13 October is the International Day for Disaster Reduction, with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC holding a free public forum in Canberra to raise awareness.
The forum featured a panel of speakers who explored Australia’s contribution to natural disaster risk reduction at home and in the region.
The panel (pictured above with CEO Dr Richard Thornton) were, from left:
- Samantha Chard – Attorney-General’s Department – Assistant Secretary Emergency Management Policy
- Dr Helen James – Australian National University – a specialist in Asian disasters, governance and sustainable development.
- Andrew Coghlan – Australian Red Cross, National Manager, Emergency Services.
- Professor Stephen Dovers – Australian National University – Director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society.
- Catherine McGrath – the former ABC journalist was MC.
The event was held at University House, Australian National University. Around 60 people attended, with a lively question and answer session following short presentations by each of the speakers.
The forum drew on the perspectives of researchers, academia, government and NGOs, exploring the challenges we face in preparing for and responding to natural disasters, what we can do today to ensure that the impacts are less tomorrow and that the recovery process is better, and what policies changes would be needed.
The International Day for Disaster Reduction started in 1989 with the approval of the United Nations General Assembly. The UN General Assembly sees the day as a way to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.
The day promotes how people and communities are reducing their risk to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of disaster risk reduction. Each year the day is themed. For 2014 the theme is Resilience is for Life: Older Persons and Disasters.
The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC was recently appointed the national coordinator for the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) in Australia. This is backed by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the International Council for Science and the International Social Science Council and seeks to promote and support disaster risk reduction research programs and activities around the world, including the International Day for Disaster Reduction.
Source: BNHCRC News