Early Warning

Second International Conference on Early Warning (EWC-II)

16-18 October 2003

Bonn, Germany


At the beginning of the twenty-first century, disasters are increasingly affecting societies worldwide, draining resources that could be better used for development and poverty reduction initiatives. The fact that more people and their assets are found in exposed areas to natural hazards, and that the frequency and intensity of these extreme events are expected to increase in the future due to climate change, reiterates the urgent need for the implementation of effective early warning systems.

The importance of early warning is recognized in Agenda 21 and the current follow-up processes. In addition, a particular focus is given by the international community to early warning in the structure and programs of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). The 1998 Potsdam International Conference on Early Warning Systems for Reduction of Natural Disasters (EWC’98) confirmed early warning as a core component of national and international prevention strategies for the 21st. century.

The Second International Conference on Early Warning Systems for Reduction of Natural Disasters (EWCII), subtitled the Integration of the Early Warning Process Into Public Policy, will therefore provide a timely input to two policy frameworks for the effective application in early warning processes worldwide: the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), the 2003-2004 process for the ten-year review of the Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action.

Objectives of EWCII

The EWCII is foreseen as an opportunity to ensure inter-linkages and enhanced dialogue among stakeholders, at all levels, as well as a practical step for strengthened coordination and cooperation to integrate activities, interests and expertise of the various sectors/groups involved in the early warning process.  The objectives of the EWCII are:

  • To support the implementation the recommendation made during the EWC’98 in order to better coordinate and increase the effectiveness of early warning
  • To support the implementation of the recommendations developed for early warning at the WSSD and by the General Assembly of the United Nations, as well as the development of targets set out in the Millennium Declaration
  • To identify emerging trends and new threats, such as climate change and variability, and their implications relative to the early warning process.
  • To help build a consensus among the different sectors involved in early warning, and in particular to contribute to the development of an international early warning mechanism/platform.

Achievement of the above objectives will lead to:

  • An assessment of the effectiveness of early warning processes at the global, regional and/or national level in the intervening years since EWC’98, and the identification of obstacles that may have hindered or prevented intended implementation initiatives.
  • Recommendations for replicating effective early warning processes, to feed into the review of the World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction health in Yokohama in 1994
  • Development of “Blue Prints” for effective early warning processes based on case studies and success stories.
  • Development of strategies for sharing of early warning knowledge, including training and other capacity building activities and technological aspects such as Internet and other dissemination options.
  • Document and share current and future techniques relevant for early warning, vulnerability and risk assessment approaches, including vulnerability and risk assessment strategies, information collection and management and space-based and associated terrestrial remote sensing technology.

EWC-II will be organized by the German National Committee for Disaster Reduction, the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).

Remarks by the GFMC:

The GFMC is supporting EWC-II and its regional preparatory consultations, see:

In the International Advisory Group the GFMC is serving as a focal point for contribution on wildland fire early warning. For earlier documents on wildland fire early warning during the IDNDR see:

For earlier documents on wildland fire early warning during the IDNDRsee:


EWC-II Conference Website:


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