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Director-General condemns killing of broadcaster Robert Chamwami Shalubuto in DRC

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 01/02/2015 - 15:01

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today deplored the killing of journalist Robert Chamwami Shalubuto in Goma (North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo) and called for measures to improve the safety of journalists.

“I condemn the killing of Robert Chamwami Shalubuto which raises concerns about the safety of journalists,” the Director-General said. “I call on the authorities to investigate this case and spare no effort to improve the safety of journalists."

Robert Chamwami Shalubuto, a journalist for public broadcaster Congolese National Radio and Television (CNRT) was shot by two unidentified gunmen while he was with friends in a bar in the provincial capital of North Kivu on 26 December. 

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

 

Categories: News

Irina Bokova congratulates President Dilma Rousseff over reelection‎ to a second term

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 01/02/2015 - 12:04
dg-president-brazil8x6-2.jpg © UNESCO

Following the reelection of H. E. Dilma Rousseff as President of Brazil, the Director-General attended the official investiture ceremony at the invitation of the Government of Brazil, on 1 January 2015.

During the bilateral meeting which followed, the Director-General congratulated President Dilma Rousseff for placing her second term presidency under the slogan "Brazil – A learning Country," underlining the paramount role of education to achieve sustainable development and to foster inclusive societies in an ever more interconnected and challenging world.

The meeting was also attended by Minister Aloisio Mercadante, former Minister of Education and currently appointed Minister of the Civil Cabinet, as well as former Chancellor Figueiredo and the current Chancellor, Ambassador Mauro Vieira.

Minister Aloisio Mercadante underscored that education will be at the core of President's Rousseff's second mandate.

"UNESCO is determined to support the Government of Brazil in all its efforts to upgrade its education system in the face of growing challenges posed by quality and knowledge divide" declared Irina Bokova.

The Director-General also invited President Dilma Rousseff to attend the celebrations of UNESCO's 70th anniversary.

 

Categories: News

Building capacities to monitor youth’s representation in media coverage in the Maghreb

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 12/24/2014 - 12:48
news_241214_tunis.jpg © UNESCO

From 15 to 20 December 2014, in Tunis, sixteen representatives of organizations working on youth issues in the Maghreb discussed a methodology to monitor the image of young women and men in media, as well as the extent to which it represents their voices, and learned how to put it in practice.

Participants were brought together through a workshop organized by UNESCO in partnership with MENA Media Monitoring, under the framework of the Networks of Mediterranean Youth Project (NET-MED Youth), which is funded by the European Union and implemented in 10 countries from the Western and Eastern Basins of the Mediterranean Sea.

Following-up the formal launch of NET-MED Youth Working Groups in Morocco on 22-23 November and in Tunisia on 5-6 December, the aim is now set on gathering concrete evidence on which to build the different activities foreseen under the media axis of the project.

To implement media monitoring “is to learn to observe, to look at things from a more logical and objective way...” stated Jihen Ayed, responsible of media and communication at Tun’Act in Tunisia. She noted that the training taught her to look into media, deep inside, concluding that “we could never improve media and ensure youth’s participation if we don’t look for weak points [in media], and monitoring enables such search”

Media monitoring efforts will be complemented by a survey on youth perceptions about media, both to be undertaken at the country level early 2015. The findings of this research will feed into a youth-led outreach strategy seeking to mobilize media so that young peoples’ concerns and perspectives are better reflected in the coverage produced, particularly in support of their participation in the elaboration, review and implementation of public policies with a special impact on youth.  Similar efforts are also expected to take place in different NET-MED Youth target countries, leading to transnational sharing of knowledge and expertise: towards an improved media portrayal of youth in the Southern Mediterranean. 

Workshop participants became central contributors to the definition of a methodology that they later applied through practical exercises focused on the observation of radio and TV content from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Adel Boucherguine, from the Ligue Algérienne pour la defense des droits de l’ homme highlighted the utility of media monitoring under the NET-MED Youth project, since it allows young people from the region to learn how media function, deepens their knowledge on the way media treats information, and sheds light on media’s coverage of different contexts and themes, notably in relation to the representation of youth and women. It permits young people to observe these aspects “in a scientific and objective manner”, he added.

