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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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Measuring Vulnerability to Natural Hazards Towards Disaster Resilient Societies EDITED BY JÖRN BIRKMANN

A seemingly non-stop series of disasters has shown that societies worldwide seem unprepared for the threats posed by natural hazards: Hurricane Katrina, drought in Africa; flooding in China and Germany; earthquakes in Pakistan and India; a tsunami in South-East Asia; and forest fi res in Portugal, Australia and North America. The tragic impacts of these events drew short-term attention from policy makers, the media and the general public, but their response was too late to prevent serious harm. Societies need to measure their vulnerabilities in advance, and make adequate provisions. This book is a unique compilation of state-of-the-art vulnerability assessment and is essential reading for academics, students, policy makers, practitioners, and anybody else interested in understanding the fundamentals of measuring vulnerability. It is a critical review that provides important conclusions which can serve as an orientation for future research towards more disaster resilient communities.

Jörn Birkmann is an Academic Officer at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and Chair of the International Expert Working Group on Measuring Vulnerability.

Contents Overview: Foreword, Hans van Ginkel Preface, Sálvano Briceño Introduction, Janos J. Bogardi Basic principles and theoretical basis Contributors include: Jörn Birkmann, Stefan Schneiderbauer, Daniele Ehrlich, Angela Queste and Peter Lauwe. Vulnerability and environment Contributors: Fabrice Renaud, Marcel T.J. Kok, Vishal Narain, Steven Wonink, Jill Jaeger Global, national and sub-national index approaches Contributors include: Mark Pelling, Pascal Peduzzi, Maxx Dilley, Omar Cardona, Stefan Greiving, Robert Kiunsi, Manoris Victor Meshak, and Erich J. Plate. Local vulnerability assessment Contributors include: Christina Bollin, Ria Hidajat, Masaru Arakida, Juan Carlos Villagrán de León, Ben Wisner, Jörn Birkmann, Nishara Fernando, and Siri Hettige. Institutional vulnerability, coping and lessons learned Contributors include: Louis Lebel, Elena Nikitina, Vladimir Kotov, Jesse Manuta, Reinhard Mechler, Stefan Hochrainer, Joanne Linnerooth-Bayer, Georg Pfl ug, Simon Horner, Peter Billing, Ulrike Madengruber, Elisabeth Krausmann, and Fesil Mushtaq. Comparative glossary of disaster reduction, Katharina Thywissen Conclusion, Jörn Birkmann

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