26, April, 2013

Linkages Between Population Dynamics, Urbanization Processes and Disaster Risks: A Regional Vision of Latin America

This report from UNISDR responds to growing concerns about the higher incidences and impacts of disasters on the population and economy in urban areas of the region. Governments in Latin America and the international community have increased efforts to create forward-looking, corrective and prospective risk management strategies.

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Estimates suggest that urbanization will increase and that 90 million more people will be living in cities and 4 million fewer people in rural areas by 2025.

These changes in the population’s spatial distribution will present a policy challenge as it will be necessary to plan adequate services for this growing urban population over the next 15 years, seeking to guide growth within a framework of sustainable development while minimizing environmental impacts.

Moreover, the impact of disasters caused by natural events has increased in recent years resulting in high costs in terms of human lives, infrastructure, people affected and economic, social and environmental losses. Regarding the risk of disasters, Latin America and the Caribbean exhibits a growing incidence of disasters over the past four decades and has the second highest annual average number of disasters after Asia.

Recognizing this reality, three United Nations agencies – the Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) – decided to join efforts and undertake a process of conceptualization and analysis of the linkages between population dynamics, urban development and disaster risk reduction in order to stimulate discussion and contribute to analysis in the region and dialogue in international forums such as Rio +20, Cairo 2014, among others.

This document was prepared by two renowned international experts, Dr. Rogelio Fernandez and Haris Sanahuja, and was subsequently discussed at a regional workshop attended by over thirty experts in population dynamics, urbanization and disaster risk reduction in the region.

Authors: Rogelio Fernandez and Haris Sanahuja
Orginal publication date: 2012

Click here to download the complete document in PDF format (ENGLISH)

Click here to download the complete document in PDF format (SPANISH)



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