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What is the ISDR?
 
Questions About the ISDR

What is the ISDR?
ISDR stands for International Strategy for Disaster Reduction The Strategy brings many organisations, universities, institutions together for a common objective: reducing the number of dead and injured by disasters triggered by natural hazards.

Why do we differentiate disasters from natural hazards?
Natural hazards, such as floods, earthquakes and volcanoes, do not need to become disasters. For example, if volcanoes erupt in a location where nobody lives, the volcano eruption is just a natural hazard, but not a disaster. But if people living around the volcanoes are affected and even killed by the volcano eruption, in this case, the volcano eruption becomes a disaster.

What does the ISDR do?
The ISDR proposes ways and measures to reduce the impact of disasters triggered by natural hazards. Many measures can be taken to reduce the impact of natural hazards. Upgrading building constructions is one. In many occasions, earthquake does not kill people, but houses do when they collapsed. If we build earthquake resilient houses in areas prone to earthquake, people will have a much better chance to survive when disasters strike. Legislation is another one. If the construction of hotels is prohibited up to 200 metres from the sea, tourists will be safer if there is a flood or a hurricane.
Education is also another strategic measure to reduce the negative impact of natural hazard. People who understand natural hazards and risk reduction are likely to survive during disasters. Many people from the Semilieu Island survived during the tsunami in the Indian Ocean because they knew that when an earthquake strikes in their island there is a high risk of tsunami and they have to run upper grounds.
Those are just a couple of examples that the ISDR promote to convince governments to make the world safer.

How many people work for the ISDR?
The ISDR has a secretariat based in Geneva with a total of 30 people and a couple of offices in Africa, the Americas, Asia & the Pacific, Europe and a liaison office in New York but the ISDR system include UN agencies, governments, civil societies, private sector media and more all over the world.

What is the Hyogo framework for action?
In Kobe, in January 2005, 168 governments met to discuss how they could reduce the impact of disaster and adopted a plan of action. The plan is called the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. It encourages governments, with support of UN agencies and civil societies to take preventive measures to reduce the risk of disasters at local, national, regional and global levels.

Why the ISDR is making an on--line game on disaster risk reduction?
Education is key for reducing children’s risks to disasters. Children are one of the most vulnerable groups when disasters occur. If we teach them from the early age about the risks posed by natural hazards, children will have a better chance to save their lives during disasters.

The on-line game aims at teaching children how to build safer villages and cities against disasters. Children will learn playing how the location and the construction materials of houses can make a difference when disasters strike and how early warning systems, evacuation plans and education can save lives.
Children are the future architects, mayors, doctors, and parents of the world of tomorrow, if they know what to do to reduce the impact of disasters, they will create a safer world.

Where can I find more information about the ISDR?
You can visit our website.
http://www.unisdr.org/

Where can I find more information about disasters?
You can read the fact sheets included in the game and consult the teacher guides in the Teacher guide section of the web page of the game.

 

Photos


Children playing at Riskland, another ISDR game.


Algeria: in May 2003, a massive earthquake hit Algeria, killing 2,200 people. Over 175,000 people were forced to move into temporary tented camps.
Photo taken by the Algerian Red Crescent, IFRC



Photographs taken during online testing of disaster game in school in Shimla, India.

 


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