UNEP Executive Director Calls for “Climate Proofing” Economies

Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP 25 August 2008: Achim Steiner UN Under-Secretary General and

the UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) Executive Director, spoke on risk and

climate change at the International Disaster Risk Conference (IDRC), which

convened in Davos, Switzerland, from 25-29 August 2008.

Noting the decline of

community resilience due to the loss of critical ecosystems, he warned of

increased migration, water stress and flooding in densely-populated areas, and

called for scaled up adaptation efforts.

To effectively deal with the changing

patterns of risk, he emphasized the need for political will and financing to

support the scaling up of implementation efforts, saying, “climate proofing

economies to minimize vulnerability to future disasters in now crucial.”

Underscoring that the cost of adaptation will be significantly less than the

costs of damage, he cited the UN/ISDR Partnership for Environment and Disaster

Risk Reduction, which seeks to facilitate collective action towards better

coordinated “environmental efforts in pursuit of disaster risk reduction and

sustainable development.” [UNEP

Executive Director Steiner's speech] [Conference website]