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Interconnected Disaster Risks

Interconnected Disaster Risks is a new science-based report for the general public from United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security. It was first published in 2021, and is set to become an annual report.

The idea for the report was developed based on the recognition that disasters are occurring at an ever faster rate and, despite progress being made in how we prepare and respond to them, we are continuously being caught-out by new extremes and new emerging threats. Because so many disasters happen around the world, they typically only receive attention from the media and the general public right as they occur; shortly thereafter, attention shifts to the next disaster. This means that we rarely take the time to look at disasters in context and ask questions such as, why did this happen, what are the processes that allowed for this to occur in the first place, and what will be consequences in the months or years to come?

When these questions are not answered, disasters appear as isolated events, when in reality, they are not. In fact, disasters are much more interconnected than one might expect, not just with each other, but also with our actions as humans. If we want to prevent them or prepare for them, we need to first understand the bigger picture of what is driving them.

This is the aim of the Interconnected Disaster Risks series. It takes ten disasters each year and analyses how they are interconnected with each other and with human actions. It seeks to explain in simple language the interconnections that might otherwise be missed, and how we can develop solutions to use these connections to our advantage.

At the same time, the report is based on thorough scientific analysis and includes technical background reports for each of the ten disasters for those who would like to engage with the topics further.

The executive summary of the current report can be found here. To download the complete report, please click here. Information for media can be found here.

Lead Authors 2020/2021

Jack O'Connor

Senior Scientist

Caitlyn Eberle

Research Associate

Zita Sebesvari

Deputy Director of UNU-EHS

This report has been made possible due to the funding of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF).

We thank them for their support.

Interconnected Disaster Risks