Natural disasters and environmental pollution are on the rise worldwide. Ever more people live in places that regularly experience storms, flooding, droughts and earthquakes. Besides, the over-exploitation of agricultural land, waters or forests is leading to «permanent disasters» such as water shortage, desertification or erosion. Climate change and the exploitation of natural resources, as well as economic crises and armed conflicts are exacerbating poverty and hampering the development of poor and rural regions. To secure the livelihoods of people over the long term, HEKS/EPER formulates strategies together with the local population to minimize risks and better prepare people to withstand disasters.