L'oeil de la Genève Internationale
April 2016

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has just celebrated the first anniversary of one of the world's most wide-ranging Disaster Risk Reduction Agreement (DRR), the Sendai Framework (2015-2030). It was adopted at the Third UN World Conference for DRR on 18 March 2015, in the Japanese city of Sendai. More than 20 million people worldwide took part in the #switch2sendai online campaign to mark this date.

The Sendai Framework aims to achieve the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods, and health. It also seeks to increase the number of countries with national and local risk reduction strategies, bolster the implementation capacity of developing countries, and enhance multi-hazard early warning systems.

According to UNISDR, between 2005 and 2014, disasters killed 700'000 people, affected 1.7 billion, and caused US$1.4 trillion in economic damage. It underlines that « action that addresses the interlinked challenges of disaster risk, sustainable development and climate change is a core priority given that 90% of recorded major disasters caused by natural hazards from 1995 to 2015 were linked to climate and weather including floods, storms, heatwaves and droughts ». In an interconnected world, a disaster's impact can all too easily be felt far from its epicentre. Some 50 million people around the world were affected by 32 major recorded droughts throughout Africa, Asia and the Americas in 2015. This was a doubling of the number of droughts worldwide by comparison with the annual average between 2005 and 2014.

Internationally recognized for their large-scale projects, the award-winning documentary photographers Mathias Braschler and Monika Fischer travelled to 16 countries in all continents to meet those that are directly exposed to the consequences of a changing climate. "The Human Face of Climate Change" project combines the portraits and interviews of over 60 people, published in the book of the same name by Hatje Cantz publishing. Among them, Gouro Modi, a cow herdsman, and his son Dao. Members of the Peul community, from Korientzé, Mali. Gouro confided « We are tired, very tired because the climate has changed. Our homes are far from here. We left because there was not enough rain. It used to rain a lot, but not now. When I was a child, the animals ate well; the people ate well, and everything went well. I'm afraid. All the breeders and shepherds are afraid. If there's no water, we will actually have to dig so that the cows can find water to drink. Our hope is that the water doesn't disappear right away. We pray for the water to come so that the animals can find food to eat ».