12.10.2011 - UNESCO Office in Venice/UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector

Step Up for Disaster Risk Reduction!

Step Up for Disaster Risk Reduction Logo

Risks from natural hazards are relentless. The catastrophic earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, the massive floods in Pakistan and the wildfires across several countries have resulted in large-scale calamities and reminded the world of our vulnerability to natural disasters. The poor continue to pay the highest toll. Poorly planned development and urbanization, alteration of the natural environment, substandard dwellings and public buildings, inadequate infrastructure maintenance and grinding poverty in many communities all exacerbate the effects of natural disaster. 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. This is accomplished by building on several levels: resilient infrastructures, forecasting and management capacity, and building a culture of risk reduction.

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