The Conference

The Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference will focus on how countries can improve the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warnings as well as risk information and assessments

enlightenedPractical information [Pdf]

The Conference will be hosted by the Government of Mexico in Cancún from 22 to 23 May 2017. It will be held in conjunction with the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), which will take place in Cancún from 22 to 26 May (preparatory meetings on 22 and 23 May will be followed by the official opening on 24 May, including a Special Session on Early Warning).

The Conference will:

  • Guide efforts and investments by countries and international organizations for the development of effective, impact-based, multi-hazard early warning systems;
  • Review the progress made by countries to establish early warning systems in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on climate change mitigation and adaptation; and
  • Promote information exchange on good practices in individual, cluster and multi-hazard early warning systems in order to learn from these and replicate them.

Statistics over the last decades show an increase in the frequency and severity of disasters around the globe. Scientists believe that climate variability and change are exacerbating high impact weather and climate events, which have major human, environmental and economic consequences. However, many developing countries, including least developed countries (LDCs), small island developing states (SIDS), and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), have not benefited from advances in early warning systems as much as they could have done. The science, technology and governance behind early warning systems have spread unevenly across regions, countries and communities. There are significant gaps in these systems, especially in reaching the “last mile” – the most vulnerable and exposed populations – with timely, understandable and actionable warning information.

A multi-hazard approach to early warning systems has been shown to be effective in dealing with multiple, sometimes concurrent, hazards, and can provide the economies of scale necessary to make such systems sustainable as a whole. Currently, efforts are needed to develop multi-hazard early warning systems (MHEWSs) that are informed by risk and impact information and that include feedback mechanisms for continuous improvement. Such approaches require coordination, expertise and continuous learning by relevant stakeholders as well as more efforts to better understand how individual and cluster hazards function.

The Conference is expected to serve as a preparatory meeting for the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction conducted by UNISDR, complementing its overarching goals and contributing more detailed background to its Special Session on Early Warning on the opening day.

Conference structure

Conflerence flyer [Pdf]

The Conference will consist of plenary sessions and will include panel discussions and a poster session. Provisions will be made for the organization of side meetings.

The preliminary programme will be published here when available.