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Note to the reader from the UNU
This book is an outcome of a research project on "Community Responses to Industrial Hazards" carried out under the Environment Programme of the United Nations University. The project was initiated with a conference of the same title held in Minamata, Japan, in November 1992. The main objectives of the project were to study cases where societal disruption has been caused by serious environmental pollution, and to exchange information and lessons concerning the community recovery process following such disasters. The explicit concern was to learn from these experiences so as to avoid similar unfortunate episodes in the future and, where they cannot be avoided, to facilitate community rehabilitation.
The seven case-studies selected cover a variety of geographical locations in both industrialized and developing countries. The hazards analysed fall into the category of disaster "surprises," and range from industrial accidents to those caused by war. The book focuses on the relatively neglected issue of long-term recovery from industrial disasters. It calls for a new system for conceptualizing and managing industrial hazards and disasters.
The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations University.
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