Linkages between population dynamics, urbanization processes and disaster risks: a regional vision of Latin America

Dr. Rogelio Fernandez and Haris Sanahuj
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This document presents an analysis of the connections among population dynamics, urbanization processes and disaster risk reduction. Amongst the main findings are that public policies should increase governance and guide urban sustainable development in order to anticipate future levels of exposure, by enhancing land-use plans, climate change adaptation strategies and considering disaster risk management.

This report responds to growing concerns about the higher incidences and impacts of disasters on the population and economy in urban areas of the region. Governments in Latin America and the international community have increased efforts to create forward-looking, corrective and prospective risk management strategies. The findings of the document call for a modification to land use planning that accounts for characteristics of population dynamics and contributes to the resilience of people and communities, especially for the most vulnerable populations in the region.

The document was presented at a regional workshop, in Rio in November 2011, to thirty experts in the fields of Population Dynamics, Climate Change, Urbanization and Disaster Risk Reduction who provided feedback for this document. It is an integrated effort by three United Nations agencies: the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

It is intended for policy makers, national and local governments, civil society organizations, UN bodies, and to everyone in the region whose aim is to support sustainable development and poverty reduction strategies. 

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)