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Chapter 2 Disaster Education Policy: Current and Future

Disaster Education

ISBN: 978-0-85724-737-7, eISBN: 978-0-85724-738-4

Publication date: 6 July 2011


The importance of education in disaster risk reduction has been emphasized in several international agendas, frameworks, conferences, as well as UN programs. Chapter 36 of Agenda 21, on “Promoting Education, Public Awareness and Training” stated, “Education, including formal education, public awareness and training, should be recognized as a process by which human beings and societies can reach their fullest potential” (UNEP, 1992). Furthermore, the UN/ISDR System Thematic Cluster/Platform on Knowledge and Education argued that “Education for disaster risk reduction is an interactive process of mutual learning among people and institutions. It encompasses far more than formal education at schools and universities, and involves the recognition and use of traditional wisdom and local knowledge for protection from natural hazard” (UN/ISDR, 2005). In the 2006 Review of the Role of Education and Knowledge in Disaster Risk Reduction, Professor Ben Wisner commented, “Education, knowledge and awareness are critical to building the ability to reduce losses from natural hazards, as well as the capacity to respond to and recover effectively from extreme natural events when they do, inevitably, occur” (Wisner, 2006). The Second Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (2007, India) urged governments to make school safety and the integration of disaster risk reduction into school curricula a priority on the national agenda (UN/ISDR, 2007a). The Third Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (2008, Malaysia) recognized education as an essential contribution to effective implementation of disaster risk reduction and concrete impact in terms of shifts in behaviors at the local level, where communities are most vulnerable to disasters (UN/ISDR, 2008). Last but not least, the UNESCO Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) program emphasized that “Education is the primary agent of transformation toward sustainable development, increasing people's capacities to transform their visions for society into reality” (UNESCO, 2005a).


Ru Gwee, Q., Shaw, R. and Takeuchi, Y. (2011), "Chapter 2 Disaster Education Policy: Current and Future", Shaw, R., Shiwaku, K. and Takeuchi, Y. (Ed.) Disaster Education (Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 23-44.



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