UNISDR is promoting a global culture of safety and resilience through the integration of disaster risk reduction in school curricula and the continuous involvement of children and youth in the decision-making process for disaster risk reduction.
UNISDR is also facilitating the organization of thematic discussions on disaster risk reduction education in key international forums and systematically includes it on the agendas for Global and Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction plays an active role as advocate for disaster risk reduction education and children and youth’s role in designing their own future through equitable access to quality and inclusive education in safe surroundings. UNISDR is working closely with the Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES), Children in a Changing Climate Coalition (CCCC) and Ministries of Education to integrate disaster risk reduction and resilience education as part of a broader concept for school safety in the context of the Worldwide Initiative for Safe Schools.
On education, UNISDR works closely with more than 30 partner agencies and more than 20 Governments to promote school safety globally under the Worldwide Initiative on Safe Schools, which focuses on infrastructure safety, preparedness and inclusion of DRR in the school curricula. There are now close to 300,000 schools and hospitals voluntarily pledged for safety by Governments, businesses, and individuals as part of the UNISDR-led One Million Safe Schools and Hospitals Campaign. This work has led to retrofitting programmes in countries such as Indonesia, Philippines and Nepal.
Preparing for the Sustainable Development Goals
UNISDR is working closely with the Coordinator of SDG 4 on Education (UNESCO) to support the integration of disaster risk reduction and school safety elements as part of the SDG4 Indicators and Targets. UNISDR is also facilitating the alignment of the SDGs Indicators with the Global Indicators for the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
World Education Forum, 19-22 May 2015, Incheon, Republic of Korea
UNISDR has been working closely with UNESCO and members from the Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education sector (GADRRRES) to facilitate the organization of a side event on school safety and education “Making the Case for Safe Schools” at the World Education Forum as part of the Cluster on “Advancing Education for Dignity, Prosperity and Justice” resulting in the recognition of disaster risk reduction as part of the broader concept of inclusive education for all.
Disaster Risk Reduction Recognized at the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development
The UNISDR served as a member of the Inter-Agency Committee for the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development and supported the consideration and integration of disaster risk reduction as part of the ESD-Global Action Programme’s priorities for the next 15 year.
The ESG-GAP Roadmap refers to disaster risk reduction and the linkages established with ESD as part of the Hyogo Framework for Action.
UNISDR contributed to the organization of a working session on Education and Building Disaster Resilient and Sustainable Communities
Education as a Milestone for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction that was adopted at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (14-18 March 2015, Sendai, Japan) provides ample recognition to disaster risk reduction education. The Sendai Framework calls for sustained global public education and awareness campaigns, increased investments in the resilience of the education system and educational facilities, reducing the exposure and new risk for educational facilities, the critical need to increase public education and awareness in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction and to build national officials’ knowledge on disaster risk reduction through the sharing of experience, good practices, training and education, advocate for resilient communities and a global culture of prevention and education on disaster risk reduction through the involvement of children and youth and communities in disaster risk reduction education.
Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction – Education and Knowledge Session
UNISDR facilitated the organization of a session on Education and Knowledge at WCDRR in close coordination with members of the Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education sector (GADRRRES). The session reported on progress made on education programmes and plans since the 2005 Hyogo Framework of Action and confirmed that increased cooperation with Ministries of Education is required and more targeted public awareness campaigns must be part of the implementation of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction. The session reached out to younger generations to involve them more systematically in building resilient communities. The session highlighted how ICT will significantly contribute to further education and knowledge of disaster risk reduction through wireless internet access, smart mobile device, web mapping and other swift forms of information dissemination.
Armenia Taking the Lead on Public Awareness and Knowledge Sharing for Disaster Risk Reduction
The experience and lessons of the devastating Spitak earthquake in Armenia in 1988 demonstrated the critical importance of emergency information and communication. This learning experience and the global guidance of the Hyogo Framework of Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities has inspired the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Armenia, to provide leadership to the theme. The UNISDR is supporting the Government of Armenia in promoting global public awareness and knowledge sharing for disaster risk reduction as an integral part of DRR as a follow-up to the two International Conferences on “Public Awareness as a Cornerstone for Disaster Risk Reduction” hosted by the Government of Armenia in 2013 and 2014.
2013 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
A dedicated space was arranged at the -1 level of the Conference Centre to allow education practitioners and community-based organizations to display and showcase a number of innovative public-awareness materials and educational approaches promoting disaster risk reduction knowledge and implementation at the community level. An "Open Dialogue Area" was set up to facilitate discussions and informal interaction among communities and education practitioners through exchanges of information, knowledge, experiences and good practices . Participatory videos, music for disaster risk reduction and a games playground for children were also made available on a continuous basis to interested practitioners from 09:00-17:30hrs throughout 21-23 May.
Using music as a communication tool for DRR work has a lot of potential as it has the power to involve a wide range of people of all ages and with different social and cultural backgrounds. The UNISDR provided the opportunity to community singers to convey the disaster risk reduiction message through a song performance aiming to inspire others to use music as a communication tool for DRR.
Education and DRR
Disaster risk reduction and education is an interactive process of mutual learning between people and institutions.
Reducing risk and vulnerability to disasters requires people understanding how they can best protect themselves, their property and their livelihoods.
The key to education and disaster risk reduction is sharing and using information and knowledge in a productive way through awareness-raising and educational initiatives so that people make informed decisions and take action to ensure their resilience to disasters.
Tilly Smith, an eleven-year-old schoolgirl was on holiday in Thailand with her family when the tsunami hit in December 2004. Tilly's story highlights the critical importance of basic education in preventing the tragic impacts of disasters.
Education and DRR is about formal and informal ways of exchanging knowledge.
It encompasses both formal education at schools and universities and informal education such as the recognition and use of traditional wisdom and local knowledge for protection from natural hazards. Education is conveyed through experience, established learning arrangements, information technology, staff training, electronic and print media and other means that facilitate the sharing of information and knowledge to citizens, professionals, organizations and policymakers, among a range of other community stakeholders.
Education is a crucial means within local communities around the world to communicate, to motivate, and to engage, as much as it is to teach. Awareness and learning about risks and dangers needs to start in early education, continuing through generations.
UNISDR and UNICEF have together produced an educational kit for children called "Let’s learn to prevent disasters!". It includes the board game 'Riskland' whereby players learn about what they can do to reduce disaster impacts by answering questions and advancing along the board's winding path. It aims to provide the educational community and children with an innovative and interactive tool for risk management.
This board game is a model of the choices and consequences government ministers face when trying to further their nation’s development. It asks groups of 4 players ("national ministers") to implement a plan to maximize their nation’s achievements towards the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the target year of 2015 in an environment where disasters do occur as a fact, and thereby affect the country's progress toward those goals.