Disaster Risk Reduction: Thinking about Present and Dreaming about Future

Hybrid session  
Online session  
Physical session  

19 October 14:00 - 15:30

The years of 2020 and 2021 saw many dystopian fears coming true: wildfires, flooding, the highest temperatures recorded on Earth and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic. But was there a causal relationship between them? UNDP has been  exploring such connections in Ukraine and seeking to connect the dots.

Disasters caused by extreme weather events and other 'natural' hazards can create serious challenges for countries trying to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. These events, especially when we are unprepared for them, can increase the vulnerability of communities and bring about social, environmental and economic losses – not to mention untold suffering. When they happen during times of war or conflict, the weather extremes can push a fragile situation past the tipping point and into a negative spiral of compounded crises.

Two concepts make up the response to “natural disasters” arising out of climate change: the first involves mitigation while the second is about adaptation.  In other words, while reducing the anthropogenic causes of climate change through efforts like reducing carbon emissions, we need to get busy and make sure the increasingly common, and disturbing, weather events do not lead to disasters.

To address the latter, UNDP Ukraine launched a project on disaster risk reduction (DRR) that aims to assess risks and offer solutions on how to improve the resilience of communities and infrastructure to be shared, together with the partner institutions, at the session.

Guiding questions
  1. How dystopian events are connected? 
  2. Which Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) methods and tools are used?
  3. What are the challenges and lessons learnt?
  4. Who finances DRR Programs?


Ephrat Yovel

International consultant and Principal of CounterPoint

Ephrat Yovel, International consultant and Principal of CounterPoint

Ephrat Yovel is an international consultant and a principal of CounterPoint. In this role, she works with country governments across Africa, Asia and the EECA region on climate resilience, disaster risk reduction, and urban development. She is supporting the EU4 Climate project (funded by the European Union  and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme) in the EU Eastern Partner countries, specifically Ukraine and Belarus, with their work on their National Adaptation Plans.

Oksana Udovyk

Head of experimentation, UNDP Accelerator Lab, Ukraine

Oksana Udovyk
Head of experimentation, UNDP Accelerator Lab, Ukraine

Oksana has a Doctoral Degree in Environmental Governance and Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development from Linkoping University in Sweden, as well as a BSc in Natural Science from Kyiv- Mohyla Academy in Ukraine. Oksana is an environmental activist in spirit, a researcher by profession and social designer by calling. Now she is the Head of experimentation in the UNDP Accelerator Lab Ukraine. Previously she worked with companies, NGOs, research institutions, public authorities and International Organizations in Sweden, Spain, Canada, and Ukraine, making documentaries, volunteering, joining grassroots movements, exploring and learning from the wider global community, and from nature.

Oleksiy Pyrikov

Environmental Specialist at UN RPP

Oleksiy Pyrikov
Environmental Specialist at UN RPP

Oleksiy Pyrikov has graduated from Donetsk National University of Economics and Trade, Donbas National Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, and State Ecological Academy of Post-Graduate Education and Management (Kiev) and has been working as an Environmental Specialist at UN RPP from 2019.

Andrew Bower

Programme Management Officer, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – UNDRR – Regional Office for Europe

Andrew Bower, Programme Manager at the UNDRR Regional Office for Europe

Andrew is in charge of Sendai Framework monitoring by national authorities across the region as well as local level engagement and urban resilience. Prior to joining UNDRR, Andrew worked for the European Commission’s Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), in charge of DRR and urban resilience. He builds also on experience both in academia working on EU international relations and diplomacy for the College of Europe and the non-profit sector influencing EU external policies and instruments. Andrew holds a Master degree in middle eastern studies from King's College London, where he has been affiliated as a Visiting Research Fellow, and graduated with Bachelor degree in Political Sciences from the University of Birmingham.

Nigel Jollands

Co-Lead of EBRD Green Cities

Nigel Jollands, co-lead of ebrd green cities

Dr Jollands is a sustainable energy, climate finance and policy professional with 29 years’ experience leading innovation across multiple sectors and levels of government. He has spent the last 15 years as a climate finance practitioner delivering investment and policy outcomes in 30+ countries. He is currently co-Lead of EBRD Green Cities, the Bank’s flagship EUR3 billion investment programme supporting cities to address their environmental and climate challenges.


Olena Tarasova-Krasiieva

Project Manager on Nature-based Solution for Sustainable Cities, UNDP Ukraine

Olena Tarasova-Krasiieva, Project Manager on Nature-based Solution for Sustainable Cities, UNDP Ukraine

Olena Tarasova-Krasiieva has over 15 years of experience of working with biodiversity conservation as an expert and as a manager. She used to work at WWF Ukraine for seven years, four years of which as a Managing Director. Olena has extensive experience conducting analyses and reviews commissioned by the governments of USA, Ukraine, as a Biodiversity Conservation and Policy Consultant. Mrs Tarasova-Krasiieva has two Master’s degrees in Conservation Biology and  Environmental Studies from Imperial College London and National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Currently, Mrs. Olena Tarasova-Krasiieva is a Project Manager on Nature-based Solution for Sustainable Cities at UNDP Ukraine.