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Natural Hazards and Disasters

UNESCO's work on natural disasters, which began in the 1950s, includes scientific work on the assessment of natural hazards (including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and various hydrological risks) as well as the fostering of measures for disaster prevention and preparedness.

Objectives and approaches include advocacy of the need for a shift in emphasis from relief and emergency response to preventive measures and increased preparedness and education of potentially affected populations. Activities include the strenghening of scienfitic infrastructures, the design and setting up of reliable early warning systems and dissemination of mitigation measures, and proper information education and public awareness.

Recent and ongoing work include contributing to the Hyogo Framework for Action (adopted in Kobe, Japan, in January 2005), responding to the Indian Ocean tsunami, continued support to tsunami preparedness in the Pacific, the design of warning systems for tsunami and other coastal harzards for other regions and for the overall global system, and Support to countries in post-conflict and post-disaster situations (UNESCO intersectoral platform created in 2008). 

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