Rinjani Lombok Geopark Celebrating the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2020

During 11 – 13 October 2020, the Rinjani-Lombok UNESCO Global Geopark and Biosphere Reserve celebrated the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2020 by organizing a joint event with Lushan UNESCO Global Geopark in China on the theme “Living in Harmony with Geohazard”. The event was designed to raise community awareness on reducing disaster risk, and featured poetry readings and story-telling competition for students, as well as virtual geo-tours around the Rinjani-Lombok and Lushan UNESCO Global Geoparks.

The Vice Governor of Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB), Dr Sitti Rohmi Djalilah, officiated the main online event on 13 October 2020. In her opening remarks, Dr Djalilah took note that Rinjani-Lombok is located in a geohazard area, and called on local communities to embrace and adapt to this fact. To assist communities in this regard, the NTB government has launched a mobile application called SIAGA NTB (NTB Alert), for disaster alerts managed by the Regional Disaster Management Agency – one of several initiatives launched by local authorities to provide information about disaster prevention and preparedness to mobile phone users.

The representative from the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs, Mr Odo Manuhutu, expressed his appreciation to the NTB government for the event’s contribution to tourism recovery during the pandemic. He also highlighted the collaboration with Lushan UNESCO Global Geopark as representing important knowledge sharing between members of the global network.

The Secretary-General of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Prof. Ainun Na’im, reiterated in his remarks the importance of integrating Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) into formal and non-formal education curricula, while Prof. Arief Rachman, Executive Chairman of Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO, said that it is critical to provide teachers with training on disaster preparedness and support the availability of teaching and learning materials linked with disaster risk reduction.

As the final speaker of the formal online event, the Director of UNESCO Jakarta, Prof. Shahbaz Khan, presented UNESCO’s programmes on UNESCO-designated sites and their contribution to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. He emphasized that the purpose of disaster risk reduction is to minimize vulnerabilities and disaster risks throughout society to avoid or to limit the adverse impacts of natural hazards while facilitating sustainable development.

The formal agenda was followed by a virtual geo-tour to the Lushan and Rinjani-Lombok UNESCO Global Geoparks. The geo-tour included narration from a tour guide with information of the site, allowing for participants to raise questions and comments.