UNISDR NEWS Septembre 2015
Here’s a great publication available free and online from the UN University. It comes with a foreword from the head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlstrom, which reads in part:
“If one considers that floods disrupt the lives of over 100 million people every year, then it seems obvious that ecosystems have a role to play in limiting the impacts on our built environment and that we cannot simply pretend we can avoid harm by constructing more dykes, dams, spillways and other built structures. The proper use and preservation of natural and constructed wetlands not only help withstand storm surges but also reduce the volumes of rainwater runoff in urban areas. A key benefit of wetlands and environmental buffers is to act as flood retention basins and reduce flooding in built-up areas.
“One statistic worth pondering in relation to the value of well-managed ecosystems is that 1.3 million trees can catch 7 billion m3 of rainwater per year, which amounts to a major reduction in stormwater drainage. This is a welcome and timely publication …it is a forceful and eloquent reminder that environmental management is an essential part of best practice in disaster risk reduction.