Thus, those taking part of the workshop gained new skills that will not only help them as the drivers of the NET-MED Youth project, but will more broadly reinforce their critical and constructive engagement with media outlets, in turn enhancing future advocacy. As put by Mohamed Outahar, who represented the Association Médias et Culture from Morocco: “the knowledge acquired and the techniques that were appropriated by us throughout the week of training, will certainly be a platform upon which we could develop media monitoring projects and create partnerships focused on media monitoring regarding social, cultural, political and religious issues in the Moroccan context”

For further information about this activity, please contact:

  • Rosario Soraide, NET-MED Youth Coordination Team at UNESCO HQ, Youth and Media project component
  • Nacim Filali, Coordinator of the NET-MED Youth project in Algeria
  • Zoubida Mseffer, Coordinator of the NET-MED Youth project in Morocco
  • Salma Negra, Coordinator of the NET-MED Youth Project in Tunisia
Categories: News

“Let there be a Year of Light” – Launch of the International Year of Light 2015

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 12/24/2014 - 11:00
infocus_year_light_drupal_en.jpg © UNESCO

Many people don't know that there’s more to scientist Isaac Newton than a certain apple falling from a tree. Holding a prism of glass in the path of sunlight, he showed that white light is actually made up of seven different colors – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Color comes from light – in fact, color is light.

Just as Newton revealed the spectrum of colors that makes up white light, we must reveal to the world the importance of light in building a more sustainable and peaceful future. For this reason, 2015 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL). Taken forward under UNESCO’s leadership, IYL is a unique opportunity to raise global awareness of how light-based technologies can provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. These technologies have the potential to transform the 21st century as electronics did in the 20th century.

Throughout the Year, UNESCO will bring together key stakeholders including scientific societies and unions, educational institutions, technology platforms, non-profit organizations and private sector partners. Together, they will advocate for light technologies to improve the quality of life in developed and developing countries – be it through education for sustainable development (study after sunset is often not possible in developing countries), the reduction of light pollution and energy waste, women’s empowerment in science, or advocacy among youth.

IYL 2015 will kick off with opening ceremonies to be held 19-20 January 2015 at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters. The ceremony will see the launch of 1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham, a global campaign where UNESCO will partner with the science and cultural heritage organization 1001 Inventions to announce a series of interactive exhibits, workshops and live shows illustrating the world of this remarkable scientist. Ibn Al-Haytham – often referred to as the ‘father of modern optics’ - was a pioneering polymath from Basra (in modern-day Iraq) who lived in the 10th century. He made significant advancements in optics, mathematics and astronomy, and helped lay the foundations of modern scientific method.

“I am pleased to partner with 1001 Inventions to launch the World of Ibn Al-Haytham Global Campaign, to promote light-science for the benefit of all,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “A ground-breaking scientist and a humanist from a thousand years ago, the life and work of Ibn Al-Haytham have never been as relevant as they are today.”

IYL will commemorate the achievements of scientific figureheads, who paved the way ahead for humanity’s understanding of light:

  • 1015 – Ibn Al-Haytham’s Book of Optics;
  • 1815 – Augustin-Jean Fresnel and the wave nature of light;
  • 1865 – James Clerk Maxwell and electromagnetic waves;
  • 1915 – Einstein’s theory of general relativity, exploring light through space and time;
  • 1965 – Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson’s discovery of cosmic microwave background, and Charles Kao’s pioneering development of fiber optics, which enabled transformative technologies such as broadband today.

Learn more about the International Year of Light: www.iyl2015.org

Categories: News

Share with us your follow-up actions to the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 12/23/2014 - 15:13
infocus_ythforum_identity_2.jpg © UNESCO

Every two years, UNESCO organizes a Youth Forum. On the occasion of the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum, around 500 young participants from all over the world gathered at the Organization’s Headquarters in Paris, from 29 to 31 October 2013, to exchange views, share experiences, reflect together and, above all, identify common preoccupations and possible solutions.

Before and during the Forum, young women and men defined a set of strategic recommendations - the recommendations of the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum.

