The impact of environmental disasters can be devastating on the social, economic, and environmental systems of a country or region as well as the global ecosystem. Environmental disasters do not recognise man-made borders, and threaten the legacy left to future generations of a clean and supportive environment. Because of the interdependency of earth ecosystems international co-operation is paramount to prevent, and when disaster strikes, respond to relieve quickly and effectively the effects of environmental disasters.
One of the greatest challenges facing humanity is environmental degradation, including deforestation, desertification, pollution, and climate change – an issue of increasing concern for the international community. Environmental degradation increases the vulnerability of the societies it affects and contributes to the scarcity of resources.
Climate change will lead to an increase in the intensity and frequency of weather extremes, such as heat waves, floods, droughts and tropical cyclones. The people hardest hit by climate change and environmental degradation are those living in the most vulnerable areas, including coastal communities, small island nations, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asian delta regions. It is the poorest of the poor, who lack the resources to prepare, adapt and rebuild, that are most affected.
Environmental degradation can lead to a scarcity of resources, such as water and farmable.
Extreme weather events, such as severe flooding, increase the spread of waterborne diseases, such as malaria and diarrhoea.
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