The following is a message from Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, for World Tsunami Awareness Day 2021:
This year’s World Tsunami Awareness Day on 5 November promises to be special.
It is an occasion to celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reduce tsunami risk around the world.
However rare they might be, tsunamis are the single most deadly of all sudden onset natural hazards. Millions of people live and work in tsunami-exposed communities across the world’s oceans.
After five years of marking this day in many unique ways, this year we can announce a major new development.
The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development has the potential to fill capability gaps to speed up the detection and warning for tsunamis even from the near instant that they form.
This can only further enhance the preparedness of coastal communities for tsunamis through the Tsunami Ready Programme of UNESCO-IOC, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.
The UNESCO-IOC Assembly of UN Member States has approved the establishment of the Ocean Decade Tsunami Programme and a Scientific Committee to draft a 10-year research, development, and implementation plan for this programme. This will be fully supported by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UN agencies, civil protection agencies and others.
In a major boost to international cooperation to developing countries and small island developing states, the Tsunami Programme will contribute to the Safe Ocean outcome of the Ocean Decade by making all communities at risk of tsunami, prepared and resilient by 2030.
Scaling up the Tsunami Ready programme is testament to what focused international cooperation can deliver and will make a significant contribution to reducing risk and saving lives.
Only together can we achieve this ambition.