International Day for Disaster Reduction

28 October 2019

On October 13th each year, this day celebrates how people and communities around the world can reduce the risk of disasters and raise awareness on the importance of mitigating disaster risks they face. At the appeal of the United Nations General Assembly, the celebration of the International Day for Disaster Reduction (DRR) began in 1989.

This year, the celebration is named Sendai Seven, focusing on the seven main goals of the Sendai DRR framework and specifically focusing on the fourth goal of reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure disruption of basic services.

Science plays an important role in disaster risk management. Based on the top priority of the Sendai Framework Plan to Understand Disaster Risks, it is important to stimulate knowledge generation, which can be used for risk assessment, prevention, mitigation, and response.

Pskem village, Uzbekistan UNESCO Almaty

In recent years, UNESCO is shifting conceptually from post-disaster response to pre-disaster action, by helping countries build capacities to address disaster and climate-related risks. By linking between natural sciences, social sciences, education, and culture, UNESCO has made progress through capacity building, knowledge sharing and networking to reduce exposure and displacement. By recognizing that youth and young professionals are the driving force and beneficiaries of sustainable development, UNESCO is playing an active role in promoting youth and young professionals (YYP) in science, engineering, technology and innovation (SETI) for disaster risk reduction.

U-Inspire Alliance meeting, 20-21 September 2019, Jakarta, Indonesia UNESCO Jakarta

An example of how UNESCO contributes to DRR through youth and science is the promotion and development of U-Inspire Alliance. The U-Inspire Alliance is a union of YYP networks throughout the Asia Pacific region (including 11 countries), an international platform designed to raise awareness among youth and young professionals on Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) to reduce disaster risks.

This year, the UNESCO office in Almaty will collaborate with Youth network in DRR in Central Asia to celebrate the International Day for Disaster Reduction on November 1. The celebrations will focus on developing young people's abilities and engaging them in the science for disaster risk reduction, and convening youth and young professionals to understand the role of YYP in science for DRR.

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