UNESCO has launched a survey to take stock of initiatives undertaken in the follow-up to these recommendations.

The survey is open to the Forum’s young participants, public authorities, youth organizations and other partners working in the field of youth, and is available at: https://fr.surveymonkey.com/s/8UYFrecomm1.

The survey will be open until Monday 12 January 2015.

Any initiatives that have been started or completed from the 8th Forum in October 2013 to this day can be shared with us.

Through the survey, UNESCO would like to show that the recommendations of young women and men from about 150 countries across the world have been heard. Inputs will also help UNESCO and youth participants to better shape recommendations for future editions of the Forum.

Contact

For any questions, please contact the UNESCO Youth Programme at youth(at)unesco.org.

Categories: News

Director-General urges investigation into murder of television owner and broadcaster Reynaldo Paz Mayes in Honduras

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 12/23/2014 - 11:35

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of broadcaster Reynaldo Paz Mayes in the Honduran city of Comayagua on 15 December. Ms Bokova also called for a thorough investigation into the case.

“I condemn the murder of Reynaldo Paz Mayes,” the Director-General said. “The authorities must investigate this crime, establish its motives, and bring its perpetrators to justice. This is important for all members of Honduran society who, like people everywhere, require free, diverse and independent media to make well informed decisions.”

Reynaldo Paz Meyes, the founder of a small local television channel, RPM TV Canal 28, was shot dead while exercising in an outdoor sport complex on Monday. Paz Meyes, who also hosted news programmes on his television channel, was reported to have received anonymous death threats over a long period of time.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

                                             ****

Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

Categories: News

Ten years after the 2004 tsunami, the Indian Ocean is better prepared to avert disaster

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 18:28
photo_tsunami_1.jpg © UNESCO

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System, established following the 2004 earthquake, has improved the ability of Indian Ocean countries to handle a new tsunami. Nevertheless, some challenges still need to be overcome, notably the issue of long-term funding for the system.

Pictures of the havoc wreaked by the tsunami that struck countries around the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 travelled the world, showing destroyed homes, villages covered in mud and beaches strewn with all manner of debris. They gave us an idea of the magnitude of devastation that in just a few hours spread along the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, southern India, Maldives and western Thailand, and of the suffering that ensued.

That tsunami, unleashed by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, was one of the deadliest in history. It claimed nearly 230,000 lives, led to the displacement of 1.6 million people, and caused material damages estimated at close to $14 billion.

This heavy toll is largely due to the fact that people were caught unawares and had no time to run for safety before the wave broke. The countries of the Indian Ocean had not established a warning system as they had had little experience of tsunami occurrences, 70% of which take place in the Pacific Ocean and its adjacent seas.

Following this tragedy, Indian Ocean countries turned to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee (IOC) to establish and coordinate an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWS), similar to the one that has been operational in the Pacific Ocean since 1965. Two other warning systems were established at the same time—in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, as well as in the Caribbean—ensuring that all marine areas in the world are covered.

Officially established in 2005, the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System became fully operational in 2011. Twenty-eight countries* constitute the Intergovernmental Coordination Group, the governing body of ICG/IOTWS. The three simulation exercises held in 2009, 2011 and 2014 proved that the system was functional. They assessed the effectiveness of information flows between stakeholders and local emergency procedures.

Recent research has helped increase the effectiveness of the system. Post-tsunami investigations yielded a mass of data that improve our understanding of this natural phenomenon. Scientists are now able to model tsunami occurrences and see how they travel from the high seas to the shores.

In the Indian Ocean, a network of seismometers, tide gauges and buoys with satellite links provides data concerning underwater earthquakes to three regional tsunami advisory centres in Australia, India and Indonesia. These centres are then able to alert the relevant national authorities in the event of a tsunami.

Ten years after the tragedy, countries around the Indian Ocean are much better prepared to handle a tsunami than they were in 2004. Nevertheless, participants at an international conference organized by the IOC, and the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics in Jakarta (Indonesia) from 24 to 25 November 2004 pointed to several challenges that must still to be overcome.

