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Societal Impacts of Extreme Climate Events

Background and Justification
The 1997-98 El Niño event has received extensive attention from the research community and governmental institutions alike. For some countries this is the first event that clearly shows the potential vulnerability of their society to the impacts of extreme climate events. The typical case of such extreme climate events is the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a natural phenomenon that recurs on average every four and a half years. They can recur, however, between 2 and 7 years. Given the present-day uncertainties and speculation about how global warming might affect the frequency and intensity of ENSO events, it is extremely important and timely that societies around the world improve their understanding of and responses to extreme climatic event forecasts and potential impacts.
In recognition of El Niño's disruptive influence, the United Nations General Assembly at its 52nd Session adopted a resolution calling on Governments and the UN system to increase international cooperation on reducing the impacts of El Niño on human activities worldwide.
Project Implementation

Component 1: Assessment Studies

Countries for the El Nino Study
This study, entitled "Reducing the Impact of Environmental Emergencies Through Early Warning and Preparedness – The Case of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)" is a partnership among the following United Nations agencies:
United Nations University (UNU) UNU Home Page United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) UNEP Home Page
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) WMO Home Page  International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) ISDR Home Page 
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) NCAR Home Page 
Participating countries include China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Kenya, Mozambique, Panama, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The detailed country reports are available on this website and in a CD-ROM from the contact address below. The executive summary of the country reports is available as a book from UNU.

Please also visit the Project Website for details about the project itself
Component 2: Climate Affairs Program
Please Go To Climate Affairs Website

Contact Info:

Dr. Zafar Adeel
Academic Programme Officer
Environment and Sustainable Development
The United Nations University
5-53-70 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku
Tokyo, Japan 150-8925
Tel: + 81-3-3499-2811
Fax: +81-3-3406-7347
Email: Dr. Zafar Adeel

Last Update: 5 April 2002