Disasters do not occur by accident – they are a result of the combined effects of hazards and vulnerable conditions. Disasters undermine hard-earned development gains and limit development achievements for future generations, with climate change expected to exacerbate the impacts of disasters globally.  

The degradation of ecosystems – such as forests, wetlands, coastal and marine systems, and drylands - is now widely understood as a major driver of disaster risk and a key component of disaster vulnerability.  For example, deforested slopes can cause more landslides, while reclaimed wetlands can worsen flooding.

UNEP works to prevent and reduce the impacts of disasters on vulnerable communities and countries through improved ecosystems management. With its solid technical expertise and direct field experience, UNEP integrates an ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) approach into development and climate change adaptation strategies.

UNEP is a signatory party to the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters and accelerates its implementation through evidence-based advocacy, capacity development, partnerships, and field-testing of innovative Eco-DRR solutions that promote sustainable and resilient development.