Project: Reducing Disaster Risks through Education and Science in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru (2013-2014)

South America is a socially, culturally and geographically diverse territory, a place where potentially destructive natural and socio-natural phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods, droughts, mudslides and climate change. When these events are combined with vulnerability factors such as poverty, occupation of high-risk zones and deficient social services, they produce high-risk conditions that can cause considerable losses in human life and means of livelihood, as has occurred in past emergencies in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile.

In order to reduce the risk of disasters, various factors must be strengthened, including education and science, which are necessary to identify sustainable solutions that improve the quality of life of vulnerable populations, reduce the risk of disasters, and strengthen individuals’ and institutions’ capacities to adequately prepare for and respond to crises.

Within this context, UNESCO uses its programmes in education, natural and social sciences, culture, communications and information to build a global culture of disaster risk reduction. These programmes provide tools to women, men, girls, boys and youth for them to recognize their vulnerable conditions, to improve their analytical and problem-solving skills and to play an active role in pursuit of sustainable development and culture of peace and non-violence.

The Project

UNESCO, with the support of the European Commission’s Office for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO), as part of its Disaster Preparedness Programme, 2013-2014 Action Plan, is implementing the regional project “Reducing Disaster Risks through Education and Science in Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia”. The project will last for 18 months, concluding in October 2014.

The project is in line with the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015), “Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters”, and expects to contribute directly to priorities 3 and 5:

Priority 3: Use knowledge, innovation and education to build culture of safety and resilience at all levels;

Priority 5: Strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.

Objectives and Results

The project seeks to strengthen the disaster risk reduction skills of professionals, specialists, institutions as well as educational communities through education and science, working directly to coordinate with national risk management systems in Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. These countries also have partnerships with other DG ECHO members working at the local, national and regional levels.

The following results are expected during the process:

  1. A regional strategy for initial and on-going education for teachers, to be adopted by universities and ministries of education;
  2. Better technical and scientific knowledge of national risk management systems in Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia;
  3. On-going coordination with other DG ECHO members working in South America.


  • Teaching the education sector about reducing disaster risks;
  • Developing a self-taught virtual course for the education sector on reducing disaster risks;
  • A regional student campaign for reducing disaster risks;
  • Organising national forums to strengthen ties between the scientific-academic world and risk management systems;
  • Developing regional activities to share experiences.

Coordination and Contacts

Regional project coordination and national coordination in Chile:
Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago)
Enrique Delpiano 2058; Providencia, Santiago, Chile.
Tel.: +56 (2) 2 472 4600
Astrid Hollander, a.hollander(at)
Mario Calderon, m.calderon(at)

National project coordination, Colombia:
Camila Romero Chica, dipechocolombia(at)

National project coordination, Ecuador:
UNESCO office in Quito, which also represents Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela
Education Sector
Veintimilla E9-53 y Leónidas Plaza, Quito, Ecuador.
Tel.: +593 (2) 252 8911
Angela Blanco,

2013-2014 - Project "Reducing disaster risks"

National project coordination, Peru:
UNESCO representation in Peru
Museo de la Nacion Piso 8
Av. Javier Prado Este 2465, San Borja, Lima, Perú.
Tel.: +51 (1) 476 9871, anexo 104
Massimiliano Tozzi, m.tozzi(at)

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