Disaster Risk Reduction

UNEP works to address the environmental causes and impacts of disasters, as well as promotes sound environmental management and nature-based solutions for reducing disaster risks, with a focus on disaster prevention.  UNEP works with countries and communities to reduce vulnerability to natural and technological hazards; raise  awareness of environmental risks; and support environmental mainstreaming in development and risk reduction policies and action. It strengthens and builds on partnerships, including through the UN system and with civil society, private sector partners and universities, to promote risk-informed development policies, provide trainings and capacity development, and facilitate global dialogue and outreach.

In the last decade, the role of ecosystems in disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) has received increased global attention. Sustainable ecosystem management for DRR or Nature-based Solutions are now recognized as a priority measure in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, to which UNEP is a signatory and active supporter. Drawing on our technical expertise and ample experience in the field, we help vulnerable communities and countries to promote and scale up implementation of Nature-based Solutions and Eco-DRR. UNEP collaborates closely with the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (insert pedrr.org link) and other partners to disseminate knowledge, expertise and best practice in this field. 

Development activities may also result in increasing industrial risks, which can lead to environmental emergencies and acute pollution incidents.  UNEP aims to strengthen environmental governance and management in order to reduce environmental impacts associated with industrial pollution risks and safeguard environmental and public health.  UNEP works closely with national and local Government institutions, communities, industry partners, academia and civil society to promote environmental best practice, including greenhouse gas emissions reduction, in targeted industrial sectors.

Facing floods and landslides, Afghans turn to nature for protection

Amir Beg Khusrawi still has vivid memories of a flash flood that swept through his village in Afghanistan’s rugged northeast a decade ago.

“[It] destroyed around 20 houses, claimed livestock, and damaged…

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UNEP works to prevent and reduce the impacts of natural hazards, industrial accidents and conflicts on vulnerable communities and countries through sustainable natural resource management. Read our latest reports and publications. Learn more


UNEP supports partnerships and networks to integrate ecosystem management solutions for disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and development strategies. Learn more

Contact us

General Enquiries
Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit
For emergencies only: +41 22 917 2010 (OCHA Duty Officer)