Thankfully, the alarm that prompted them to evacuate was just a practice exercise, but by following the planned evacuation route, the students said they felt confident they could react quickly and stay calm in any real emergency.
“I will tell my parents, my family and I will do our best to keep them safe“, 4th grade student, Ni Putu Anika Desintha Pradnyan Dewi, told the Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed after earthquake and tsunami drills.
Tell the world
Deputy Secretary General, who is in Bali before the Stakeholder Forum of Seventh Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) on Wednesday, in turn promising that when she returns to United Nations Headquarters, she will “told the students in New York City, about the leadership that the Bali students showed, during the drill”, and how resilient the students in Bali were..
Building the resilience of communities and countries is at the heart of GPDRR, the world’s leading organization for disaster risk reduction.
For host Indonesia, which sits in the middle of a volatile Pacific Ring of Fire with shifting tectonic plates, resilience is a national imperative.
Indonesia recorded more than 3,000 disasters on its 17,000 islands in 2021, equivalent to eight disasters per day. Earthquakes and tsunamis pose a particularly serious threat to Indonesia.
In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami killed about 230,000 people, most of them in the western province of Aceh. And most recently in 2018, the Palu earthquake and tsunami killed more than 4,300 people in Sulawesi.
But COVID-19 crisis has limited those disasters. Its socioeconomic loss is detrimental to young people, women and girls; as well as indigenous peoples and other vulnerable populations most at risk of being left behind.
UNDRR / Antoine Late
Disaster touches ‘every aspect of life’
That is especially evident in Bali, where the tourism downturn caused by the pandemic has led to widespread loss of livelihoods and food insecurity.
“The impact of the pandemic serves as a reminder of how Natural disasters affect every aspect of life, from health to education, work and livelihoods, gender equality, nutrition, peace and security.,” the UN deputy chief of staff told an audience of local officials and community leaders in Bali.
“Indeed, natural disasters are a great threat to achieving Sustainable development goals. They have the potential, in minutes and hours, to wipe out the results of years and decades of development work. ”
Although tsunamis and earthquakes can be devastatingMost of the disasters that killed 665 people in Indonesia in 2021 and displaced more than 8 million people were floods and other extreme weather events, such as landslides, forest fires and land.
The increasing frequency and severity of such events is just one consequence of the global climate emergency.
Shrinking mangroves is one of the under-reported causes – and results – of climate change. Mangroves can sequester four times as much carbon as tropical forests. But they also serve as the last line of defense against tsunamis.
After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, field studies in several affected countries indicated that mangroves played an important role in saving lives and property.
But around the world, mangroves are under threat. Mangrove area decreased by just over one million hectares, between 1990 and 2020, according to the United Nations food agency, FAO.
UNDRR / Antoine Late
Trees for the future
In Bali, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General joined many students in planting mangroves near the provincial capital Denparsar, as part of a UNDRR– Indonesian Government-backed initiative aims to plant 10 million mangroves across all 34 provinces of the country.
“You’ve been the leaders,” she told Indonesian students who are leading a local tree-planting initiative near Denpasar, “so teach those who are behind you, teach those who are ahead of you, especially unfinished leaders what they should do with the environmentso they can meet Paris Agreementso they can meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ”