power of storms and heavy rains, producing avalanches, landslides and floods. Population growth, climate change and unsustainable natural resource management practices are putting dangerous pressure on the mountain ecosystems and making mountain communities increasingly vulnerable to disasters.

Women, children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to disasters. And in many mountain areas, it is these members of the community that are looking after mountain homesteads, as the men move to lowland cities or abroad to earn a better income and support their family through remittances.

Forces from outside mountain communities, such as commercial logging interests and market-driven agricultural production, also put pressure on mountain ecosystems. All of this can lead to deforestation and environmental degradation. The loss of forest cover deprives mountain communities of a protective barrier against landslides and avalanches and further contributes to increased soil erosion and water run off.

To reduce the risks of disasters in mountain areas it is urgent to increase awareness and to develop integrated strategies and policies on disaster risk management at the national level. Policy-makers involved with disaster risk management cannot afford to neglect mountains, considering the high number of natural hazards in mountain areas and the high vulnerability of mountain communities. 

Critical transitions a year after Nepal quake

Critical transitions a year after Nepal quake

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Standing in the midst of the eerie silence surrounded by debris in Thulo Haku, a village in the upper belt of Rasuwa district in central Nepal, one could have easily imagined that the devastating earthquake had hit just a week or two ago, and not close to a year earlier....

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Submissions for UN report on mountains

Submissions for UN report on mountains

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The Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) is currently compiling summaries of the most important results of mountain development activities since July 2013 for the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Report on Sustainable Mountain Development.

Now requested every three years, the MPS and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations,...

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Mountain Research and Development issue online

Mountain Research and Development issue online

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When exploring pathways for sustainable development, knowledge about context matters just as much as our understanding of global processes. Papers in Open Issue (Vol 36, No 1) of Mountain Research and Development (MRD) carefully examine the changing social-ecological context and the global factors influencing it. Papers offer insights...

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Local government  action in Panama mountains

Local government action in Panama mountains

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In order to implement the pilot test of local urban indicators of the global campaign ‘Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready’, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) - the regional office for the Americas, and the Municipality of Bugaba, Panama, held a workshop on 9-10...

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New issue of MRD Journal is online

New issue of MRD Journal is online

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The devastating earthquakes in Nepal have shown once again how vulnerable mountain people are to natural hazards. Science can provide evidence that helps to better focus policy and development efforts to strengthen the resilience of mountain people and ecosystems to natural disasters.

Authors in this issue review the recently...

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Himalayan Glaciers Will Shrink Despite Steady Climate

Himalayan Glaciers Will Shrink Despite Steady Climate

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Some glaciers of the Himalayas will continue shrinking for many years to come, even if temperatures hold steady, a Brigham Young University geology professor, Summer Rupert, has predicted. Rupper’s most conservative findings indicate that even if climate remained steady, almost 10 percent of Bhutan’s glaciers will vanish within the next...

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