International Strategy for Disaster Redution
The Americas   

Country informartion
Introduction - Guiding principles


National participation, as the primary ingredient for sub-regional, regional and international cooperation for natural disaster reduction, is critical to carry out disaster risk reduction policies and measures at the national and local scale and to implement the objectives of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).

The National Committees and Focal Points established during the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR, 1990-1999) proved to be key organizational mechanisms in many countries in expanding the understanding and perception of the importance of disaster risk reduction and in bringing together diverse professional interests committed to the subject of disaster reduction. However, in many countries, there remains a pressing need to revitalize and strengthen these national structures and processes, especially in those countries most affected by natural disasters.

The ISDR Secretariat has renewed its efforts to re-establish these contacts. A priority for the coming years is the building of stronger national networks or national platforms drawing from several sectors and disciplines to further improve the implementation of disaster reduction. This is a joint goal shared with other partners, in particular UNDP in support of the work in developing countries, and with many other regional institutions within the ISDR network.

The ISDR Secretariat has produced Guiding Principles: National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction (working paper) as a first of a series of documents aimed to guide the creation and development of National Platforms. A national platform can adopt the form of a national network or a more formal designated body recognized by its government, which could include lead agencies or ministries, research and academic organizations. The aimed composition of a National Platforms would include lead agencies/ministries within the Government, research and academic organizations, civil society, private (commercial) sector, NGO’s, media and other UN Agencies.

This section of the CD-ROM (country profiles) includes relevant information on national contacts, national platforms, hazard and disaster profiles, and national reports on disaster risk reduction submitted by countries as a contribution to the Yokohama Review process. While the country profiles are at an early stage of development, it is expected that they will continue to expand and strengthen thus further enabling the profiling and exchange of relevant information on disaster risk reduction at the national level, as well as allowing for more effective participation in the international arena.

Should you have comments or questions on the information provided in this section please contact:

Haris Sanahuja
Regional Policy Advisor
PO BOX 0843-03441, Panama City, Panama
Telephone: (507) 317 1124, 317 1120 y 317 0775.
Fax: (507) 317 0600