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| Last Updated::03/11/2020

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International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2020

               

 

                  The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction was started in 1989, after a call by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. In 2009, the UNGA officially designated 13 October as the date to commemorate the Day.

 

               The United Nations General Assembly has designated October 13th as the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction to promote a global culture of disaster risk reduction. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the progress being made toward reducing disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 adopted at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan in March 2015.

 

               In 2016, the UN Secretary-General launched “The Sendai Seven Campaign” to promote each of the seven targets over seven years. The 2020 target is Target E: “Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020” which lays the foundation for the implementation of the Sendai Framework and is closely linked with Priority for Action 2: “Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk.”

 

             In keeping with the Day’s focus on the impact that disasters have on people’s lives and well-being, this year’s theme is about conveying the message that many disasters can be avoided or prevented if there are disaster risk reduction strategies in place to manage and reduce existing levels of risk and to avoid the creation of new risk. What that amounts to is “good disaster risk governance.”

 

                This year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is all about governance. You can measure good disaster risk governance in lives saved, reduced numbers of disaster-affected people and reduced economic losses. COVID-19 and the climate emergency are telling us that we need clear vision, plans and competent, empowered institutions acting on scientific evidence for the public good. Good national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction must be multi-sectoral, linking policies in areas such as land use, building codes, public health, education, agriculture, environmental protection, energy, water resources, poverty reduction and climate change adaptation.

 

Key Messages

 

1. If it’s not risk informed, it’s not sustainable, and if it’s not sustainable it has a human cost.

 

2. Increasing exposure of critical infrastructure and economic assets has been the major cause of long-term increases in economic loss from disasters and shows that the economic incentives for location in many hazard-prone areas continue to outweigh the perceived disaster risks.

 

3. Increasing exposure of people and economic assets has been the major cause of long-term increases in economic loss from disasters and shows that the economic incentives for location in many hazard-prone areas continue to outweigh the perceived disaster risks.

 

4. Investment in disaster risk reduction generally represents a large saving in terms of avoided losses and reconstruction costs with cost benefit ratios ranging from 3:1 to 15:1 or higher in some cases.

 

5. Integrating disaster risk reduction into investment decisions is the most cost-effective way to reduce risk.

 

6. Investing in disaster risk reduction is a precondition for developing sustainably in a changing climate.

 

7. If risk reduction can be included explicitly in national development and climate adaptation plans and budgets, all parts of government are then able to programme risk reduction actions and investments.

 

8. The adoption of hazard resistant building standards, planning and environmental regulations and the overall strengthening of risk governance through institutions and systems, protect people from the risk of vulnerable infrastructure.

 

9. Weak implementation and enforcement mechanisms are common problems in countries where most urban development is informal.

 

10. When critical infrastructure fails, businesses experience indirect losses, as production, distribution and supply chains are interrupted; consequently, production, output and throughput are reduced.

 

11. Resilience has to be embedded in the business planning for new cities and towns given the plethora of risks which rapid urbanization and population growth in disaster-prone parts of the world can bring in their wake.

 

12. The high structural vulnerability of housing, schools, infrastructure and other assets in poor rural areas exposed to floods, tropical cyclones and earthquakes also leads to major mortality in disasters.

 

13. Low-intensity damage to housing, local infrastructure, crops and livestock, which interrupt and erode livelihoods is extensively spread within countries and occurs very frequently.