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Disaster Risk Reduction



Environment & Ecosystem Based Disaster Risk Reduction

UNESCO recognizes that the environment and ecosystems play a vital role in disaster risk reduction. Ecosystems such as forests, mangroves, wetlands, coral reefs and sand dunes aid in preventing and mitigating hazard and climate change risks. Investing in eco disaster risk reduction and good management of river basins, coastal zones and protected areas help build resilience of vulnerable communities and countries while supporting their livelihoods, and meeting their basic needs, such as providing food, water and shelter.
UNESCO works with nature, not against it, to increase resilience and help Member States reach the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction targets, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. 

UNESCO's Contribution


The Intergouvernemental Oceanographic Commission

The overall objective of the project is to provide reliable climate services to monitor and forecast droughts and floods at the local level to improve national risk management strategies and to lower the impact of water-related hazards on vulnerable communities through improved communication and outreach in pilot regions of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, with particular attention to climate change vulnerabilities.



Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP)

is the only intergovernmental programme of the United Nations system devoted to water research and management, and related education and capacity development.


Addressing Climate Change

Over 30 UNESCO programmes in the sciences, education, culture and communication contribute to creating knowledge, educating and communicating about climate change, and to understanding the ethical implications for present and future generations.


Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme

The MAB programme is an intergovernmental scientific programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments. It combines the natural and social sciences with a view to improving human livelihoods and safeguarding natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable.

UNESCO's Partners



OPERANDUM project aims to develop a set of innovative nature based solutions for the mitigation of the impact caused by various natural hazards. Results of OPERANDUM will contribute to the global acceptance of ecosystem services and nature based solutions for disaster risk reduction and will facilitate the adoption of new policies for the reduction of hydro-meteorological risks in rural and natural territories.


Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR)

UNESCO is a member of the PEDRR, a global partnership comprised of UN agencies, international and regional NGOs as well as specialized institutes. It promotes ecosystems management as the key strategy to reduce disaster-related risk, improve local resilience and adapt to a changing climate. PEDRR promotes partnerships at global, regional and national levels and fosters collaboration between environmental science and development communities.



RURITAGE is a 4-year EU-funded project under the Horizon 2020 programme. RURITAGE establishes a new heritage-led rural regeneration approach, transforming rural areas into laboratories for sustainable development, building on the enhancement of their unique Cultural and Natural Heritage potential.



The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an independent intergovernmental body established by States to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.