International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Issue: 13/2006- 12/2006 - 11/2005 - 10/2005 - 9/2004 - 8/2003 - 7/2003 - 6/2002 - 5/2002 - 4/2001- 3/2001

Partners in Action


The Latin American and Caribbean Meeting on Education for Risk and Disaster Reduction

On September 7-9, 2004, in the Valley of San Andrés, El Salvador, the Latin American and Caribbean Meeting on Education for Risk and Disaster Reduction was held. This event gathered 114 representatives from 17 countries of the Western Hemisphere. Participants included experts in education, school facilities and risk management, as well as public officials, sub-regional, regional and international organizations; NGOs and community leaders.

With the purpose of discussing aspects to be considered in the field of risk and disaster reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), UNESCO, the OAS, UNICEF, the Salvadoran Foundation for Integral Support (FUSAI), and the National Bureau for Territorial Studies, of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARN-SNET) organized this event with the valuable support of a many cooperation agencies, governmentaland non-governmental organizations .

The main goals of this regional gathering were to recognize the advances in this field, identify and define adequate practices related to education for risk and vulnerability reduction in school facilities; define existing gaps, challenges, needs and opportunities in education for disaster reduction, and make recommendations and establish specific goals for the next 10 years, in order to foster this issue in the region and at the international level. The outcomes of this meeting have also contributed to the preparatory process for the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR-2005).

It is worth mentioning that one of these outcomes was the Declaration of San Andrés (its full text is available at, and some of the recommendations made during the meeting were included in said document, as follows:


Policies in these countries must foster the creation of inter-sector and inter-institutional platforms and action plans to include risk management in education systems at all levels.

The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) must promote and advance international cooperation for the regional, national and local strengthening and endorsement of education for risk management. This will strengthen a culture of prevention that focuses on abilities for life.

Community Education

In the field of risk management, community education must be recognized as a social practice that enables individuals to exercise their rights as citizens, in the framework of those values in which local knowledge and wisdom are integrated into educational processes.

State and civil society institutions must devote efforts so that all educational materials for risk management take into consideration the multicultural, social and ethnic situation and conditions of the most vulnerable groups, guaranteeing in this manner their participation

Educational infrastructure

It is important to make discussions on vulnerability of school facilities as transparent and visible as possible.

It is also important to update and systematize inventories of school infrastructures, including their vulnerability levels to natural and man-made hazards.

The final report of the meeting is available from ISDR Regional Unit for LAC: