There is a growing global consensus that natural hazards are occurring more frequently and with increasing severity in all parts of the World. According to a report of the World Bank and the United Nations (2010: 169), it appears that the two powerful trends of rapidly-growing cities in the world and climate change may contribute to further change the profile of natural risks in the future.
The report estimates that there will be an increase in the number of people affected by earthquakes and cyclones from 680 million in 2000 to 1.5 billion by 2050 as a result of these trends. Besides cyclones and earthquakes, the report identifies droughts and flooding as the other two key natural hazards that will continue to have the most significant impact on people and property. One of the principal arguments from the report mentioned above is that while these nature-related risks or so-called “Acts of God” may be defined as “natural hazards”, their consequences should be more appropriately classified as “unnatural disasters”.
Following an international meeting on sustainable development initiatives of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Port Louis in January 2005, the United Nations adopted a plan-of-action known as the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.