Our Story Until Now
In 2011, 100 young people from 19 countries in the Asia-Pacific region joined together to share their experiences of disaster and develop realistic action plans at the first Looking Beyond Disaster: UNESCO Youth Forum in Christchurch, New Zealand. Looking Beyond Disasters participants witnessed the first of many forums hosted around the world by universities, NGO’s, Intergovernmental agencies and youth groups.
We would like to specifically acknowledge the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, UNESCO Office in Bangkok, UNESCO Office of the Pacific, JCI International and Student Volunteer Army, for co-creating the original Looking Beyond Disaster Youth Forums in partnership with young people.
In 2013, Youth Beyond Disasters formed in partnership with the support of UNESCO Bangkok Office, UNISDR and Insurance Australia Group (IAG) to mobilize children and youth in the build up to the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (3WCDRR). Through the mobilization, the network sought to unify and build on the work of UNESCO, Eubios Ethics Institute, partner Universities, agencies and other people dedicated to taking simple steps to lessen the impact natural hazards like storms, fires, floods and earthquakes have on our communities.
Youth Beyond Disasters is a registered not-for-profit association which exists to amplify the many great examples of youth led disaster risk reduction and mobilise thousands of young people to roll up their sleeves and take real action. We seek to instill confidence and a sense of permission in young people, to take sensible actions in a disaster or emergency help save lives. Collectively we are proud to share our experience with decision makers throughout high-level processes in the lead up and beyond the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.
“One of the easiest disaster risk reduction measures we can take is to empower children and youth and ensure they are actively involved in disaster risk reduction and contribute to making their cites and community resilient to disasters.”
– Margareta Wahlström, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction.
With 60% of the worlds population being aged under 30 and 70% of the worlds population living in areas prone to natural disasters it is no wonder that children and youth are having a major impact. Whether it is a 5 year old getting their family prepared for a fire, a 14 year olds clearing a beach of people before a tsunami, or a 21 year old raising an army of student volunteers after an earthquake; young people are stepping up and making use of their unique abilities and taking action.
We are an open network of young people taking action on the risk we face to disasters. Working in close partnership with the UNISDR, UNESCO and NGO partners, Youth Beyond Disasters are committed to ensuring strong participation from children and youth in the Post-2015 dialogue, especially around implementation and evaluation of the Sendai Framework for Action on DRR (SFDRR) and outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS).