UNESCO Strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction

The purposes of UNESCO in the field of disaster risk reduction are to: promote a better understanding of the distribution in time and space of natural hazards and of their intensity; set up reliable early warning systems; devise rational land-use plans; secure the adoption of suitable building design; protect educational buildings and cultural monuments; strengthen environmental protection for the prevention of natural disasters; enhance preparedness and public awareness through education and training in communication and information; foster post-disaster investigation, recovery and rehabilitation; and promote studies on the social perception of risks.

UNESCO’s action is carried out through networking and strengthening of regional and international co-ordination systems; direct partnership with Member States; field implementation of operational projects; reconnaissance and advisory missions; the preservation and dissemination of data; and the organisation of seminars and training courses. Constant cooperation is maintained with competent international and non-governmental bodies.

In furthering an interdisciplinary approach to natural hazards, UNESCO aims to support national and regional efforts to develop capacities for the reduction of risks arising from natural and human-induced disasters with a focus on policy advice, knowledge sharing, awareness-raising, and education for disaster preparedness, paying particular attention to integrating gender and youth perspectives.

UNESCO is strongly committed to the Hyogo Framework of Action 2005-2015. The Organization plays an advocacy role on the need for a shift in emphasis from relief and emergency response to prevention and increased preparedness and education of potentially affected populations. The approach supported by the Organization stresses the merit of preventive approaches through the design and dissemination of mitigation measures, proper information, education and public awareness.

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