“Covering the last mile” is a major issue, because although the warning system is functional at the regional and national levels, it is necessary to make sure that populations living in remote areas will be reached in time to escape the wave.

Funding represents another hurdle. Considerable resources were granted by some countries, particularly Australia, India and Indonesia, when the present system was established. Keeping the warning system operational is estimated to cost between $50 and $80 million dollars annually. This is the price that must be paid to keep the number of future tsunami victims down.

****

Contact: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Press Service, +33 1 45 68 17 64, a.bardon(at)unesco.org

*Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Djibouti, France (La Réunion), India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Yemen.

Categories: News

Ten years after the 2004 tsunami, the Indian Ocean is better prepared to avert disaster

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 18:28
photo_tsunami_1.jpg © UNESCO

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System, established following the 2004 earthquake, has improved the ability of Indian Ocean countries to handle a new tsunami. Nevertheless, some challenges still need to be overcome, notably the issue of long-term funding for the system.

Pictures of the havoc wreaked by the tsunami that struck countries around the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 travelled the world, showing destroyed homes, villages covered in mud and beaches strewn with all manner of debris. They gave us an idea of the magnitude of devastation that in just a few hours spread along the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, southern India and western Thailand, and of the suffering that ensued.

That tsunami, unleashed by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, was one of the deadliest in history. It claimed nearly 230,000 lives, led to the displacement of 1.6 million people, and caused material damages estimated at close to $14 billion.

This heavy toll is largely due to the fact that people were caught unawares and had no time to run for safety before the wave broke. The countries of the Indian Ocean did not dispose of a warning system as they had had little experience of tsunami occurrences, 70% of which take place in the Pacific Ocean and its adjacent seas.

Following this tragedy, Indian Ocean countries turned to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee (IOC) to establish and coordinate an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWS), similar to the one that has been operational in the Pacific Ocean since 1965. Two other warning systems were established at the same time—in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, as well as in the Caribbean—ensuring that all marine areas in the world are covered.

Officially launched in 2005, the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System became fully operational in 2011. Twenty-eight countries* constitute the Intergovernmental Coordination Group, the governing body of ICG/IOTWS. The three simulation exercises held  in 2009, 2011 and 2014 proved that the system was functional. They assessed the effectiveness of information flows between stakeholders and local emergency procedures.

Recent research has helped increase the effectiveness of the system. Post-tsunami investigations yielded a mass of data that improve our understanding of this natural phenomenon. Scientists are now able to model tsunami occurrences and see how they travel from the high seas to the shores.

In the Indian Ocean, a network of seismometers, tide gauges and buoys with satellite links provides data concerning underwater seismic tremors to three regional warning centres in Australia, India and Indonesia. These centres are then able to alert the relevant national authorities in the event of a tsunami.

Ten years after the tragedy, countries around the Indian Ocean are much better able to handle a tsunami than they were in 2004. Nevertheless, participants at an international conference organized by the IOC, and the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics in Jakarta (Indonesia) from 24 to 25 November 2004 pointed to several challenges that must still to be overcome.

“Covering the last mile” is a major issue, because although the warning system is functional at the regional and national levels, it is necessary to make sure that populations living in remote areas will be reached in time to escape the wave.

Funding represents another hurdle. Considerable resources were granted by some countries, particularly Australia, India and Indonesia, when the present system was established. But direct funding by States plummeted from $9 million in 2005-2006 to less than $1 million in 2013-2014. Keeping the warning system operational is estimated to cost between $50 and $100 million dollars annually. This is the price that must be paid to keep the number of future tsunami victims down.

****

Contact: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Press Service, +33 1 45 68 17 64, a.bardon(at)unesco.org

*Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Djibouti, France (La Réunion), India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Yemen.

Categories: News

Ten years after the 2004 tsunami, the Indian Ocean is better prepared to avert disaster

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 18:28
photo_tsunami_1.jpg © UNESCO

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System, established following the 2004 earthquake, has improved the ability of Indian Ocean countries to handle a new tsunami. Nevertheless, some challenges still need to be overcome, notably the issue of long-term funding for the system.

