Disaster Management Manual
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1.1 Disaster Reduction Framework

In May of 1994, United Nations (UN) member states met in Yokohama, Japan, for the World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction. The Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action for a Safer World: Guidelines for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation, containing the Principles, the Strategy, and the Plan of Action were adopted at this World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction.

The following ten Principles were adopted:

  1. Risk assessment is a required step for the adoption of adequate and successful disaster reduction policies and measures.
  2. Disaster prevention and preparedness are of primary importance in reducing the need for disaster relief.
  3. Disaster prevention and preparedness should be considered integral aspects of development policy and planning at national, regional, bilateral, multilateral and international levels.
  4. The development and strengthening of capacities to prevent, reduce and mitigate disasters is a top priority area to be addressed during the Decade so as to provide a strong basis for follow-up activities to the Decade.
  5. Early warnings of impending disasters and their effective dissemination using telecommunications, including broadcast services, are key factors to successful disaster prevention and preparedness.
  6. Preventive measures are most effective when they involve participation at all levels, from the local community through the national government to the regional and international level.
  7. Vulnerability can be reduced by the application of proper design and patterns of development focused on target groups, by appropriate education and training of the whole community.
  8. The international community accepts the need to share the necessary technology to prevent, reduce and mitigate disaster; this should be made freely available and in a timely manner as an integral part of technical cooperation.
  9. Environmental protection as a component of sustainable development consistent with poverty alleviation is imperative in the prevention and mitigation of natural disasters.
  10. Each country bears the primary responsibility for protecting its people, infrastructure, and other national assets from the impact of natural disasters. The international community should demonstrate strong political determination required to mobilize adequate and make efficient use of existing resources, including financial, scientific and technological means, in the field of natural disaster reduction, bearing in mind the needs of the developing countries, particularly the least developed countries.

Disaster Reduction frameworks continued to develop In December of 1999, when the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction or “UNISDR” was created to respond to a need for mainstreaming disaster risk reduction within the UN's development and other work areas. It serves as the UN system focal point for coordination of disaster reduction and ensures synergies among UN system and regional organizations in disaster reduction activities, and socio-economic and humanitarian activity fields. 1

  • 1. (GA res, 56/195 (2001)).
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