UNESCO helps I-REACT step up for Disaster Risk Reduction
The International Day for Disaster Reduction is celebrated every 13 October to raise awareness about the importance of the exposure to disasters and the risks faced. The 2016 edition will centre on the first of the 7 targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: reducing disaster mortality. Coinciding with this day, as part of its collaborative role of partner, UNESCO is contributing to the promotion of the I-REACT project “Improving Resilience to Emergencies through Advanced Cyber Technologies”.
Fires and floods based disasters cause thousands of deaths, serious economic, cultural and natural heritage losses around the globe. In the past 10 years, according to the United Nations, extreme events cost up to 1.7 trillion of dollars and caused 0.7 million deaths. Besides, with the ongoing rise in global temperatures due to climate change, the increase of magnitude and occurrence of extreme weather events, combined with unsustainable development practices will seriously challenge the resilience of the international community, especially in developing countries.
Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. This year, the theme is Live To Tell: Raising Awareness, Reducing Mortality and the campaign seeks to create a wave of awareness about actions taken to reduce mortality around the world. Science and technology play a vital role in providing societies with the tools to anticipate and effectively tackle disasters. This is the aim of the I-REACT project, which is presented on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction with the launch of its promotional video.
Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (H2020-DRS-01-2015), the I-REACT project aims to provide a crucial tool for the prevention and management of disasters. I-REACT will be the first European-wide platform to integrate emergency management data coming from multiple sources and at real time, allowing citizens, civil protection services and policymakers to effectively prevent and react against disasters.
The project is coordinated by the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB) of Turin. As a contributor to I-REACT, UNESCO through its Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, in cooperation with the Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Section on Earth Sciences and Geo-Hazards, has since the early phase of the project facilitated the interface of its technological and institutional-policy components.
In addition to the user requirements specification, UNESCO has helped select the international advisor board of experts, providing feedbacks and vision to the project’s technical partners responsible for the design and development of the system. Insights are also given on how to bridge the existing gap between innovative solutions and end-users in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
By coordinating the international cooperation package of the I-REACT project, UNESCO works side by side with the civil protection departments of selected European member states. It builds cooperation with UN sister organizations and their programmes, designed in support of new international strategies for DRR and in response to the international humanitarian crisis. The objective is to enhance dissemination activities capacity, share achievements and look for possible synergies with the global communities of potential end-users, scientific and technological communities and, the private sector.
Proejct website : http://www.i-react.eu/
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