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


Global ISDR


Riskland throughout the world

The education kit entitled “Riskland: the fun way to learn how to prevent disasters” is the outcome of a joint initiative between the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). This product was developed at the end of 2002 by the ISDR Regional Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean, in cooperation with UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNICEF-TACRO). Initially, it was addressed for countries in the LAC region and was originally produced in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

The education kit was designed for children between 8 and 12 years of age, and represents a complement to any related material that schools may already have. The kit includes a brochure entitled “Let’s learn to prevent disasters,” which contains basic information on natural hazards and risk reduction. It also includes the “Riskland” educational board game, which deals with disaster prevention through a number of educational messages that help understand good practices for reducing the impact of disasters, as well as those actions that contribute to an increased vulnerability to disasters.
The material included in Riskland was validated in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Colombia and Cuba. Subsequently, in February 2003, the ISDR Regional Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean started to distribute the kit and, since then, an increasingly number of requests have been received from different institutions, organizations, education centers and NGOs throughout the world.

In July 2003, the first report on the education kit entitled “Assessment of the impact of Riskland” was published. As a result of the efforts of the ISDR Regional Unit for LAC, an updated version of this report is available on our website: www.eird.org.

The interesting results of this report show that requests have been received from almost every single country in the Americas, as follows:

  • North America: Mexico, Canada and the United States.
  • Central America: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Belize.
  • The Caribbean: Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Trinidad, St. Lucia, Netherlands Antilles, Jamaica and Grenada.
  • South America: Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Brazil.

Riskland has also been successful outside Latin America and the Caribbean, in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Angola and Nepal. A number of organizations requested that the ISDR authorized them to reproduce the education kit and adapt it to their own needs. For instance, in Nepal, the National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), adapted it and will distribute Riskland in 5,000 different schools.

As a result of a broad-based distribution campaign, Riskland has been translated into a number of languages. To date, a version of the kit is available in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Mayan Kaquichel, Kichwa, Papiamento, Creole, Nepalese and Bengali, and will be available in other languages in the near future.

The overall assessment of Riskland has been very positive:

  • It is considered an innovative and essential tool for the creation of a culture of prevention and the strengthening of citizen participation in disaster prevention. The game is an appropriate concept because it is educational, easy to use, and includes key information about natural risks and how to prevent them. It definitely reaches its target groups.
  • In the field of children’s education, Riskland’s approach is more participatory than other programs. It is therefore possible to involve children in an interesting debate that may lead them to raise awareness of those phenomena that affect or would affect them.
  • This project promotes the interest of children in knowing more about risks to which they and their families are exposed. In that way, they better understand how nature works and what humans can do to cope with these risks. It is rewarding for children to participate directly in
    addressing this issue, and suggest risk reduction actions. In this manner, they become enthusiastic because they contribute to disaster risk reduction.

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