Community Monitoring & Preparedness for Natural Disasters Initiative
The recent rise in the severity and frequency of natural disasters is of serious concern to the global community. These disasters significantly impact global development. Annual economic losses by these disasters have increased worldwide from US$75.5 billion in the 1960s to US$659.9 billion in the 1990s. Today 85% of the people exposed to natural hazards and disasters including earthquakes, tropical cyclones, floods and droughts live in developing countries.
To reduce loss of life and economic impact, the United Nations strives to raise global awareness on natural disasters and on the possible approaches communities can take to reduce the impact of such disasters. Noting the emergence of many techniques and methodologies for early warning and community preparation for disasters, as well as the rapid advances in information-sharing technology, the United Nations seeks to facilitate timely exchange of disaster-related information, data and experiences to all interested Member States.
this end, the UNDP launched an initiative on Community Monitoring &
Preparedness for Natural Disasters, COMPREND, partly based on the successes of the Global Programme on Integration of Public Administration and the
Science of Disasters (UNGP-IPASD), which ended in 2003. Established in
September 2004, this new global initiative promotes activities that catalyze
environmental monitoring and preparedness efforts at the local community level
for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and severe weather disasters. Founded on
south-south cooperation, i.e., collaboration between developing countries,
COMPREND is a global program that encourages the sharing of community disaster
experiences and advances in forecasting technologies. It recognizes that early
warning for natural disasters at the community level depends upon parallel
activities that strengthen public awareness of the environment and its changes,
local forecasting capabilities and social organization to gather and
disseminate relevant information effectively. In 2007, COMPREND continues its
efforts on the grass-root level, focusing on Asian communities such as those in
COMPREND is designed at the global level to share interregional knowledge through face–to–face meetings, international conferences/demonstrations, exchange visits, workshops, publications and a website. It facilitates collaborative research using advances in software and data from established global monitoring networks. At the national and local levels, COMPREND projects include monitoring changes in the natural environment, raising public awareness through education and action-learning, and strengthening local information and communication networks to link communities with scientists and public administrators in disaster reduction. Protocols that are specific to each locality, country and type of disaster will be integrated to share information, vulnerability, risk and preparedness strategies.
Below are examples of the types of projects and outcomes that COMPREND facilitates. These documented results are the accomplishments of the United Nations Global Programme for the Integration of Public Administration and the Science of Disasters, UNGP-IPASD, which preceded COMPREND and completed in 2003.
CSCAN-Philippines, as a
community-based system, achieved remarkable results in seeing ahead for six
medium-sized earthquakes that occurred between January 2002 and April 2003.
These results are documented in two UNDP -
The community-based earthquake monitoring networks in
INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON NATURAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT: GETTING TOGETHER, SHARING EXPERIENCE, DEVELOPING COOPERATION FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND MANAGEMENT; Linking Disaster Rehabilitation with Sustainable Human Development (UNDP & UNOCHA sponsored workshop: 10 – 12 June, 1999, Beijing, China)
The attached table shows what COMPREND activities can offer local communities in terms of expanded possibilities for community-based disaster monitoring, education and preparedness.
COMPREND is bold in its focus on producing timely results at the country and local levels. Multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral in scope, this global program utilises innovations in the social and physical sciences to engage local communities in disaster awareness and action. Support by partners from the public-private sectors and all walks of life are welcomed.
For further information on COMPREND, please contact:
Jean J. Chu
Tel. +1-718-791-9763 (when in the
+86-136-9306-7556 (when in
+63-919-836-5037 (when in the
Senior Technical Advisor