Rapid and unplanned urbanization have compounded vulnerabilities to natural disasters in the Latin American and the Caribbean Region (LAC). As a pre ventive measure, resettlement has been carried out in some LAC countries in recent years. The analysis and dissemination of the results of this strategy to countries worldwide is relevant and timely given the millions of people exposed to natural haz ards, especially in developing nations. This was the main motivation for preparing the Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Guatemala case studies presented in this publication. Chapter I analyzes global natural disaster trends and their impacts. It also studies these trends in LAC and the principal factors that increase the vulnerability to natural disasters. Statistics on the occurrence of disasters, and especially their increasing impact in terms of loss of life and livelihoods, and overall economic losses, underscore the growing importance of disaster risk reduction frameworks at global and regional levels. The chapter concludes with a description of the strategic frameworks and institutional development that are been developed in the region. Chapter II analyzes resettlement as a risk reduction measure and describes the objec tives and methodology of the cases studied. The next four chapters present the find ings of each. In those countries, either due to the impacts of major disasters such as in Colombia and Guatemala, or to recurrent events, such as floods in Argentina and Brazil, risk reduction plans include preventive resettlement. Each case presents the country context, the area where the study was conducted, the geographical distribution of the population, the principal natural hazards to which it is exposed, the major disasters faced, and the specific risk management model applied. The Argentina case presents the results from a housing subprogram, a non-structural component of the flood protection program carried out in 120 localities in seven provinces from 1997-2006. This subprogram forms part of an ongoing strategy to reduce the risk of floods that was adopted in 1993, during which 11,911 families have been resettled. This case is an example of resettlement based on Assisted Self-construction and Mutual Assistance Housing Construction. This approach involved the efforts of federal, provincial, and local governments, as well as beneficiaries and construction material suppliers working together in a decentralized, participatory process. The Brazil case involved a resettlement program implemented in the second stage of the Streams Canalization Program (Procav II) in São Paulo, from 1995-2007. This program is one of a series of efforts to control the flooding that has wreaked havoc on the city of São Paulo for the past two decades. Procav II resettled 5,137 fami lies, almost double the 2,585 resettled in Procav I. The case illustrates the various xviii Preventive Resettlement of Populations at Risk of Disaster: Experiences from Latin America options to resettle the population, including large housing complexes, new dwellings built in risk-free areas in the same neighborhoods, exchanges of houses between fami lies whose homes were at risk and others whose were not, but who preferred to move to the housing complexes and cash compensation. The Colombia case involved the resettlement of 1,074 families in Bogotá within a re habilitation, reconstruction and sustainable development plan for the high-risk Nueva Esperanza zone, which began in 2005. Its three components are: the environmental and at-risk land reclamation, the strengthening of social organization and community par ticipation, and resettlement. This case illustrates a comprehensive approach to resettle ment, which required strong inter-institutional coordination. It also presents different housing options including: the construction of new dwellings, the partnerships with private construction companies and grassroots housing organizations, and the pur chase of homes on the market with the technical, legal and social support of the entity responsible for the program. In the Guatemala case, the approach was part of a government policy of reconstruction with transformation developed after the Tropical Storm Stan disaster. The comprehen sive approach to risk management applied during reconstruction included preventive resettlement of at-risk families. The study describes the experience of the districts (can tones) of Panabaj and Tz’anchaj, in the municipality of Santiago Atitlán, Department of Sololá, where 915 families were resettled since 2007. This experience demonstrates the importance of community participation, of cultural aspects including inter-cultural negotiations, institutional commitment to innovative practices in urban development and housing design, and the achievements in rebuilding confidence in the State and strengthening the social fabric. Each case highlights experiences that can be replicated, from identifying at-risk popu lations to the post-resettlement phase. The examples describe different methodological and management tools for future processes, and key lessons about wise and unwise ac tions taken. The cases also raise various questions for further research to enhance both knowledge and practices in human resettlement. The studies are summaries of technical papers written by various consultants. The full technical papers are available upon request. As noted in the Forward, this paper seeks to provide useful material for the design and implementation of resettlement programs as part of comprehensive disaster risk management strategies. The lessons can be applied by institutions and governments, professionals working in the field, and at-risk communities.