October 13 - International Day for Disaster Reduction
Author: Adi Operta
International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is dedicated to preserving the environment and preventing the risk of natural disasters. The initiative began in 1989 following a call by the United Nations General Assembly, which sees this day as a way to promote a culture of risk awareness and risk reduction which includes disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness to respond. Until 2009, the second Wednesday in October was marked as a risk reduction day, and after 2009, October 13 was adopted as the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Hundreds of natural disasters occur on Earth every year with unforeseeable consequences, human casualties and material damage. In recent years, the paradox of modern times has become apparent - the greater the degree of technological development, the greater the exposure to natural disasters, and the more destructive their effects.
Climate, weather and water resources can have a devastating effect on socio-economic development and the well-being of humanity. Climate-related extreme events such as tornadoes, storms, cyclones, floods and droughts account for about 75 per cent of all disasters annually. They lead to enormous human suffering, loss of life and economic damage. Monitoring these events, forecasting their movements and weather warning issues are fundamental in spreading the impact of disasters on the population and the economy. Natural and man-made disasters have a devastating effect.
In the last forty years, extreme weather, climate and hydrological events such as floods, tropical cyclones and droughts have occurred in all parts of the world. Globally, the number of hydrometeorological disasters has doubled in the last twenty years. Worldwide, droughts and desertification are seriously threatening the survival of over 1.2 billion people who depend on the land to meet their needs. El Niño, a natural phenomenon linked to climate change, has been found to be the strongest in the past century, affecting 110 million people and costing the global economy $ 100 billion. Statistics collected from insurance for the period 1950-1999 show that the greatest natural disasters occurred mostly as a result of weather and climate, causing losses of $ 960 billion.
Bosnia and Herzegovina marked this important date for the first time in 2012. Tens of thousands of people, including a large number of children around the world, are left without their homes due to natural or other disasters and large material goods are destroyed. Bosnia and Herzegovina has not been spared these accidents either. The Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina is undertaking significant activities in terms of disaster risk reduction through risk assessment, planning, equipping protection and rescue structures as well as education of particularly vulnerable categories of the population. Among other things, a disaster risk reduction project is being implemented in cooperation with UNICEF and UNDP in several local communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is a commitment that Bosnia and Herzegovina has made under the Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy and the Hyogo Framework for Action.
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