Monday | 11 Dec 2017
Welcome to Digital Opportunity, the ‘all about ICT for Development’ channel, brought to you by OneWorld South Asia that informs on digital inclusion, showcases best practices in the sector and provides space for sharing and collaboration amongst ICT for D practitioners.
About Digital Opportunity
OneWorld websites and resources
Appropriate Technology Choice

UNISDR: Google can save lives

03 July 2012

Bookmark and Share

Innovative partnerships with Google and e-providers can contribute to raising awareness about disaster risk reduction in high risk areas, said UN Special Representative for Disaster Reduction, Margareta Wahlström.

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Margareta Wahlström today said Google and other providers of information can make an important contribution to raising awareness about disaster risk reduction in disaster-prone countries.

Speaking in Japan at the Google-hosted event, Big Tent: The Role of Technology in Disaster Preparedness and Relief, Ms. Wahlström who heads the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR, said: “Experience shows that early warning messages save lives if people receiving the message know how to act - what to do when the emergency strikes.

“There is an opportunity for Google and other providers of information to make themselves part of the chain of education and awareness raising that is necessary to reach all people in exposed and vulnerable regions and to save lives. In a number of high risk countries, 90 percent of the people have a cell phone, and only 10 percent have internet access. Innovative partnerships will overcome this gap.”

She pointed out that the internet combined with technologies such as Geographic Information systems makes it possible to better understand hazards, and, in particular, the growing exposure and vulnerability of cities to disasters and risks.

“Easy access to applicable risk assessment and hazard mapping is critical to offer citizens the choice to take decisions on their own safety and how to protect their assets. Partnerships with Google and other e-providers as well as the insurance industry will speed up the availability of such critical information,” she said.

Ms. Wahlström said that over the last 30 years, Asia has experienced 5,000 major weather-related catastrophes, more than any other continent over the same period and had also suffered 51% of the world’s fatalities from natural catastrophes. And the bulk of the record $360 billion economic losses from last year, some 80%, had occurred in Asia.

Greater investment in resilient infrastructure was required if the region was to cope with the fact that GDP exposure to flood is now eight times higher than it was in 1970.

Five Asian countries, Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Vietnam and Pakistan all feature in the highest risk category of a recent survey of countries at “extreme risk” from natural hazards.

She cited the floods in Thailand as an example of high exposure due to the pattern of economic growth. The Chao Praya basin which drains in Bangkok covers 30 per cent of Thailand’s land area and is where 40 per cent of the population lives. It also where 66 per cent of total GDP is generated and where 78 per cent of people find work.

Source : UNISDR

Global Goals 2030
festival ECONOMIA trento
Helpi - your personal safety app
» Online climate conference
Online,  November 5, 2012.
» Open Knowledge Festival 2012
Helsinki, Finland,  September 17,2012.
» ITU Green Standards Week
39, quai du Président Roosevelt 92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux, France,  September 17

Digital Opportunity channels and collaborative projects include:
Ek Duniya Anek Awaaz OneWorld Open Knowledge Network ItrainOnline TIKI the Penguin, Kids Channel
Digital Opportunity