The Croatian Ministry of the Interior Civil Protection Directorate on Wednesday issued a statement marking the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, 13 October.
This year’s observance focuses on international cooperation for developing countries to reduce their disaster risk and losses so they could draw closer to the goals of the Sendai Framework for measuring progress on reducing disaster risk and losses.
During the UN’s third world conference on disaster risk reduction, held in Sendai, Japan, in 2015, it was stressed that disasters have the gravest consequences at local level, causing significant losses and damage, which is why local capacity building is of the utmost importance.
Number of disasters on rise
Noting that disasters and the related human and material losses have been on the rise globally in the past few decades, the Civil Protection Directorate says that many of them are aggravated by the impact of climate change and negatively affect investment in sustainable development while sudden ones trigger major migration waves every year.
Noting that the world has been witnessing increasingly frequent and strong natural disasters as a consequence of climate change, the Directorate points to the need to take all available measures to reduce their consequences to the minimum.
By adopting “Disaster Risk Assessment for Croatia”, “Risk Management Capacity Assessment” and “The Strategy for Disaster Risk Management”, made by the Civil Protection Directorate, Croatia will significantly contribute to meeting the goals of the Sendai Framework for measuring progress on reducing disaster risk and losses for 2015-2030, the UN’s 2015 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, the Directorate says.
It notes that the Strategy for Disaster Risk Management is a precondition for the absorption of EU funds that will primarily be used to finance infrastructure projects designed to develop the system of civil protection, including education about the need to reduce disaster risk.
Proactive approach important for sustainable future
Underlining the importance of a proactive approach to disaster risk management, the Directorate recalls that together with the Agency for Education and Teacher Training it has been implementing an EU-funded project for disaster risk reduction, which includes the making of handbooks for teachers and brochures and the procurement of an earthquake simulation vehicle, with the aim of educating young people and children. Civil Protection Directorate members regularly conduct courses for kindergarten and school children, persons with special needs and teachers and school principals, the purpose being the introduction of the topic of disaster risk reduction in schools.
This year, in the week when the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is marked, an exercise will be held as part of the IPA project “Capacity Building and Preparing BiH for EU Civil Protection Mechanism”.
A number of activities will be held across Croatia to put emphasis on the education of children and young people about disaster risk reduction, the central part of the events marking the observance being a presentation of educational disaster models made as part of an EU project, to be held for children in eight primary schools in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek.
The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction has been marked since 1989 and the initiative to introduce it was launched by the UN.