Building a Culture of Prevention: The International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction 1990-2000

Article excerpt

In 1989, 155 Member States of the United Nations co-sponsored a UN Resolution which declared the years 1990 to 2000 the "International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction" (IDNDR). The purpose of the decade is to marshal the political resolve, experience and expertise of each country to reduce loss of life, human suffering and economic losses from natural hazards.

According to IDNDR targets, by the year 2000 all countries should:

COMPLETE NATIONAL RISK ASSESSMENTS

* Identify natural hazards which pose the threat of disaster

* Evaluate the geographic distribution of hazard threats and their frequency and impacts

* Assess the vulnerability of the most important concentrations of population, development and resources

IMPLEMENT NATIONAL AND/OR LOCAL PREVENTION AND PREPAREDNESS PLANS

* Adopt land-use and construction practices that will reduce disaster risks

* Adopt emergency-response plans that identify hazard scenarios, essential actions and responsible organizations

* Implement awareness programmes to educate people about risks and training programmes to improve the capabilities of responsible personnel

* Implement concrete measures to mitigate damages and increase resilience to hazards

IMPLEMENT GLOBAL, REGIONAL, NATIONAL AND LOCAL WARNING SYSTEMS

* Implement systems for monitoring and predicting threatening phenomena in time to reduce impacts

* Implement communication systems for disseminating warnings

* Educate decision makers about hazards and options for reducing disaster risk. …