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International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction is annually observed on the second Wednesday of October to raise the profile of disaster risk reduction. It also encourages people and governments to participate in building more resilient communities and nations.

Many people have lost their homes because of natural disasters.

©iStockphoto.com/Dan Moore

What Do People Do?

Activities for the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction usually include media announcements about launches for campaigns that center on the day's theme. Governments and communities also take part in the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction through various events such as drawing, drama, essay or photography competitions that focus on making people aware of natural disaster reduction and increasing their preparedness for such situations. Other activities include: community tree planting; conferences, fairs and seminars; and street parades.

Public Life

The International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

Many people around the world have lost their lives, homes or access to essential facilities, such as hospitals, due to natural disasters, including earthquakes, droughts, tsunamis, heavy flooding, hurricanes or cyclones. Some of these disasters have caused economic damage to some countries. The UN acknowledges that education, training, and information exchanges are effective ways to help people become better equipped in withstanding natural disasters.

On December 22, 1989, the UN General Assembly designated the second Wednesday of October as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction. This event was to be observed annually during the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, 1990-1999. On December 20, 2001, the assembly decided to maintain the observance to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.

Symbols

The UN logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map depicts the area of concern to the UN in achieving its main purpose, peace and security. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles.

World Day for Natural Disaster Reduction Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015WedOct 14World Day for Natural Disaster ReductionUnited Nations observance
2016WedOct 12World Day for Natural Disaster ReductionUnited Nations observance
2017WedOct 11World Day for Natural Disaster ReductionUnited Nations observance
2018WedOct 10World Day for Natural Disaster ReductionUnited Nations observance
2019WedOct 9World Day for Natural Disaster ReductionUnited Nations observance
2020WedOct 14World Day for Natural Disaster ReductionUnited Nations observance
2021WedOct 13World Day for Natural Disaster ReductionUnited Nations observance
2022WedOct 12World Day for Natural Disaster ReductionUnited Nations observance
2023WedOct 11World Day for Natural Disaster ReductionUnited Nations observance
2024WedOct 9World Day for Natural Disaster ReductionUnited Nations observance
2025WedOct 8World Day for Natural Disaster ReductionUnited Nations observance

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