United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations (UN). It bridges the academic world and the UN system. Its goal is to develop sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it aims at applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 and is an autonomous organ of the UN General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.


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  1. Special journal issue: Connections between (changing) rainfall patterns, food and livelihood security, and human mobility (Open Access)

    This  Climate and Development Special Issue (Volume 6, Issue 1, 2014) entitled Connections between (changing) rainfall patterns, food and livelihood security, and human mobility: Evidence and a new analytical framework is guest edited by the Where the Rainfalls project Scientific Director, Dr. Koko Warner and features several UNU-EHS researchers. |Read more

  2. REPORT LAUNCH: The World Risk Report 2013 - Health and Healthcare

    The 2013 World Risk Index (WRI 2013) is calculated by the United Nations University for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and featured in the 2013 World Risk Report (WRR 2013) published by the Alliance Development Works/Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft (BEH). The report systematically considers a country’s vulnerability, and its exposure to natural hazards to determine a ranking of countries around the world based on their disaster risk. |Read more

  3. REPORT LAUNCH: Climate change, rainfall patterns, livelihoods and migration in Cabricán, Guatemala

    3 April 2014, Guatemala City, Guatemala – A new report published by UNU-EHS and funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation found that changing rainfall patterns have a direct negative impact on local food and livelihood security in Cabricán, Guatemala.  To add to the severity of the problem local residents have no effective long-term coping or adaptation strategies (i.e. livelihood diversification and migration), which puts them at risk of being trapped in a place where they are increasingly more vulnerable to climate change. |Read more

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    PRESS NOTE: New project uses mobile data to understand climate impacts

    Barcelona, 26 February 2014 – The Mobile Data, Environmental Extremes and Population (MDEEP) project was presented today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. MDEEP is a first- time application of mobile call data records (CDR) to understand climate impacts by mapping population flows before and after an extreme weather event. | Read more

  5. BOOK RELEASE: Measuring vulnerability to natural hazards - New book presents innovative approaches for disaster resilient societies

    In January 2010 an earthquake with a 7.0 magnitude devastated Haiti, causing 230 000 fatalities and widespread damage and destruction to vital infrastructure. Almost exactly a year later in February 2011 an earthquake with a 6.3 magnitude hit New Zealand, resulting in only 187 fatalities. How can this huge discrepancy in loss be explained? High vulnerability and low adaptive capacity to natural hazards and weather and climate related extreme events are crucial factors that decide whether an extreme event will translate into extreme impacts or not. |Read more

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    PRESS RELEASE: Online UNU Migration Network Launches Today

    A portal to showcase cutting-edge migration research for policymakers

    10 February 2014, Barcelona — The United Nations University (UNU) announces the launch today of the UNU Migration Network . |Read more
  7. Families affected by tropical storm receive first ever insurance payout

    Policy holders of the Livelihood Protection Policy (LPP) in St. Lucia, Caribbean, received their first ever insurance payouts this month, following a tropical storm that hit the region during the holiday season. |Read more

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    Invitation to Seminar Series – Risk and Uncertainty for Sustainable Development

    The Center for Development Research (ZEF), the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), and the Bonn International Conversion Center (BICC) jointly organize a seminar series on Risk and Uncertainty for Sustainable Development. The seminar series addresses opportunities, risks and uncertainties for development. It provides a forum for agenda setting and discussion on related themes with leading experts in this field of research and policy. |Read more

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    New Report - Climate Risk Adaptation and Insurance: Reducing vulnerability and sustaining the livelihoods of low-income communities

    January 2014 – A new report by the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) and published by UNU-EHS, takes a close look at climate risk insurance and the role it can play in reducing social vulnerability and poverty in affected populations.  The report provides decision makers with a useful handbook on risk management and risk transfer (with a focus on insurance) in the Caribbean. |Read more

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    Call for Applications: Master of Science Programme “Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security”

    Deadline: 28 February 2014

    The United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and the University of Bonn are pleased to announce the call for applications for the Joint International MSc Programme “Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security”. |Read more

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