Featured Organization: UNESCO
UNESCO and Disaster risk reduction
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.
UNESCO assists countries to build their capacities in managing disaster and climate risk and with their ability to cope with disasters and it provides a forum for governments to work together, as well as essential scientific and practical advice in disaster risk reduction.
The work of the Organization is being developed and implemented with Member States through its different Sectors, Intergovernmental bodies, Field Offices, Designated and Affiliated Sites, Category I and II Centers and UNESCO Chairs and Networks.
UNESCO is committed to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and operates in accordance with its four Priorities for Action. Specifically, UNESCO’s mandate and mission in the field of disaster risk reduction is implemented through the following core pillars:
Establishing and Strengthening a Platform for Knowledge Exchange and Scientific Cooperation: Through international scientific collaboration and its different academic networks and programmes, UNESCO promotes and fosters knowledge exchange in geological, hydro-meteorological and marine hazards. UNESCO conducts activities and research that improve quality of data, early warning systems, hazard mapping and vulnerability assessments. UNESCO works closely with national institutions, UNESCO Centers and Chairs and promotes inter-institutional and regional cooperation.
Strengthening Scientific Capacities for Disaster Risk Reduction: UNESCO facilitates and implements technical training workshops and research activities in disaster risk reduction to improve the capacities of countries to cope with natural hazards. These capacity-building activities result in enhancing the current knowledge and in proceedings and resource materials to help decision makers and stakeholders to build their capacity in managing disaster risks as well as in creating networks of technical experts.
Making Disaster Risk Reduction a Priority through Policy Recommendations: UNESCO provides an interface for disaster risk reduction between scientists, policy-makers and the civil society. UNESCO prepares technical documents that serve national and local governments to better prepare and mitigate the risks related to natural hazards. Through its areas of expertise, UNESCO is also engaged in disaster risk reduction policy analysis and in the provision of recommendations and guidelines to Member States.
Ecosystems Services: UNESCO promotes the implementation of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction. The Organization supports that this approach is mainstreamed in development planning at global, national and local levels and participates actively in the ongoing activities of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction.
Community Resilience: UNESCO strengthens the resilience of communities to withstand natural hazards and climate change impacts. By identifying and documenting local and indigenous knowledge related to hazards and climate change adaptation, UNESCO helps in community preparedness and hazard mitigation. UNESCO develops educational and awareness-raising materials and tools and assists governments and communities in developing policies and managing in dealing with natural hazards and strengthening capacities through the sharing of lessons learned and good practices. Furthermore, UNESCO supports the efforts of Member States in measuring their vulnerability and/or resilience to natural hazards and to objectively understand and benchmark conditions that affect social and economic aspect.
Example of projects and activities:
List of global and regional programmes, networks, initiatives and intergovernmental bodies UNESCO leads or participates in (list not exhaustive):
Publications and fact sheets:
For more information materials, please visit the following UNESCO web pages:
- Asia and The Pacific Asia and the Pacific set priorities for accelerated disaster risk reduction
- Asia and The Pacific Bangladesh declares climate change a “planetary emergency”