The recent tsunami in South Asia was a tragic reminder of how vulnerable human society is to natural disasters. Extreme events such as droughts, floods, heat waves, tropical cyclones, and hurricanes can cause widespread damage and loss of life: devastating communities and destroying decades of development work. Even industrialised countries with sophisticated prevention and response measures can face billions in recovery and reconstruction, with long-term socio-economic impacts. The development community has worked extensively to tackle the threat of natural disasters, concentrated in the field of disaster risk management. This section outlines the projected changes in climate extremes, based largely on the work of the IPCC. This is followed by a review of disaster risk management research and policy; exploring the major areas of progress and some of the obstacles hindering the integration of disaster management with climate change policy.
London, UK: IIED, 14 pp.