Academics and students at Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) across Europe and Asia held multi-faceted events to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) (

The United Nations General Assembly has designated the 13th October as an annual observance day to raise awareness of how people are acting to reduce their risk to disasters and to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction.

A consortium of 15 European and Asian Higher Education Institutes from Bulgaria, Indonesia, Latvia, the Maldives, Malta, Myanmar, the Philippines, Spain, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom worked to mark the occasion across different countries and continents. They used it as an opportunity to increase awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that their local communities face. Using a range of mediums, they encouraged every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster-resilient communities and nations.

The Global Disaster Resilience Centre at the University of Huddersfield organised a public seminar in the United Kingdom with contributions from experts in Asia, Africa and Europe, presenting a global perspective on some of the research that is taking place for building more disaster-resilient communities and nations.

The Environmental Hydraulics Institute at the University of Cantabria in Spain organised a seminar to their staff and students to present and celebrate IDDR 2018 day, and to show the progress made so far in the study they are developing on Multi Hazard Early Warning Systems in Europe and Asia.

The Mining and Geology University in Bulgaria developed an information poster to display at local events, while the Maldives National University launched a Facebook campaign on "How can you prepare for disaster reduction? Listen to what our students have to say" on their Institute’s official Facebook page

The University of Peradeniya marked IDDR at a workshop of the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka in Colombo. The workshop was a training session on sustainability and green buildings.

The Ateneo Institute of Sustainability and Departments of Biology and Environmental Science in the Philippines held a brown bag session to share the output of the initial phase of a project that is examining the state of the multi-hazard early warning systems in the country, as well as the gaps and challenges in positioning early warning and preparedness in the wider trajectories of social change in societies and communities at risk.

The 15 HEIs are part of a project funded by the European Union to foster regional cooperation for more effective multi-hazard early warning and increased disaster resilience among coastal communities. The project, called CABARET (Capacity Building in Asia for Resilience EducaTion), is supporting joint initiatives and sharing of good practices among HEIs in Asia and Europe, as well as promoting links between Higher Education and other socio-economic actors.

The project was inspired by the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, agreed by UN member states in 2015. It includes a strong call for higher education to support the understanding of disaster risk and promote risk-informed decisions and risk sensitive planning from the local to the global levels. It also calls for the coordination of existing networks and scientific research institutions at all levels and all regions. The goal is to strengthen the evidence-base in support of the implementation of the new framework.

“Limited stakeholder engagement and public awareness is a significant barrier that we must overcome to fully adopt the Sendai Framework”, highlighted Professor Richard Haigh, Lead Investigator for CABARET and based at the University of Huddersfield. “The activity and benefits of higher education and research towards building societal resilience to disasters must be shared with the public. IDDR is a way to better connect the disaster risk reduction work of universities and research institutes with society. This engagement is by definition a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit."

CABARET is co-funded by an EU Erasmus+ programme grant of €993,340 and will run for three years up until 2020. The CABARET project consortium receives financial assistance from the European Union. The European Commission support for the project and its associated activities and outputs does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

For further information on the CABARET project see




In 1989, the United Nations General Assembly designated the second Wednesday of October as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, as an annual activity of International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, 1990-1999. Later in 2009, 13th October has been reserved to commemorate the day with a change of name as International Day for Disaster Reduction.

The aim of this observance day is to raise awareness of how people are taking action to reduce their risk to disasters and to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. The day also helps to enhance the awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. Hence, the International Day for Disaster Reduction encourages every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster-resilient communities and nations.

With the introduction of “Seven Targets” of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in year 2016, every year has been allocated a specific theme to commemorate the IDDR.

Seven Global Targets 

2016 – Target 1: Substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, aiming to lower the average

per 100,000 global

2017 – Target 2: Substantially reduce the number of people affected globally by 2030, aiming to lower the average global figure per 100,000 in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015; mortality rate in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015;

2018 – Target 3: Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030

2019 – Target 4: Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing

2020 – Target 5: Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020; their resilience by 2030

2021 – Target 6: Substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of the present Framework by 2030

2022 – Target 7: Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030.

CABARET project, a project funded by the Erasmus Plus programme of the European Union to enhance capacity building among higher education institutions in Asia, directly related to the aim of the IDDR. Hence, all partners in CABARET, commemorated the International Day for Disaster Reduction on 13th October 2017 in Santander, Spain as a part of their bi-annual training and workshop event.

This year, partners are ready to commemorate the International Day for Disaster Reduction with the theme of Seven Global Target 3: reduce disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030. They plan to conduct awareness campaigns at their partner institutions.   

In an ongoing project supported by the European Union’s Erasmus+ program, De La Salle University researchers facilitated the Capacity Building in Asia for Resilience Education (CABARET) workshop on multi-hazard early warning (MHEW) and resilience building in coastal communities in the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

The delegation included project Country Coordinator Dr. Marlon Era, Dr. Mario de Leon of the College of Engineering, Dr. Edgar Vallar of the College of Science, and  Connie Maraan of the Social Development Research Center (SDRC).

A guest lecture called  “Multihazards early warning systems – can they save human lives?” was invited to be presented by me during the second day of the International Festival entitled “Hello-Health” which took place at Plovdiv on 21 and 22 April, 2018. The presentation was in Bulgarian and around 100 participants were attended covering a very broad professional profile – ecologists, physicians, people with interests of healthy behavior, etc. 

Ms. Milvia van RIJ-BRIZZI, Head of Department, Department A- Erasumus+, EU Aid Volunteers and Ms. Anila Troshani Head of Sector, European Commission, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) visited University of Yangon on 28th November 2017 for monitoring 4 Erasmus+ projects belong to University of Yangon. Capacity Building in Asia for Resilience Education (CABARET) is one of these 4 Erasmus+ projects received participating University of Yangon. In the meeting, Rector of University of Yangon also presented and discussed on the strategy of the university to participate in Erasmus+, identified the management structures put on place and explained the implementation status for each project. Dr Aung Kyaw, Pro-Rector, University of Yangon and in charge of CABARET Project presented about the works done under the project.  In 29th November 2017, Dr Aung Kyaw presented the brief of CABARET Project in cluster meeting hosted by Erasmus+ in Royal Garden Hotel, Yangon City. Dr Aung Kyaw also participated in the information day of Erasmus as a representative of CABARET project participated in the panel discussion as a panelist and discussed about internationalization of university on 30th November 2017 at the same hotel.