Natural Hazards

Disaster, Planning and Development: Managing Natural Hazards to Reduce Loss (1990)

After seven years of field work it is now possible to prepare this synthesis of OAS experience with natural hazards. The material comes with a broad set of objectives, a reflection of the breadth of the issues involved in hazard mitigation. At the policy level, it is hoped that national planning ministries, development agencies, and international financing institutions will be encouraged to systematically include analyses of natural hazards in their economic development programs.

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General Study on the Vulnerability of Road Segments to Natural Hazards of the Pan American Highway and its Complementary Corridors in Central America (2001)

This document presents information on the vulnerability of road segments of the Pan American Highway and when available, information on its alternate or complementary corridors in Central America. The document also contains information about the vulnerability of each section of the Pan American Highway, the natural hazards to which it is prone, the length of each vulnerable road segment, a list of vulnerability reduction measures taken, and the history of disasters it has suffered (where information was available).

This information is based on Central American vulnerability profile studies carried out by technical teams from the Central American countries with international coordination by the DSD. The DSD has coordinated these efforts and has been working on the development of vulnerability studies since March 2000.

The matrices are available for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama. In order to receive a copy, please contact the respective Ministries.

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Incorporating Natural Hazard Assessment and Mitigation into Project Preparation (1988)

This document was prepared by the Department to help identify the major constraints and opportunities to further the use of natural hazard information during the investment project formulation process, focusing on development assistance agencies. It describes their roles, procedures, structure, and influence, and presents a strategy for promoting natural hazard assessment and mitigation in investment projects. Also included is a list of issues for discussion by CIDIE members to assist each member in defining future actions it might undertake.

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Mechanisms for Mutual Assistance in Case of Damage and Vulnerability Reduction of Transportation Infrastructure in Central America - Working Document (2001)

The Unit for Sustainable Development of the Organization of American States (OAS/DSD) has had an active role in vulnerability reduction to natural hazards and has been supporting disaster reduction activities related to the transportation sector. Prior to Hurricane Mitch the OAS/DSD approached the Central American Secretariat for Economic Integration (SIECA) and COMITRAN on the need to begin a systematic evaluation of the Pan American Highway to natural hazards.

Following that disastrous event, and as part of the U.S. Government’s interagency support of reconstruction activities in the affected countries, which are coordinated by the USAID, the OAS/DSD approached the U.S, Department of Transportation (USDOT) for financial support studies on the disaster reduction of the Central America transportation sector. One component of those studies is a the preparation of a document to identify existing and potential mechanisms for mutual assistance in case of damage to infrastructure and vulnerability reduction of the transportation sector in Central America. This study also forms part of OAS/DSD’s support of the implementation of the Western Hemisphere Transportation Initiative (WHTI) through is action plan adopted at the WHTI meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana in December 1998.

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Primer on Natural Hazard Management in Integrated Regional Development Planning (1991)

Following the El Ni˝o occurrence of 1982-83, the member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) expressed the need for technical cooperation in natural hazard management. In response, the Department of Regional Development and Environment (DRDE) initiated the Natural Hazard Project with support from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID).

The need for this book became clear through field work and discussions with planning agency counterparts and representatives of other development assistance agencies. Great strides were made in the past two decades in emergency preparedness and response, but up to now insufficient attention has been paid to reducing the vulnerability of existing and planned development. After seven years of field work, it is now possible to prepare this synthesis of OAS experience with this neglected subject.

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Reduction of Vulnerability to Floods in River Basins - (1996)

Regardless of their size, their location, or the degree of development of the country in which they are situated, river basins play an important role in the economic life of their countries. This becomes even more important when flood-caused losses of capital goods and production and service capacity, especially in major economic sectors such as agriculture, energy, and transportation are taken into account. It is the variability of water resources and its effects on the socioeconomic infrastructure that make the relationship between river-basin management and environmental management so pertinent to sustainable development.

With the support of the Secretariat of Water Resources of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, Water Resources, and Legal Amazonia, experts from these economic sectors and specialists in the environment, planning, and flood mitigation met in Foz do Iguašu to deal with this topic. The conclusions and recommendations of the Seminar-Workshop on Reduction of the Vulnerability of the Agriculture, Energy, and Transportation Sectors to Floods in River Basins are presented in this publication.

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Report of the Secretary General on Bolivia Summit Implementation (1998)

In the context of the institutional arrangements set up in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, the Secretary General of the Organization American States was given the mandate to submit a report on progress attained in the implementation of the initiatives of the Plan of Action on Sustainable Development. The report, to be made available prior to the 1998 Summit of the Americas, was intended as a follow-up on the commitments entered into in Bolivia. This paper is in compliance with the coordinating and follow-up roles entrusted to the OAS.

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