Pictures of the havoc wreaked by the tsunami that struck countries around the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 travelled the world, showing destroyed homes, villages covered in mud and beaches strewn with all manner of debris. They gave us an idea of the magnitude of devastation that in just a few hours spread along the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, southern India and western Thailand, and of the suffering that ensued.

That tsunami, unleashed by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, was one of the deadliest in history. It claimed nearly 230,000 lives, led to the displacement of 1.6 million people, and caused material damages estimated at close to $14 billion.

This heavy toll is largely due to the fact that people were caught unawares and had no time to run for safety before the wave broke. The countries of the Indian Ocean did not dispose of a warning system as they had had little experience of tsunami occurrences, 70% of which take place in the Pacific Ocean and its adjacent seas.

Following this tragedy, Indian Ocean countries turned to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee (IOC) to establish and coordinate an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWS), similar to the one that has been operational in the Pacific Ocean since 1965. Two other warning systems were established at the same time—in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, as well as in the Caribbean—ensuring that all marine areas in the world are covered.

Officially launched in 2005, the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System became fully operational in 2011. Twenty-eight countries* constitute the Intergovernmental Coordination Group, the governing body of ICG/IOTWS. The three simulation exercises held  in 2009, 2011 and 2014 proved that the system was functional. They assessed the effectiveness of information flows between stakeholders and local emergency procedures.

Recent research has helped increase the effectiveness of the system. Post-tsunami investigations yielded a mass of data that improve our understanding of this natural phenomenon. Scientists are now able to model tsunami occurrences and see how they travel from the high seas to the shores.

In the Indian Ocean, a network of seismometers, tide gauges and buoys with satellite links provides data concerning underwater seismic tremors to three regional warning centres in Australia, India and Indonesia. These centres are then able to alert the relevant national authorities in the event of a tsunami.

Ten years after the tragedy, countries around the Indian Ocean are much better able to handle a tsunami than they were in 2004. Nevertheless, participants at an international conference organized by the IOC, and the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics in Jakarta (Indonesia) from 24 to 25 November 2004 pointed to several challenges that must still to be overcome.

“Covering the last mile” is a major issue, because although the warning system is functional at the regional and national levels, it is necessary to make sure that populations living in remote areas will be reached in time to escape the wave.

Funding represents another hurdle. Considerable resources were granted by some countries, particularly Australia, India and Indonesia, when the present system was established. But direct funding by States plummeted from $9 million in 2005-2006 to less than $1 million in 2013-2014. Keeping the warning system operational is estimated to cost between $50 and $100 million dollars annually. This is the price that must be paid to keep the number of future tsunami victims down.

****

Contact: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Press Service, +33 1 45 68 17 64, a.bardon(at)unesco.org

*Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Djibouti, France (La Réunion), India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Yemen.

Categories: News

Ten years after the 2004 tsunami, the Indian Ocean is better prepared to avert disaster

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 18:28
photo_tsunami_1.jpg © UNESCO

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System, established following the 2004 earthquake, has improved the ability of Indian Ocean countries to handle a new tsunami. Nevertheless, some challenges still need to be overcome, notably the issue of long-term funding for the system.

Pictures of the havoc wreaked by the tsunami that struck countries around the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 travelled the world, showing destroyed homes, villages covered in mud and beaches strewn with all manner of debris. They gave us an idea of the magnitude of devastation that in just a few hours spread along the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, southern India and western Thailand, and of the suffering that ensued.

That tsunami, unleashed by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, was one of the deadliest in history. It claimed nearly 230,000 lives, led to the displacement of 1.6 million people, and caused material damages estimated at close to $14 billion.

This heavy toll is largely due to the fact that people were caught unawares and had no time to run for safety before the wave broke. The countries of the Indian Ocean did not dispose of a warning system as they had had little experience of tsunami occurrences, 70% of which take place in the Pacific Ocean and its adjacent seas.

Following this tragedy, Indian Ocean countries turned to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee (IOC) to establish and coordinate an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWS), similar to the one that has been operational in the Pacific Ocean since 1965. Two other warning systems were established at the same time—in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, as well as in the Caribbean—ensuring that all marine areas in the world are covered.

