Data Driven Preparedness for Disasters

In December 2015, Paris hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Governments, nongovernmental organizations and local communities gathered to take action against climate change and move forward after successive failures in reaching common ground for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The historic COP21 agreement that came out of the Paris meetings will be governing law in just a few weeks, after being ratified earlier this month.

Flood seen from satellite. Photo by: NASA Earth Observatory

Flood seen from satellite. Photo by: NASA Earth Observatory

However, the enactment of the first meaningful international climate regulation shouldn’t hide the alarming situation on the ground and the lack of preparedness among communities to face growing numbers of increasingly intense climate change-related disasters. Take the potentially catastrophic threats posed by increased flooding.

According to the United Nations, 250 million people are affected by flooding every year — many of these people lose their livelihoods and their lives. The number of people threatened by flooding and its impact on gross domestic product will double by 2030, creating disaster damage that the world is simply not prepared to handle. Many communities and governments living in the path of today’s and tomorrow’s floods do not even have insufficient information about the risks the disasters pose.

To read the full piece on Devex, click here.

To see the agreement, click here.