Dhaka: Bangladesh has been named the fifth in the list of 173 countries that are most prone to natural disasters, according to a report.
The "World Risk Report 2012" examines which countries are more at risk from natural disasters than others, what contributes to this risk and what can be done about it, the Daily Star said.
Island nations Vanuatu, over 3,600 km from Australia in the Pacific Ocean, and Tonga, at a distance of 5,200 km from Australia, have the highest disaster risk.
Malta and Qatar face the lowest risk worldwide, said the report.
It said environmental degradation is a significant factor that reduces the capacity of societies to deal with disaster risk in many countries around the world.
The report was published in Brussels by the German Alliance for Development Works, UN University Institute for Environment and Human Security, and The Nature Conservancy.
"This report illustrates the powerful role that nature can play in reducing risks to people and property from coastal hazards like storms, erosion and floods," Michael Beck, lead marine scientist at The Nature Conservancy, was quoted as saying.
The top 15 most "at-risk" countries are all tropical and coastal. There, coastal habitats like reefs and mangroves are incredibly important for people's lives and livelihoods.