An assessment of capacities, gaps and opportunities towards building a comprehensive global early warning system for all natural hazards:
The present report synthesises the findings of a global survey of capacities and gaps for early warning systems requested in March 2005 by the United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan with a view to establish a “worldwide early warning system for all natural hazards building on existing national and regional capacity”. It was carried out by the UNISDR secretariat in collaboration with a multi-party working group established at the 11th session of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Reduction (IATF/DR) in May 2005.
Information for the survey was gathered from existing sources, including from reports submitted by 122 countries for the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, in 2005, regional reports prepared for the Second International Conference on Early Warning, in 2003 and ISDR publications. Inputs obtained specifically for the survey included updated information from 23 countries and 20 international agencies and early warning system reports and surveys undertaken by other agencies.
The survey finds that considerable progress has been made in developing the knowledge and technical tools required to assess risks and to generate and communicate predictions and warnings, particularly as a result of growing scientific understanding and the use of modern information and communication technologies. Early warning system technologies are now available for almost all types of hazards and are in operation in at least some parts of the world.