Officially launched in 2005, the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System became fully operational in 2011. Twenty-eight countries* constitute the Intergovernmental Coordination Group, the governing body of ICG/IOTWS. The three simulation exercises held  in 2009, 2011 and 2014 proved that the system was functional. They assessed the effectiveness of information flows between stakeholders and local emergency procedures.

Recent research has helped increase the effectiveness of the system. Post-tsunami investigations yielded a mass of data that improve our understanding of this natural phenomenon. Scientists are now able to model tsunami occurrences and see how they travel from the high seas to the shores.

In the Indian Ocean, a network of seismometers, tide gauges and buoys with satellite links provides data concerning underwater seismic tremors to three regional warning centres in Australia, India and Indonesia. These centres are then able to alert the relevant national authorities in the event of a tsunami.

Ten years after the tragedy, countries around the Indian Ocean are much better able to handle a tsunami than they were in 2004. Nevertheless, participants at an international conference organized by the IOC, and the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics in Jakarta (Indonesia) from 24 to 25 November 2004 pointed to several challenges that must still to be overcome.

“Covering the last mile” is a major issue, because although the warning system is functional at the regional and national levels, it is necessary to make sure that populations living in remote areas will be reached in time to escape the wave.

Funding represents another hurdle. Considerable resources were granted by some countries, particularly Australia, India and Indonesia, when the present system was established. But direct funding by States plummeted from $9 million in 2005-2006 to less than $1 million in 2013-2014. Keeping the warning system operational is estimated to cost between $50 and $100 million dollars annually. This is the price that must be paid to keep the number of future tsunami victims down.

****

Contact: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Press Service, +33 1 45 68 17 64, a.bardon(at)unesco.org

*Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Djibouti, France (La Réunion), India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Yemen.

Categories: News

Ten years after the 2004 tsunami, the Indian Ocean is better prepared to avert disaster

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 18:13
tsunami_highlight.jpg © UNESCO 22 December 2014 The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System, established following the 2004 earthquake, has improved the ability of Indian Ocean countries to handle a new tsunami. Nevertheless, some challenges still need to be overcome, notably the issue of long-term funding for the system.

Pictures of the havoc wreaked by the tsunami that struck countries around the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 travelled the world, showing destroyed homes, villages covered in mud and beaches strewn with all manner of debris. They gave us an idea of the magnitude of devastation that in just a few hours spread along the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, southern India and western Thailand, and of the suffering that ensued.

That tsunami, unleashed by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, was one of the deadliest in history. It claimed nearly 230,000 lives, led to the displacement of 1.6 million people, and caused material damages estimated at close to $14 billion.

This heavy toll is largely due to the fact that people were caught unawares and had no time to run for safety before the wave broke. The countries of the Indian Ocean did not dispose of a warning system as they had had little experience of tsunami occurrences, 70% of which take place in the Pacific Ocean and its adjacent seas.

Following this tragedy, Indian Ocean countries turned to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee (IOC) to establish and coordinate an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System(ICG/IOTWS), similar to the one that has been operational in the Pacific Ocean since 1965. Two other warning systems were established at the same time—in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, as well as in the Caribbean—ensuring that all marine areas in the world are covered.

Officially launched in 2005, the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System became fully operational in 2011. Twenty-eight countries* constitute the Intergovernmental Coordination Group, the governing body of ICG/IOTWS. The three simulation exercises held  in 2009, 2011 and 2014 proved that the system was functional. They assessed the effectiveness of information flows between stakeholders and local emergency procedures.

Recent research has helped increase the effectiveness of the system. Post-tsunami investigations yielded a mass of data that improve our understanding of this natural phenomenon. Scientists are now able to model tsunami occurrences and see how they travel from the high seas to the shores.

In the Indian Ocean, a network of seismometers, tide gauges and buoys with satellite links provides data concerning underwater seismic tremors to three regional warning centres in Australia, India and Indonesia. These centres are then able to alert the relevant national authorities in the event of a tsunami.

Ten years after the tragedy, countries around the Indian Ocean are much better able to handle a tsunami than they were in 2004. Nevertheless, participants at an international conference organized by the IOC, and the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics in Jakarta (Indonesia) from 24 to 25 November 2004 pointed to several challenges that must still to be overcome.

