UN Disaster Risk Reduction Conference: The Experience
- At July 27, 2016
- By anneblog
- In Annes Letters
Knowledge is such a complex, nuanced sword. It slices one way when filtered through cruelty and fear, yet an entire other when blended with trust and constructive creativity. This past week in Sendai we were blessed with a hope-filled, life-enhancing use of knowledge as delegates worldwide came to discuss disaster risk reduction.
From March 14 – 18, the Third UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) was held in this city. That significant event was mainly for delegates to discuss crucial environmental issues pressing upon the world from all sides. Those officials presented, discussed, and hammered out agreements concerning the environment and how best we, as a united human family, might find ways to prepare for natural disasters so as to mitigate their destructive effects.
One visitor from the UK said, “I’d seen so much on the news about the 3/11 disaster, but talking to people, seeing artifacts, and going to devastated areas have opened my heart wide to the trauma that individuals lived through. The actual, hands-on aspect of these displays and discussions is far deeper and more poignant that I had ever imagined.”
Many of the very informative panels were designed by students at local universities: Tohoku University and Tohoku Institute of Technology in particular. They were beautifully presented, commanding without being overwhelming. Those educational displays used the entire exhibition space to unfold the Tohoku Disaster Story in very meaningful, highly significant ways. So, walking though the show became an evolving experience of learning and of deepening compassion.
That pavilion was open to the general public and had interested observers all day throughout the entire week. Japanese and foreigners alike became absorbed in the information, the interactive programs, and the layout itself.
In fact, everything during that week pointed towards building up from a past that should never be forgotten. Now we are called upon to face the challenges of today, by learning from each other and by lending support in every way we can.