Information Kit
 Press release
 What do you know about
 fire hazards?

United Nations 2000 World Disaster Reduction
Campaign to Focus on Disaster Prevention, Education and Youth

The UN 2000 World Disaster Reduction Campaign, developed by the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), will be conducted worldwide from August to October 2000 around the theme of the mobilization of youth towards a global culture of prevention, through appropriate education.

Specific emphasis has been placed this year on forest fires as an illustration of a significant and recurrent threat whose impact of an economic and social nature has always been underestimated. It is even more important this year, when forest fires are devastating the South of France, Greece, Italy, China, Bulgaria, and other countries.

The campaign will culminate on Wednesday, 11 October 2000 with the celebrations of the International Day for
Disaster Reduction. This event will also include, as in previous years, the presentation of the United Nations / Sasakawa Award for Disaster Prevention.

The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, as the successor to the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) since January 2000, has a primary role to broadly disseminate the message of prevention and to educate populations and communities most at threat from natural, environmental and technological disasters on the means available to prevent hazards from turning into disasters. ISDR will continue all promotional and awareness-raising activities carried out during IDNDR.

The announcement of the UN 2000 World Disaster Reduction Campaign has been circulated worldwide to
organizations and individuals dealing with hazard prevention and vulnerability reduction as well as to young people and schools, in order to encourage national participation in the campaign. An active involvement from youth is expected for an international drawing contest and a photo contest on the theme of forest fires prevention. The aim of this exercise is to promote appropriate changes in behaviour and to enable children, as the decision-makers of tomorrow, to understand that disasters do not represent an inevitability, but that action can be taken now to mitigate their economic and social impact and to reduce their cost globally.

An Information Kit has been prepared for the campaign with the welcome assistance of the Global Fire Monitoring Centre from Freiburg, Germany (http://wwww.uni-freiburg.de/fireglobe), the Emergency Management Australia (http://www.ema.gov.au), the French 'Entente Interd�partementale en vue de la Protection de la For�t et de l'Environnement contre l'Incendie' (www.rff2000.com), the French 'Conservatoire de la For�t M�diterran�enne', and the Cuerpo de Bomberos del Instituto Nacional de Seguros of Costa Rica. It includes, among other material, a children's booklet, scientific articles and case studies prepared by these institutions on the prevention of forest fires. It will be finalized shortly and will be disseminated to all concerned organizations and individuals, in particular school children and other young people under the age of 20. The information provided by these organizations can serve to stimulate many other professional organizations wishing to become involved in contributing their efforts to the World Disaster Reduction Campaign.

A press conference will be organized early in September to elaborate on the subject and to further inform the disaster prevention constituency and any interested people about the celebration of the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

For additional information, please contact the United Nations ISDR Secretariat
Palais Wilson, 52 rue des P�quis, CH-1201 Geneva
Tel: (41.22) 917.90.00
Fax: (41.22) 917.90.98/99
e-mail: isdr@un.org