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Cambodia, Climate change, Disasters, East Timor, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu

Report names Vanuatu, Tonga as biggest disaster risks

Vanuatu and Tonga are most at risk of disasters of all the world’s nations according to a report released by the U.N. University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security.

Solomon Islands features in fourth place and the Philippines also ranks in the top 5, according to the World Risk Index, which measues social vulnerability, exposure to and ability to cope with natural hazards and the threat of sea level rise.

The Index calculates risk values for 173 countries worldwide.

Bangldesh, Cambodia and Timor-Leste have also been identified as ‘very risky.’

The report makes several recommendations:

  • Increased efforts to limit global warming below 2°C. ‘Worldwide reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases by 85 per cent in 2050 over the 2000 levels must be guaranteed.’
  • Developed countries must provide financial and technical support to the developing and emerging countries to induce a climate-friendly development.
  • Poverty reduction must be at the heart of all strategies. Attention must be paid to the causes of poverty, and address land reforms, democratic reforms and decentralization.
  • Financial resources for disaster preparedness should be substantially increased
  • Disaster risk reduction must feature in all development programs.
  • Disaster risk reduction should be legally enshrined in an international agreement. National governments of countries at risk should take responsibility for protection of the population – rather than relying on international assistance after the fact.

The full report is available at the United Nations University website

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About Samantha Magick

Journalist and editor

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