Virtual Forum Presentation
October 11, 2000 -- 12:00 Noon Eastern Time

International Day for Disaster Reduction

"Disaster Prevention, Education and Youth"
The Specific Case of Wildfires

with Nicole Appel

Awareness & Promotion Officer
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Secretariat


Online Transcript
Download Transcript (MS Word File)

About Nicole Appel
About ISDR and Public Awareness

ISDR Campaign 2000
Information Kit
ISDR Brochure

Fire Globe - Global Fire Monitoring Center
(includes a comprehensive list of international, fire-related Web resources)

Living Safely on a Hazardous Planet,
statement by U.S. Geological Survey Director Chip Groat
for World Disaster Reduction Day, October 11, 2000

Early Warning Systems for the Prediction of an Appropriate Response to Wildfires and Related
Environmental Hazards
, Johann Georg Goldammer. Online Version, 1997 -- PDF Version, 1998 (127 K)


EIIP Virtual Forum Presentation
Wednesday - October 11, 2000 -12:00 Noon EDT

October 11th -- International Day for Disaster Reduction

Nicole Appel
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction

Amy Sebring - Moderator
EIIP Technical Projects Coordinator

The EIIP continued its tradition of observing World Disaster Reduction Day that is held the second Wednesday of October every year. This year our featured speaker was Nicole Appel, newly appointed Awareness and Promotion Officer for ISDR, the successor to the IDNDR. She will have responsibility for ISDR's public awareness objectives and she shared some of her plans for the coming year.

After a 6 to 8 week analysis period, it is anticipated that the theme of next year's campaign will be determined. Enhancements to the Website are planned and a mailing list is currently being updated. Send contact information to [email protected] to be added to the mailing list.

A national committee approach will continue to be used, however, this concept will be expanded to that of a national platform, with broader participation from the stakeholder community. Regional strategies will also be enhanced and working partnerships, such as that with the World Bank's ProVention initiative.

The functions of the Secretariat of the ISDR are to promote a worldwide culture of reduction of the negative effects of natural hazards through advocacy campaigns, to serve as an international clearing house for the dissemination and exchange of information and knowledge on disaster reduction strategies and to backstop the policy and advocacy activities of national platforms for natural disaster reduction.

Awareness & Promotion Officer
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Secretariat

Nicole has recently joined the ISDR as Awareness & Promotion Officer after serving with the World Meteorlogical Organization since January 1999 as Information and Public Affairs Officer. Prior to that she served with the predecessor to ISDR, the IDNDR, since 1995. Her responsibilities included compiling and writing the information packages on four consecutive promotional campaigns (Women and Children, Cities at Risk, Water-related Disasters, Natural Disasters and the Media) and three Internet conferences (Solutions for Cities at Risk, Floods, Drought, Issues for the 21st Century, Natural Disaster Reduction and the Media). Her previous professional experience includes the World-wide Fund For Nature, European Policy Office, and International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), both based in Brussels, Belgium.

Her educational background includes: The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna, Italy where she received a Post-graduate Diploma in International Relations, specialisation in Environmental and Security Studies, May 1995; The University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland with a Master of Arts in International Relations and German Studies, July 1994; and the Collège de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland, Maturité Fédérale. Nicole is fluent in five languages.


(Excerpts from ISDR literature)

Just over ten years ago, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared the 1990's as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR). Our predecessor organisation, the IDNDR had as a mandate to initiate and marshal wide-ranging international cooperation on a series of awareness programmes and concrete projects. As its name implied, the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction officially came to an end in 1999. However, during its ten-year span of activities, it achieved such important successes - especially in terms of forging vital links among the political, scientific and technological communities - that the United Nations created a successor body to carry on its work. This new institutional arrangement is the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).

The objective of the ISDR is twofold. Our first goal concerns disaster prevention itself. While it is obvious that natural hazards will always be part of our world, it is nevertheless true that human decisions and actions can play a critical role in preventing natural hazards from becoming future disasters. Therefore, a key aspect of the mission of the ISDR is to influence these decision makers and thus to help communities focus on the creation of long-term, pro-active disaster prevention strategies.

The second part of our mission concerns improving the resiliency of communities. In the aftermath of a natural, technological or environmental disaster, a community must deal with even more than the tragic loss of life and immediate damage to property and infrastructure. A catastrophic event is bound to have an economic and social impact on the community as well, the effects of which may be felt for a very long time. The mission of the ISDR is therefore to help communities reduce the risk of longer-term social and economic disruption in the face of a natural hazard. We do this by helping communities assess their vulnerabilities to these risks so that they can put into place a plan that will increase their resiliency to disaster.

Initiatives with regard to PUBLIC AWARENESS

Goal: Increase public awareness of the risks that natural, technological and environmental hazards pose to modern societies in order to enable a global community dedicated to making risk and disaster prevention a public value.

In order to attain this goal, the initiatives proposed will, as described in the Strategy "A Safer World in the 21st Century: Disaster and Risk Reduction":

a. develop sustained programmes of public information and institutionalized educational components pertaining to hazards and their effects, risk management practices and disaster prevention activities, for all age-groups.

b. stimulate research and application, provide knowledge, convey experience, build capabilities and allocate necessary resources for reducing or preventing severe and recurrent impacts of hazards, for those people most vulnerable.

c. establish national, regional/sub-regional, and global information exchanges and facilities dedicated to hazard, risk and disaster prevention, linked by agreed communication standards and protocols to facilitate interchange.

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