UN/ISDR Stresses Importance of DRR Following Thailand Floods

23 January 2011: Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), met with Thai officials to discuss new government proposals on risk management and urged government support for business and community disaster risk management plans.

According to UN/ISDR, the costs associated with the severe flooding in Bangkok are estimated at US$40 billion. Wahlström encouraged a “major re-think about the role of risk management and disaster risk reduction (DRR)” in order to prevent the recurrence of this disaster. She also welcomed the government's plan for flood mitigation including a reforestation programme, and improved procedures around the release of water from hydro-electric dams. Wahlström also cautioned that climate change and increased weather variability will lead to an increased frequency in floods. [UN Press Release] [UN/ISDR Press Release]