2 Sep 2014

Pacific disaster management lacking - UN

5:45 am on 2 September 2014

The United Nations head for Disaster Risk Reduction says while the Pacific is mentally prepared for natural disasters, its institutional capacity is lacking.

A seawall protecting a home from coastal erosion in Kiribati, climate change.

A seawall protecting a home from coastal erosion in Kiribati Photo: UNDP / Sheryl Ho

The theme of this morning's Small Island Developing States conference in Samoa is climate change and building disaster resilience.

Margareta Wahlstrom says policies should be integrated across different government sectors, like agriculture, fisheries and health, to manage and reduce risk of disaster.

She says its also important for communities to better understand the risks and what they can do to protect themselves.

"Normally there's no short term immediate solution to these issues, but just put it in the mindset and the planning for the future so that gradually we actually feel more safe in your own environment. And here in this region, so many of the islands here have very serious exposure to sea level rise."

Margareta Wahlstrom says there will not be a specific disaster management goal in the post -2015 agenda, as it is an issue that cuts across a variety of areas.