October 13: International Day for Disaster Reduction

13.10.2017

The number of victims of earthquakes and droughts in the world is growing rapidly. Over the past 20 years, there have been at least 6,000 natural disasters, which killed 600,000 people. 4.2 billion people were affected to a greater or lesser extent by earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes and other natural disasters.


October 13: International Day for Disaster Reduction

Today we celebrate the International Day for Disaster Reduction, which history dates back to 1989 when the UN General Assembly declared the second Wednesday of October as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction and decided to celebrate it annually. However, after several changes in the course of twenty years, in 2009 the Assembly, emphasizing the importance of reducing the risk of all disasters, renamed the date on the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

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The idea is to conduct explanatory work among the population most prone to ecological and technogenic disasters. We did not stand aside and prepared our review on this topic.

Regional Context

Most of the region's territory is occupied by the arid and semi-arid zones in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; whereas landscape of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and the south-eastern part of Kazakhstan is predominantly mountain. The climate is characterized by continental weather patterns, with sharp fluctuations in daily and seasonal temperatures, low clouds, and uneven distribution of seasonal precipitation.  Such a combination of agro-climatic zones and weather patterns adds to higher vulnerability of the countries to climate change and risks of natural disasters. Moreover, taking into account that agriculture is one of the key sectors of the economies, natural disasters induced by climate change pose a serious threat to the food security of both the region and neighboring countries.

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Types of most frequently observed natural disasters vary across the countries of Central Asia. In Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, for example, droughts and strong winds are more frequent, which affects the yield of agricultural land. In comparison, the mountains areas, that occupy more than 90% in Tajikistan and more than 70% of the territory in Kyrgyzstan, are more exposed to higher risks of mudflows and floods.

It should be noted that all five countries in the region signed the Paris Agreement and presented nationally defined contributions (NDC) to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention, which besides goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, envisage adaption measures to climate change impact. Learn more about INDCs of Central Asian countries following this link.



Types of most frequently observed natural disasters vary across the countries of Central Asia. In Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, for example, droughts and strong winds are more frequent, which affects the yield of agricultural land. In comparison, the mountains areas, that occupy more than 90% in Tajikistan and more than 70% of the territory in Kyrgyzstan, are more exposed to higher risks of mudflows and floods.



Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

The countries of Central Asia have also joined the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, was adopted at the Third World Conference in 2015 in Sendai, Japan.

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The program focuses on strengthening risk management as a key element for the period until 2030, and the implementation is addressed to a huge number of natural and man-made threats.

Learn more about the Sendai Framework Program here.

 

Regional cooperation

To effectively combat the effects of climate change and other environmental problems, the countries of Central Asia recognize the importance of regional cooperation. In this context, as a regional organization CAREC offers is a unique platform for dialogue and exchange of experience and knowledge in this field. Besides that CAREC implements the Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin (CAMP4ASB), which aim at building capacities for effective climate risks and disaster management by increasing access to improved knowledge, new tools and mechanisms for key stakeholders.

You can learn more about the activities of CAREC on climate change here.


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