06.12.2011 - Natural Sciences Sector / IOC

Development of new adaptation and mitigation guidelines to assist coastal managers

© Mainichi Shinbun

Exposure to natural marine-related hazards is expected to increase due both to growth in population density in low-lying coastal areas and the effects of global climate change. Experience over recent years of the impacts of coastal hazards, in developed and developing countries alike, has shown that inadequate preparation for, and response to, emergency situations have contributed to widespread damage and the avoidable loss of lives and livelihoods. In many cases, they have reflected inadequate awareness, planning and coordination on the part of national and local authorities and agencies.

In this context, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission has established a new Technical Expert Group composed of natural and social scientists, coastal engineers, coastal zone managers, to start working on the preparation of a set of international guidelines on best practices related to the formulation of climate change. The meeting will take place at UNESCO headquarters on 8-9 December.

The Group is co-sponsored by the Government of Korea and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).  It will build on the work of the IOC Programme on Integrated Coastal Area Management (ICAM), and the guidebook published in 2009 on Hazard Awareness and Risk Mitigation through the Integrated Coastal Area Management (IOC Manual and Guide No 50) which have been prepared for use by national and local governments. During the two-day meeting, experts should reach a consensus on the scope, structure, format and outline of the guidelines that IOC will develop in the coming months.

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