Asia and Pacific UNISDR Informs/Education Issue

Education Issue
This Publication has been developed by United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Asia & Pacific.

About UNISDR Regional Office for Asia & PacificEdit

With over 50% of the total world disasters, the Asia and Pacific Islands region represents the widest and most disaster prone continent in the world, beyond Africa, with a regular and increased frequency of typhoons, tsunamis, floods, droughts, fires and other natural hazards. Despite the wealth of expertise, knowledge and know-how in disaster risk reduction, the increasing population growth, widespread poverty, environmental degradation, rising pollution and wild human settlements keep increasing the vulnerabilities of most communities in Asia and the Pacific Islands, thereby creating a favorable terrain to allow the above natural hazards to transform invariably into devastating disasters wiping out all human lives and economic lifelines on their way, and setting back years of continued development efforts.

In December 2004, the tragic tsunami in the Indian Ocean has heightened the level of awareness of the communities in Asia and the Pacific about the importance of integrating disaster risk reduction into national development planning and reminded them of the need to work together in a coordinated manner to respond to the threat of disasters.

In that spirit, as a direct follow-up to the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (January 2005, Kobe, Japan) and at the request of the 168 UN Member States grouped together on the occasion, the UNISDR established a regional presence to cover the whole Asia and Pacific Islands region. The UNISDR regional Unit for Asia and the Pacific was set up in June 2005 in Bangkok, Thailand, hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

The UNISDR Asia & Pacific is currently divided into two separate bodies:

(i) A regional unit, based in Bangkok, Thailand, which covers the whole Asia and Pacific Islands region. It includes a Senior Regional Coordinator and a Regional Programme Officer, as well as two local support staff

(ii) A sub-regional liaison office for Central Asia, based in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and covering Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, is coordinated by a Junior Professional Officer

Our MandateEdit

The core mandate of the UNISDR Asia & Pacific includes awareness-raising activities in disaster risk reduction, including the promotion of the World Disaster Reduction Campaign and the annual UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction, advocacy through policy formulation, the dissemination of guidelines to assist in the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), promote the establishment of national platforms for disaster risk reduction, enhance networking and partnership-building to contribute to an effective culture of safety and protection of all communities in the Asia and Pacific Islands region.

Three specific areas of focus have been identified to guide the work of the UNISDR Asia and the Pacific. They include:

(i) The promotion of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) throughout the whole Asia and Pacific Islands region and the forging of partnerships at the regional level to facilitate its implementation, with the effective operational support and expertise of members of the UNISDR Asian Partnership on Disaster Reduction (IAP) and other relevant players.

(ii) The follow-up and strengthening of the projects carried out under the United Nations Flash Appeal for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Early Warning System (IOTWS), including an increased cooperation and coordination with relevant technical partners and the donor community. (iii) The development of an effective information management system with comprehensive databases, the maintenance of a regional website, the production of a bi-annual publication “Disaster Reduction in Asia and the Pacific - UNISDR Informs”, the dissemination of regional highlights promoting regional partners’ initiatives and relevant events among other.

The UNISDR Asia and Pacific Islands works through a growing network of national platforms to mobilize governmental actions in disaster risk reduction as well as directly with the governments in the region, as mandated though the HFA, to assist them in identifying their priorities and in formulating their national action plan on disaster risk reduction towards its integration in national development plans. It also makes an effective use of regional partners’ networks at the national level, in particular the UN Country Team members, to facilitate the effective implementation of DRR strategies.

Introduction to the PublicationEdit

This fourth issue of “Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia Pacific – ISDR Informs” represents an opportunity to carry out a mid-term review of the impact of the 2006-2007 World Campaign on Disaster Reduction focusing on “Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School”. The latter aims at mobilizing efforts and political commitment towards the systematic integration of disaster risk reduction and school safety programmes into school curricula so as to promote a better understanding and awareness of disaster mechanisms and how to build the resilience of individuals, communities and nations to future disasters.

A Special Report is included as part of this edition compiling the multiple initiatives developed on the occasion of the 2006 joint celebrations of the ISDR-led International Day for Disaster Reduction and the ASEAN Day for Disaster Management throughout the Asia and Pacific region. The report was developed in cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat and other key regional partners so as to provide an overview of the richness of the Asia Pacific region’s innovative approaches to education and awareness-raising on disaster risk reduction. The UN/ISDR invites you to a pleasant educational trip, with the ultimate objective of encouraging you not just to learn from other countries and communities’ experiences in the area of education and school safety, but also to adapt and replicate those successful activities that could match your own country / community’s requirements and specificity.

The UN/ISDR takes the opportunity to express appreciation to partners who provided substantive contributions and photos. We look forward to pursuing fruitful cooperation with all of you to make sure that the wealth of expertise and knowledge of the Asia and Pacific region in disaster risk reduction and disaster management is well reflected at the regional and global levels, as well as fully preserved and enhanced, for an increased protection and resilience of the vulnerable communities of our precious region to future disasters.

– The UN/ISDR Asia Pacific Team


Download the publicationEdit

You can download the complete publication, as well as the rest of the publications in the UNISDR Informs series, here.

External LinksEdit