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Disaster Information Management and Public Collaboration Division
International and Domestic Liaison Office
Reid Basher (Visiting Professor)


Dr. Basher is an independent scientist experienced in international strategic and policy advice processes and related advocacy and communications, institutional development and committee leadership, and research on disaster risk reduction, early warning systems, climate variability and change and the use of climate information for planning and management in industry and government. A New Zealand citizen, he has lived and worked in Fiji, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States. As a senior officer at the United Nations International Secretariat for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), he was responsible for policy-related and science matters, including promoting disaster risk reduction in climate change policy processes at UNFCCC and IPCC meetings. He contributed to the drafting of the Hyogo Framework for Action and to reports of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. He led the preparation of the 2009 UNISDR Terminology on Disaster Risk Reduction and several other UNISDR publications. He established the UNISDR Platform for the Promotion of Early Warning, where he coordinated a large pan-UN project to support the development of tsunami warning systems in the Indian Ocean after the December 2004 tragedy, and prepared the 2005 UN report “Global Survey of Early Warning Systems”. Prior to the UN, he was applications director at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University, and a research director at the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), where among other things he was responsible for New Zealand’s climate network and database. He has a PhD, BSc(Hons) and Diploma of Business Administration. Currently he is affiliated with Tohoku University, Victoria University of Wellington and Massey University.


Selected publications
Basher, R E and X Zheng, 1995. Tropical cyclones in the Southwest Pacific: spatial patterns and relationships to Southern Oscillation and sea surface temperature. J Climate , 8, 1249-1260.
Basher, R E, 1997. Climate Services for a Changing World, WMO Bulletin, 46(1), 15-21.
Basher, R. E., 1999. Data requirements for developing adaptations to climate variability and change. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 4, 227-237.
Reid Basher, 2006. Global early warning systems for natural hazards: systematic and people-centred. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. A, 15 August 2006, vol. 364 no.1845, pp 2167-2182.
UNISDR, 2008. Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction, 12pp. Briefing Note 01, Secretariat of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Geneva. (Prepared for COP-14, Poznan.) Available at
Reid Basher, 2008. Disaster impacts: implications and policy responses. Social Research, vol. 75 (3), pp 937-954. The New School, New York.
Pelling M, R Basher and others, 2014. Issue Brief: Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development. Prepared by experts associated with the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme, for the Seventh Session of the UN General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, New York, 6-10 January 2014.
Key words
Disaster risk reduction, natural hazards, early warning, climate change, data