International Day for Disaster Reduction 2020
International Day for Disaster Reduction is observed on October 13 to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. The day is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of trying to control some of the risks communities face and to reduce disaster risks and losses to ensure a safer, more sustainable future.
About International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR)
International Day for Disaster Reduction began in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.
International Day for Disaster Reduction 2020 Theme
‘Disaster risk governance’ is the theme of this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on 13 October in a year when a great number of people have died and fallen ill because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is all about governance. You can measure good disaster risk governance in lives saved, reduced numbers of disaster-affected people, and reduced economic losses. COVID-19 and the climate emergency are telling us that we need a clear vision, plans, and competent, empowered institutions acting on scientific evidence for the public good.
This requires having national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction in place by the end of the year as agreed by UN member States when they adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015. We need to see strategies that address not just single hazards like floods and storms but those that respond to the systemic risk generated by zoonotic diseases, climate shocks, and environmental breakdown.
Sendai Seven Campaign
The Sendai Framework has seven strategic targets and 38 indicators for measuring progress on reducing disaster losses. In 2016, the UN Secretary-General launched “The Sendai Seven Campaign” to promote each of the seven targets over seven years. The 2019 target is the target(d): “Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and education facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030.”
In keeping with the Day’s focus on the impact that disasters have on people’s lives and well-being, this year’s theme is about conveying the message that many disasters can be avoided or prevented if there is a risk-informed approach to the development, construction, and maintenance of critical infrastructure, in order to ensure that the creation of new risk is avoided, and that critical infrastructure continues to function during and after a disaster.
One metric which illustrates the extent of the challenge is the scale of insured economic losses over the three years since the Sendai Framework was launched. Overall insurance industry estimates of direct economic losses during those three years come to $665 billion.
The Sendai Seven Campaign is an opportunity for all, including governments, local governments, community groups, civil society organizations, the private sector, international organizations, and the UN family, to promote best practice at international, regional, and national level across all sectors, to reduce disaster risk and disaster losses.
2016 – Target 1: Substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, aiming to lower the average per 100,000 global mortality rate in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.
2017 – Target 2: Substantially reduce the number of people affected globally by 2030, aiming to lower the average global figure per 100,000 in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.
2018 – Target 3: Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to the global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.
2019 – Target 4: Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030.
2020 – Target 5: Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020.
2021 – Target 6: Substantially enhance international cooperation in developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of the present Framework by 2030.
2022 – Target 7: Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030.
- If it’s not risk informed, it’s not sustainable, and if it’s not sustainable it has a human cost.
- Increasing exposure of critical infrastructure and economic assets has been the major cause of long-term increases in economic loss from disasters and shows that the economic incentives for location in many hazard-prone areas continue to outweigh the perceived disaster risks.
- Increasing exposure of people and economic assets has been the major cause of long-term increases in economic loss from disasters and shows that the economic incentives for location in many hazard-prone areas continue to outweigh the perceived disaster risks.
- Investment in disaster risk reduction generally represents a large saving in terms of avoided losses and reconstruction costs with cost benefit ratios ranging from 3:1 to 15:1 or higher in some cases.
- Integrating disaster risk reduction into investment decisions is the most cost-effective way to reduce risk.
- Investing in disaster risk reduction is a precondition for developing sustainably in a changing climate./li>
- If risk reduction can be included explicitly in national development and climate adaptation plans and budgets, all parts of government are then able to programme risk reduction actions and investments.
- The adoption of hazard resistant building standards, planning and environmental regulations and the overall strengthening of risk governance through institutions and systems, protect people from the risk of vulnerable infrastructure.
- Weak implementation and enforcement mechanisms are common problems in countries where most urban development is informal.
- When critical infrastructure fails, businesses experience indirect losses, as production, distribution and supply chains are interrupted; consequently, production, output and throughput are reduced.
- Resilience has to be embedded in the business planning for new cities and towns given the plethora of risks which rapid urbanization and population growth in disaster-prone parts of the world can bring in their wake.
- The high structural vulnerability of housing, schools, infrastructure and other assets in poor rural areas exposed to floods, tropical cyclones and earthquakes also leads to major mortality in disasters.
- Low-intensity damage to housing, local infrastructure, crops and livestock, which interrupt and erode livelihoods is extensively spread within countries and occurs very frequently.