Education Focus for International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction

The International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction on 10 October will be marked this year by a regional workshop on School Education and Disaster Risk Reduction in Bangkok, and a ceremony on the Day. Both events will take place at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok.

Past tragic experiences, especially in Asia-Pacific region, have led to a growing recognition worldwide that better education and awareness can save lives. The Asia-Pacific Workshop on School Education and Disaster Risk Reduction, 8-10 October, will focus on protecting children, both in and out of the classroom. Education experts, government officials and NGO specialists will discuss the key role that education can play in teaching children about the hazards that they face.

The workshop is jointly organized by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) Asia and Pacific office, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), and Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Deutschland (ASB).

The third and last day of the workshop coincides with the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction 2007. A message from Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, will open the ceremony which begins at 09.00. The Ministers of Education of Vanuatu and Bangladesh will address the importance of including disaster risk reduction in school curricula. Other guests will include the Deputy Director General, Department for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Ministry of Interior of Thailand; the Executive Director of ADPC; and the Head of the ASEAN Secretariat Environmental Unit. Local high school students will also attend.

Note to Journalists:

You are invited to attend the workshop and the International Day ceremony at the UN Conference Centre, Rajdamnern Nok Avenue. Please find a programme.

In order to facilitate your entrance, and due to limited parking space, we would appreciate it if you could confirm your attendance together with your vehicle details (plate number, make, model & colour) to <isdr-bkk@un.org> - Fax No: 02 288 1050