“Covering the last mile” is a major issue, because although the warning system is functional at the regional and national levels, it is necessary to make sure that populations living in remote areas will be reached in time to escape the wave.

Funding represents another hurdle. Considerable resources were granted by some countries, particularly Australia, India and Indonesia, when the present system was established. But direct funding by States plummeted from $9 million in 2005-2006 to less than $1 million in 2013-2014. Keeping the warning system operational is estimated to cost between $50 and $100 million dollars annually. This is the price that must be paid to keep the number of future tsunami victims down.

****

Contact: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Press Service, +33 1 45 68 17 64,a.bardon(at)unesco.org

*Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Djibouti, France (La Réunion), India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Yemen.

 

Categories: News

Ten years after the 2004 tsunami, the Indian Ocean is better prepared to avert disaster

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 18:13
tsunami_highlight.jpg © UNESCO 22 December 2014 The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System, established following the 2004 earthquake, has improved the ability of Indian Ocean countries to handle a new tsunami. Nevertheless, some challenges still need to be overcome, notably the issue of long-term funding for the system.

Pictures of the havoc wreaked by the tsunami that struck countries around the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 travelled the world, showing destroyed homes, villages covered in mud and beaches strewn with all manner of debris. They gave us an idea of the magnitude of devastation that in just a few hours spread along the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, southern India and western Thailand, and of the suffering that ensued.

That tsunami, unleashed by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, was one of the deadliest in history. It claimed nearly 230,000 lives, led to the displacement of 1.6 million people, and caused material damages estimated at close to $14 billion.

This heavy toll is largely due to the fact that people were caught unawares and had no time to run for safety before the wave broke. The countries of the Indian Ocean did not dispose of a warning system as they had had little experience of tsunami occurrences, 70% of which take place in the Pacific Ocean and its adjacent seas.

Following this tragedy, Indian Ocean countries turned to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee (IOC) to establish and coordinate an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System(ICG/IOTWS), similar to the one that has been operational in the Pacific Ocean since 1965. Two other warning systems were established at the same time—in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, as well as in the Caribbean—ensuring that all marine areas in the world are covered.

Officially launched in 2005, the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System became fully operational in 2011. Twenty-eight countries* constitute the Intergovernmental Coordination Group, the governing body of ICG/IOTWS. The three simulation exercises held  in 2009, 2011 and 2014 proved that the system was functional. They assessed the effectiveness of information flows between stakeholders and local emergency procedures.

Recent research has helped increase the effectiveness of the system. Post-tsunami investigations yielded a mass of data that improve our understanding of this natural phenomenon. Scientists are now able to model tsunami occurrences and see how they travel from the high seas to the shores.

In the Indian Ocean, a network of seismometers, tide gauges and buoys with satellite links provides data concerning underwater seismic tremors to three regional warning centres in Australia, India and Indonesia. These centres are then able to alert the relevant national authorities in the event of a tsunami.

Ten years after the tragedy, countries around the Indian Ocean are much better able to handle a tsunami than they were in 2004. Nevertheless, participants at an international conference organized by the IOC, and the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics in Jakarta (Indonesia) from 24 to 25 November 2004 pointed to several challenges that must still to be overcome.

“Covering the last mile” is a major issue, because although the warning system is functional at the regional and national levels, it is necessary to make sure that populations living in remote areas will be reached in time to escape the wave.

Funding represents another hurdle. Considerable resources were granted by some countries, particularly Australia, India and Indonesia, when the present system was established. But direct funding by States plummeted from $9 million in 2005-2006 to less than $1 million in 2013-2014. Keeping the warning system operational is estimated to cost between $50 and $100 million dollars annually. This is the price that must be paid to keep the number of future tsunami victims down.

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Contact: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Press Service, +33 1 45 68 17 64,a.bardon(at)unesco.org

*Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Djibouti, France (La Réunion), India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Yemen.

