06.10.2011 - Natural Sciences Sector

Step Up for Disaster Risk Reduction!

This year, the International Day for Disaster Reduction (13 October 2011) focuses on children and young people as partners for disaster risk reduction.

Disaster preparedness and mitigation are among the key objectives in UNESCO’s Strategy. Operating at the interface between education, science, the social sciences, culture and communication, UNESCO has a vital role to play in constructing a global culture of disaster risk reduction. The Organization is engaged in the conceptual shift in thinking away from post-disaster reaction to pre-disaster action and helping countries to reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards and develop their capacity to cope with disasters.

'To reduce risks, we must build resilience in infrastructure, schools, hospitals, roads, water systems and governments. Alone, these are not enough. Resilience must be developed also in every girl and boy and every adult' said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, in her message on this occasion, in which she also insisted on UNESCo's efforts to build a culture of risk reduction.

The Full-scale test of Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System organized under the auspices of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission taking place on 12 October is one of many ways in which UNESCO is contributing to disaster risk reduction efforts. Through a similar mechanism, a tsunami alert was issued three minutes after the earthquake that occurred off the coast of Japan on 11 March, limiting the loss of life.

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