Disaster prevention

 Deforestation accelerates climate change and poses an immediate threat to water resources and livelihoods, especially for low-income communities within these threatened woodlands areas. Photo: UNDP in Nicaragua

The changing climate and increasing exposure to related risks of natural disasters is a challenge for Latin America and especially for the Caribbean. Although the region is responsible for a relatively low share of global greenhouse gas emissions, 12 per cent according to the World Resources Institute, it will be one of the most severely affected by temperature spikes.

Poor people are heavily dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods and subsistence and stand to suffer disproportionately from irreversible changes to ecosystems, which decrease their options for both direct and indirect income generation.

In Latin America, between 2005 and 2012, disasters killed more than 240,000 people, affected another 57 million and resulted in losses equal to $85 billion.

Rapid urbanization, rural and urban poverty, exclusion and inequity, declining ecosystems and environmental degradation further exacerbate climate vulnerability, and threaten hard-won achievements in poverty reduction and human development.

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