International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction is celebrated on October 13th. It was declared as a part of International Decade for Disaster Reduction, initiative of United Nations General Assembly, whereas it was decided to be celebrated as an annual event in 2002 and was finally, officially declared so in 2009.
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and they have offices in most of the major cities of the world to reduce disaster risk and build safer and resilient communities.
Since the issue of Disaster Reduction requires efforts from all arenas of the society i.e. Media, civil society, public and private sectors, UNISDR works with all the stakeholders on a global level, to address the issue.
Hyogo Framework of Action
It is a ten year plan proposed by the UN General Assembly the World Disaster Reduction Conference in 2005 which was held in Kobe, Japan.
It explains and gives a detail plan on the work required to reduce disasters. Its goal is to reduce Disaster damage by 2015 by building resilience.
What is Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR)?
United Nations suggests that there are no natural disasters, only natural hazards. The main objective of Disaster Risk Reduction is to minimize, through prevention, the damage caused by natural occurrences such as Earthquakes, Floods etc.
The severity of damage by a natural hazard depends on how much impact it has on the society and environment, in turn the magnitude of this impact depends on the choices Humans make for their lives and their environment. These choices can be as simple as -how we grow our food? And where we build our houses? Every choice that one makes has the capacity to make Humans either more resilient or more vulnerable to the impending hazards.
Therefore Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) focuses on the causal factors, to reduce the disasters. These include-
• Minimizing the exposure to hazards
• Reducing the degree of vulnerability of people and property to these disasters.
• Proper management of land and environmental resources.
• Improving preparedness of the community to deal with the disasters.
• And issuing of early warning for all such disastrous events.
Disaster Risk Reduction is a multipronged discipline. It encompasses many areas such as-
1. Disaster Management
2. Disaster Mitigation
3. Disaster Preparedness
4. And also Sustainable Development
Global Assessment Report (GAR)
UNISDR comes up with a global assessment report bi-annually. It is an assessment of disaster reduction and analysis of the hazards that affect humanity at large.
It contributes to the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA) by monitoring the risk patterns and progress in risk reduction. It also provides guidelines to countries and communities for the formation of policies.
The Report is prepared after consultation and in collaboration with various stakeholders such as various UN agencies, academic and research institutions, governments and technical organizations and specialists.