The event will contribute to a global awareness raising campaign for World Tsunami Awareness Day with a focus on building resilient and inclusive societies. Countries, the United Nations system and stakeholders will reflect on the importance of strengthening inclusive disaster risk governance to reduce existing disaster risks and avoid creating new risks through ensuring the meaningful and active participation of all relevant stakeholders, in particular of those groups with higher vulnerability and exposure to the impact of tsunamis and other natural hazards.
Participants will share lessons learned and measures taken to develop and implement national and local disaster risk reduction strategies following an all-of-society approach, and will showcase how countries can draw upon the support of the United Nations and its partners to prepare for and reduce the risk posed by tsunamis. The event will highlight the importance of reducing disaster risk to achieve sustainable development and will serve to build momentum towards the 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction on the theme “Resilience Dividend: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Societies” and the 2019 High-level Political Forum, which will focus on “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.
Over the past 100 years, 58 tsunamis have claimed more than 260,000 lives, averaging 4,600 lives per occurrence; a higher mortality rate than any other natural hazard. The recent tragic losses experienced in Indonesia remind us of the multifaceted dimensions of hazards, the potentially devastating impact of cascading disasters, and the need to continue raising awareness of tsunamis and to reduce the risk of associated disasters.
The impact of tsunamis, as well as earthquakes and other hazards, continue to undermine prospects for sustainable development and economic growth, displace people and push millions into poverty Sustainable development cannot be achieved through repetitive cycles of disasters, response and recovery. Existing challenges in governance, and the substantial growth of population and assets in areas exposed to natural hazards are some of the main causes for increased levels of disaster risk.
The adoption of inclusive policies and effective strategies by governments to reduce existing disaster risks and avoid creating new risks is increasingly urgent. Only just over two years remain to adopt national and local disaster risk reduction strategies, as per target (e) of the Sendai Framework, and to ensure their coherent implementation with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Disaster risk governance requires, among others, political and legal commitment, public awareness and understanding, scientific knowledge, implementation and monitoring of policies and legislation, national and local risk assessments and availability of data.
To be efficient and effective, national and local disaster risk reduction strategies, plans and policies need to be multi-hazard, multisectoral and inclusive, and developed ensuring the full participation of all relevant stakeholders, including those groups with higher vulnerability and exposure to the impact of hazards. Enhanced and sustained efforts are needed to empower and actively engage civil society, including women, children, youth, older persons, persons living with disabilities, migrants, and indigenous peoples, as well as the private sector among others, in the development and implementation of strategies, plans and policies for prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and reconstruction.
General Assembly resolution 70/203 designated 5 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day. Around the world, World Tsunami Awareness Day 2018 events will raise awareness on the threat posed by tsunamis and support governments and communities to reduce their risk and to be better prepared for an effective response. World Tsunami Awareness Day 2018 builds on the theme of this year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction, which focuses on reducing the economic loss of disasters, as per target (c) of the Sendai Framework.