Reduce Vulnerability to Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards
Over the last decade, disasters triggered by physical or biological natural hazards have claimed more than 600,000 lives and affected more than 2.4 billion people world-wide, the majority in developing countries. In addition, anthropogenic hazards such as oil spills can cause significant damage to ocean and coastal ecosystems, and disrupt commercial and recreational marine activity. Now more than ever, the international community must accelerate its efforts to reduce global vulnerability to natural and anthropogenic hazards. However, coastal communities are lacking critical resources and expertise to educate, plan, prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the negative impacts of hazards that threaten their existence.
While prevention, preparedness, and mitigation strategies have been applied on a large scale in the developed world, these resilience measures have not been adequate. Developing countries, particularly those in regions facing multiple hazards, confront an even larger challenge, since they do not possess the same resources and planning tools as the developed world. Often in many nations, sufficient resources, tools, data, and information are not available to the appropriate decision makers. Moreover, the importance of hazard mitigation is often not clear to policymakers or the general population. In addition, training, education and communications gaps that exist in these areas hinder or prevent information sharing critical to building hazard resilient coastal communities.
- Engage and collaborate with our international partners to increase the international capability at the regional scale to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and mitigate negative impacts of physical and biological natural hazards to coastal ecosystems.
- Engage and collaborate with our international partners to create regional plans for increasing international capabilities to prevent, prepare for and respond to anthropogenic hazards in coastal ecosystems, such as oil and chemical spills, ship groundings, land-based pollution, and over-fishing.
- Provide essential scientific information, tools, technical capability and expertise needed for effective and better-informed coastal resource management, as well as a framework for national policy leadership.
- Support effective management, sound science, and exchange of information and tools to preserve, sustain and restore valuable coastal ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangrove forests, and wetlands that mitigate damage from coastal storms and pollution.
- Collect, analyze, and distribute historical and real-time observations and predictions of water levels, coastal currents, and other meteorological, biological, and oceanographic data to help protect life and property, and support economic growth, and protect the environment. The NOS water level observation capability is integrated with NOAA’s goals and objectives for tsunami warning systems.
- Support coastal hazard mitigation and planning activities at the local and state levels.
- Serve as a focal point for spill preparedness, hazardous waste site investigation, environmental damage and restoration, as well as marine debris prevention and removal.
- Define, maintain, and manage NOAA's National Spatial Reference System, nautical charting, hydrographic surveying, and other related geospatial activities, thus continuing as a world leader in the conduct, development, training, and promotion of the standards necessary to protect life, property, economic growth, and the environment.
- Develop NOAA international marine debris strategy.
- Share NOS tools and methodologies in hazard prediction, preparedness, mitigation and response with priority regions and countries.
NOS will reduce vulnerability to natural and anthropogenic hazards through building international capacity in order to understand, forecast, prepare for, respond and adapt to hazards.