UNESCO’s Strategic Center for Disaster Risk Reduction

Disaster risk reduction has a broader and deeper scope than conventional emergency management. Its potential is felt in every sector of development and humanitarian work. As a result, the strategic center has been instrumental in bringing this vital program to the forefront of humanitarian efforts. In addition, it is a powerful tool in fostering international cooperation and promoting sustainable development. However, disaster risk reduction requires more than a new organization.


UNESCO’s strategic centre of disaster risk reduction works with the World Bank and UNDRR to promote multihazard approaches and enhance disaster risk management. Its activities are aimed at building resilience to natural hazards, increasing awareness of disaster risk reduction and building capacities among decision makers, experts and communities. Its research work includes economic, cultural, social, and technical aspects of disasters. In addition, it promotes the inclusion of natural hazards in development.

UNESCO’s DRR programmes involve scientific work in a multidisciplinary approach, with over half of DRR-related activities focusing on disasters caused by multihazards. It has established early warning systems for earthquakes, floods, and droughts, and provided technical assistance in every hazard. Because natural hazards affect populations mainly in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions, UNESCO’s efforts focus on these areas.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030)

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, adopted by the United Nations on March 18, recognizes the primary role of the state in reducing the impact of disasters and building resilience. It includes seven global targets and modalities for periodic review of the framework. Despite its broad scope, the framework still requires a global approach. To that end, it aims to establish a coordinated approach that includes both national and regional action.

The Sendai Framework for Action is based on the Hyogo Framework and includes technological hazards in addition to natural hazards. It also highlights the importance of identifying and monitoring potentially hazardous activities, including nuclear and radiological risks. It also focuses on implementing legislative measures and dealing with issues such as zoning and land-use planning policies. In sum, it calls for the effective use of information to enhance disaster risk management.

Study schools have DRR lessons

In the project area, six study schools were selected for implementing DRR activities and training teachers. Teachers received capacity-building trainings and were orientated on DRR textbooks. Five of the study schools were the sites of recent fire disasters. All study schools are offering DRR lessons for 4 hours a month. They have fire-fighting equipment and have conducted DRR simulation exercises. The schools are also accessible by vehicle. In contrast, the non-project schools were not undergoing fire safety inspections or other evaluation processes.

The MoHA, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Government of Nepal (MOHA) issued the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management in March 2008. The document noted that there was limited awareness and practice of DRR in Nepal and that few exceptions had been made in the formal education system. It recommended strategic activities to modify national policy for education and recognize schools as an important center for propagating knowledge on DRR issues. In response to this, a number of programmes have been initiated to promote disaster education in schools.