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Building peace in the minds of men and women

Disaster Risk Reduction



Climate change, urban pressure and lack of disaster preparedness, are increasingly transforming natural hazards, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or tsunamis into  disastrous events causing life and economic losses. The risk of disasters caused by natural hazards is rising.
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is increasing in the agenda of the Organisations of the UN System. While the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 is the roadmap for Disaster Risk Reduction, other global agendas including the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement, the New Urban Agenda and the Biodiversity Agenda have targets that  cannot be attained without considering Disaster Risk Reduction. There are clear links between those international instruments.

Why is Disaster Risk Reduction important ?

Natural hazards are naturally-occurring physical phenomena caused by either the rapid or slow onset of events having atmospheric, geologic and hydrologic origins on solar, global, regional, national or local scales. Disasters often follow natural hazards and they are a result of the combination of hazards, the conditions of vulnerability and of the insufficient capacity or measures to reduce the potentially negative consequences of the hazard. Disaster risk reduction is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyse and reduce the causal factors of disasters.

UNESCO is acting across the board, in advocating for risk awareness, prevention, and preparedness and build back better, in fostering learning and in building capacity. Operating at the interface between the natural and social sciences, education, culture and communication, UNESCO seeks to strengthen the resilience of societies - through capacity building, knowledge sharing and networking, early warning and policy advice, working with governments, civil society, research institutions, other UN agencies and international organizations, and all key actors. Working alone or in collaboration with both UN Agencies and other scientific entities, UNESCO has been a catalyst for international, inter-disciplinary cooperation in many aspects of disaster risk reduction and mitigation.


UNESCO's contribution to Disaster Risk Reduction


UNESCO supports the Member States on:

  1. Post Disaster Response
  2. Risk Governance and Social Resilience
  3. The Built Environment
  4. Education School Safety
  5. Early Warning Systems
  6. Environment & Ecosystem Based Disaster Risk Reduction
  7. Science, Technology and Innovation for Resilience
  8. Disaster Risk Reduction for Culture & Sites

The work of the Organization is being developed and implemented through its different Sectors, Field Offices, Designated and Affiliated Sites, Category I and II Centers, UNESCO Chairs and Networks. The leadership of the organization is recognized and partners look up to UNESCO to lead the mainstreaming of DRR in its mandated sectors and to promote trans- and multi-disciplinarity in research.

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