FAO Publications Focus on Disaster Risk Reduction and Forestry Links
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On the occasion of the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) released a special edition of its forestry journal focusing on the impacts of disasters on forest-dependent communities and published a brochure on natural disasters, agriculture and food and nutrition security.

FAOMarch 2015: On the occasion of the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) released a special edition of its forestry journal focusing on the impacts of disasters on forest-dependent communities and published a brochure on natural disasters, agriculture and food and nutrition security.

The journal, ‘Unasylva’, highlights the importance of linking forests to the global agenda on disaster risk reduction, especially given the important role of forests and forest ecosystem services in increasing resilience and recovery. Overall, the journal covers forest – disaster links ranging from hurricanes, earthquakes and floods to wildfires, the Ebola outbreak, human conflict and nuclear accidents.

The journal includes examples of forests supporting disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Haiti, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Sudan and the US. On the other hand, the journal highlights the importance of considering forest risks and exposure to disasters using cases from Australia and Ukraine.

In addition to the journal, FAO released a brochure on ‘The Impacts of Natural Hazards and Disasters on Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security.’ The brochure concludes that agriculture, fisheries and forestry account for some 22% of the economic loss from natural disasters in developing countries. However, due in part to a lack of sector-specific data, assistance provided to various sectors following a natural disaster is inadequate and DRR is not comprehensively mainstreamed in sector-specific strategies and plans.

The brochure also discusses differences in the impacts of natural disasters noting, for example, that the greatest driver of loss for fisheries is associated with tsunamis, while for forestry, it is severe storms. Based on its findings, the brochure calls for action to: make livelihoods more disaster resilient by focusing on sector-specific DRR measures; improve sustainability; enhance financing for local communities; and scale-up successful examples of mainstreamed DRR in the agriculture sector. [Publication: Unasylva – Volume 66 2015-1/2] [Publication: The Impacts of Natural Hazards and Disasters on Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security: A Call for Action to Build Resilient Livelihoods]

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