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First World Tsunami Awareness Day to be observed on Nov 5, says Indian Government release

The Conference will include various activities to raise awareness through thematic events, exhibitions, and distribution of awareness materials

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Tsunami hit area in India, Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 11, 2016: The First World Tsunami Awareness Day will be observed on November 5 during the upcoming Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016, a government release said on Wednesday.

The conference slated to take place here between November 2-5, is being organised by the government of India in collaboration with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). It will include various activities to raise awareness through thematic events, exhibitions, and distribution of awareness materials.

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“The observance of the day would help to spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami and shall stress on the importance of early warning systems in order to mitigate damage from the often devastating natural hazard,” the release said.

“It also aims at reviving traditional knowledge about tsunamis,” it added.

India, along with 23 other Indian Ocean countries, participated in a tsunami mock drill on September 7-8. Besides increasing awareness, the drill evaluated the preparedness of participating nations to handle tsunami and other similar emergency situations.

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Following the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 that killed 230,000 people in 14 countries, the Indian government established an Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) under the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) at Hyderabad.

The centre, operational since October 2007, has state-of-the-art infrastructure for generating and disseminating tsunami bulletins for the entire Indian Ocean region.

On November 5, 1854, a villager in Wakayama prefecture, Japan, was concerned about an impending tsunami after a high-intensity earthquake. He set on fire rice sheaves on the top of a hill.

Fellow villagers, who went atop to put off the fire, were saved even as a tsunami destroyed their village down below.

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To commemorate that day of “Inamura no Hi” (the burning of rice sheaves), a resolution was jointly proposed by 142 countries, including Japan, as a follow-up of the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The UN designated November 5 as the World Tsunami Awareness Day. (IANS)

  • Diksha Arya

    Another great initiatve by Indian government….

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Italy to Make Climate Change and Sustainable Development Study Compulsory for School Children

Many traditional subjects, such as geography, mathematics and physics, would also be studied from the perspective of sustainable development

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Italy, Climate Change, Sustainable Development
Italy's Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti gestures during an interview with Reuters in Rome, Italy, November 4, 2019. VOA

Italy will next year become the world’s first country to make it compulsory for schoolchildren to study climate change and sustainable development, Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti said.

Fioramonti, from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, is the government’s most vocal supporter of green policies and was criticized by the opposition in September for encouraging students to skip school and take part in climate protests.

In an interview in his Rome office on Monday, Fioramonti said all state schools would dedicate 33 hours per year, almost one hour per school week, to climate change issues from the start of the next academic year in September.

Many traditional subjects, such as geography, mathematics and physics, would also be studied from the perspective of sustainable development, said the minister, a former economics professor at South Africa’s Pretoria University.

Italy, Climate Change, Sustainable Development
Fioramonti, from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, is the government’s most vocal supporter of green policies and was criticized by the opposition in September. Pixabay

“The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model,” Fioramonti told Reuters in the interview conducted in fluent English.

“I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school.”

Fioramonti, 42, the author of several books arguing gross domestic product should no longer be used as the main measure of countries’ economic success, has been a target of the right-wing opposition since becoming a minister in the two-month-old government of 5-Star and the center-left Democratic Party.

His proposals for new taxes on airline tickets, plastic and sugary foods to raise funds for education were strongly attacked by critics who said Italians were already over-taxed.

 

He then sparked fury from conservatives when he suggested crucifixes should be removed from Italian classrooms to create a more inclusive environment for non-Christians.

Despite the criticism, the government’s 2020 budget presented to parliament this week included both the plastic tax and a new tax on sugary drinks.

“I was ridiculed by everyone and treated like a village idiot, and now a few months later the government is using two of those proposals and it seems to me more and more people are convinced it is the way to go,” Fioramonti said.

ANTI-SALVINI

Italy, Climate Change, Sustainable Development
In an interview in his Rome office on Monday, Fioramonti said all state schools would dedicate 33 hours per year, almost one hour per school week, to climate change issues from the start. Pixabay

Surveys showed 70-80% of Italians backed taxing sugar and flights, he said, adding that coalition lawmakers had told him they would table budget amendments to introduce his proposal to hike air ticket prices before the budget is approved by end-year.

Fioramonti said targeted taxes of this kind were a way of discouraging types of consumption which were harmful to the environment or individuals, while generating resources for schools, welfare or lowering income tax.

In this vein, he suggested other levies on various types of gambling and on profits from oil drilling.

Also Read- Delhi AQI Improves, Down to ‘Very Poor’ After Almost a Week: Report

His progressive positions on the economy and the environment are the antithesis of Matteo Salvini’s hard-right League, which has overtaken 5-Star to become easily Italy’s most popular party, with more than 30% of voter support. (VOA)