 

Categories: News

European Commission announces support to help Cape Verde recover from volcano eruptions of the Pico do Fogo

Europaid - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 17:26
The European Commission will provide €3 million from the European Development Fund (EDF) to assist the Cape Verdean authorities in the recovery phase after the volcano eruptions on the island of Fogo; which started in late-November and have so far left more than a thousand people homeless and buildings destroyed.
Categories: News

European Commission announces support to help Cape Verde recover from volcano eruptions of the Pico do Fogo

Europaid - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 17:21

The European Commission will provide €3 million from the European Development Fund (EDF) to assist the Cape Verdean authorities in the recovery phase after the volcano eruptions on the island of Fogo; which started in late-November and have so far left more than a thousand people homeless and buildings destroyed.

Categories: News

Christmas Bazaar, “From the Heart of Jordan” enjoys a successful weekend featuring Jordanian handmade crafts produced by rural women

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 15:38
christmas_bazaar.jpg © UNESCO

Amman, 18-20 December 2014 – Within the framework of the UNESCO project, “Empowering Rural women in the Jordan Valley”, funded by the Drosos Foundation, the Ghor el-Safi Women’s Association hosted a three-day Christmas Bazaar in downtown Amman. The Bazaar gathered six women’s cooperatives from all around the Kingdom, each presenting their locally made crafts including natural soaps, textiles, pottery and accessories.
With the support of partner al-Hima Foundation, the members of the Ghor el-Safi Women’s Association for Social Development proudly displayed their eco-friendly original brand of Safi Crafts products. Safi Crafts produces Jordanian handmade crafts using natural dyes such as mud from the Dead Sea and plants from Dana and the Jordan Valley.
The Bazaar, “From the Heart of Jordan” opened its doors on Thursday, December 18th at 6:00pm at the new Art Hotel, in downtown Amman. The opening ceremony was attended by His Excellency, Dr. Monther Jamhawi, Director General of the Department of Antiquities...

Amman, 18-20 December 2014 – Within the framework of the UNESCO project, “Empowering Rural women in the Jordan Valley”, funded by the Drosos Foundation, the Ghor el-Safi Women’s Association hosted a three-day Christmas Bazaar in downtown Amman. The Bazaar gathered six women’s cooperatives from all around the Kingdom, each presenting their locally made crafts including natural soaps, textiles, pottery and accessories.

With the support of partner al-Hima Foundation, the members of the Ghor el-Safi Women’s Association for Social Development proudly displayed their eco-friendly original brand of Safi Crafts products. Safi Crafts produces Jordanian handmade crafts using natural dyes such as mud from the Dead Sea and plants from Dana and the Jordan Valley.

The Bazaar, “From the Heart of Jordan” opened its doors on Thursday, December 18th at 6:00pm at the new Art Hotel, in downtown Amman. The opening ceremony was attended by His Excellency, Dr. Monther Jamhawi, Director General of the Department of Antiquities of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Jordan, on behalf of His Excellency Dr. Nidal Katamine, Minister of Labor and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities. The Japanese Ambassador to Jordan, His Excellency Shuichi Sakurai and a number of other high-level personalities also attended the successful opening. During the weekend, the Bazaar was well attended by both foreigners and Jordanians who expressed their appreciation and interest in the high quality products featured by the women.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, UNESCO Representative to Jordan Ms. Costanza Farina emphasized, “UNESCO is supporting the women of Ghor el Safi to improve Safi Crafts’ quality, design and marketing and improve management within the cooperative. During the past year, the women have enjoyed a series of trainings on natural dyeing, design, accounting and management with enthusiasm and great results”.

Categories: News

Training for Catering increases livelihood opportunities for locals and refugees in Lebanon

Europaid - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 15:07
Building on the rich culinary heritage of Lebanon and Syria, the project offers catering training for Lebanese and Syrians. TIt contributes towards improving the participants' professional capacities.
Categories: News

Web Release - The EU will provide up to €60 million in grants to Laos in 2014-2015

Europaid - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 14:49

The European Union has announced it has allocated up to €60 million (KIP 60 billion, USD 75 million) to Laos under its bilateral cooperation programme over the period 2014-2015 to improve basic education and food and nutrition security and strengthen good governance as well as the rule of law and human rights.

Categories: News

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