IRDR IPO is delighted to inform that the preparation for the October 2011 Conference is going great. We are excited to announce that MMe Michaëlle Jean – UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Haiti and a Former Governor General of Canada will be one of the keynote speakers during the conference. Other personalities who will address the conference during the course of the opening session are Prof Yuan Tseh Lee, President (incoming) of ICSU and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1986) and Ms Margareta Wahlström, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action.
Asia Pacific in the 21st Century: Meeting the Challenge of Global Change
The Congress provided an interdisciplinary platform for scientists from the region to assess and prioritize issues requiring scientific research, bring together scientists from more remote states, catalyze international and cross-disciplinary collaboration, and to announce and establish new research initiatives. The Pacific Science Association (PSA) focused on those countries bordering the Pacific Ocean and the islands of the Pacific basin. IRDR’s representatives Gordon McBean and Jane Rovins convened two sessions together followed by an introduction of IRDR from McBean and a presentation from Rovins.
Members of the Scientific and Technical Committee of UN-ISDR prepared a statement during the Third Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction which set up an agenda to better align existing science and technical knowledge with the efforts to implement the Hyogo Framework for Action. The statement is based on work with scientific, technical and thematic networks, the Global Assessment Report 2011, the Mid Term Review of the Hyogo Framework for Action, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX), the outcomes of the International Disaster Risk Conference (IDRC, Davos 2010), and the work of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme.
Scientific and Technical Committee of UN-ISDR also suggested strengthening the evidence-based work of UN-ISDR and to have a rigorous review of science and technical knowledge by 2015, building on the ongoing IPCC/SREX and the Global Assessment Report. Work will be carried out closely with the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) and the International Disaster Reduction Conference (IDRC).
[button_with_link url=”http://www.irdrinternational.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/GlobalPlatform_Final-Science-Statement.pdf” target=”_blank” class=”” id=”” onclick=””]Click Here to Download Statement[/button_with_link]
ICSU, ISSC and UNISDR approved the nomination of Sálvano Briceño as the new IRDR Science Committee Chair. He will succeed Gordon McBean effective November 1, 2011. Briceño recently retired as the Director of UNISDR, he brings extensive disaster risk and risk reduction experience to IRDR. Three new Scientific Committee members have been appointed by the Sponsors: Ferruccio Ferrigni (Italy), Anthony Oliver-Smith (USA) and Mark Pelling (UK). They replace outgoing members Ortwin Renn (Germany), Hormoz Modaressi (France) and Richard “Dick” Eiser (UK).
The IRDR International Programme Office and CEODE co-organized a workshop for young scientists that featured an introduction of IRDR by its Executive DirectorDr Jane E. Rovins, and talk about developing good international presentation skills, given by invited speakers from the USA – Mila Harrison, PhD, Product Development Manager,and Gina Wightman, Vice President of All About Training, Inc. as well as presentations given by CEODE’s young scientists conducting disaster risk research.
The Third Session of the Global Platform convened May 8-13, 2011 and brought together disaster risk reduction, recovery and reconstruction experts. Over 2,000 policy makers and practitioners, from government, international organizations, NGOs, academia, and the private sector from both developing and developed countries gathered to assess and share information as well as set new directions for the disaster risk reduction imperative, with emphasis on local initiatives and activities. On Tuesday May 10th, Dr. Jane E. Rovins presented a speech on Integrated Disaster Risk: From Research to Practice on the IGNITE Stage. IRDR also co-convened a side event on the issues of “Science Meets Practice – How can Science Contribute to Disaster Risk Reduction?” Science Committee member Kuniyoshi Tacheuchi presented on IRDR Japan and recent activities. Dr Jane E. Rovins presented a speech on Forensic Investigations and Risk – Interpretation to Action projects of IRDR. Other IRDR Science Committee in attendance included Djillali Benouar (Algeria), Angelika Wirtz (Germany), and Maria Patek (Austria).
During the Gi4DM 2011 (GeoInformation for Disaster Management) May 3 – 8 in Antalya, Turkey a mini-symposium “Natural Hazards and Disaster Risks in the Middle East Region” was held. This symposium was a part of the ENHANS project. It provided an opportunity to discuss and analyze major topics related to extreme natural events and disaster risk management in the Middle East region and to present new methodologies and technologies suitable for hazard and risk analysis and disaster management. Kuniyoshi Takeuchi, who is currently an IRDR Scientific Committee Vice Chair was one of the conveners. Dr Jane E. Rovins provided the IRDR presentation to emphasize the importance of trans-disciplinary collaboration in disaster risk research.
It is our great pleasure to announce that the ICSU Committee on Science Planning and Review (CSPR) awarded the IRDR IPO one of the 2011 Annual Grants. The proposal by IRDR entitled “Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Workshop” has been awarded Euro €30,000. The grant is to promote integrated disaster risk research by hosting a workshop during the Pacific Science Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The proposal got a strong support from the ICSU Regional Office for Asia and Pacific as well as the IRDR National Committees from Canada and China.
The fifth meeting of the Scientific Committee was held on the 27 – 29 April, 2011 in Paris, France at the ICSU Secretariat. The meeting included updates from the co-sponsors, development of a sub-committee for the IRDR Conference (which will be held in October 2011), briefings from IRDR National Committees (Canada, Germany, Japan, and New Zealand), reports on the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami as well as the Christchurch (New Zealand) earthquakes, a briefing on the 1st Meeting of the International Advisory Board of International Centre of Excellence (ICoE) and IRDR-START Cities at Risk Workshop held at the IRDR ICoE. The sixth meeting of the Scientific Committee will be held in Beijing, China October 28-29 and November 3, 2011.
On April 19th, Vice President of ICSU (International Counsel for Science) Ms Reiko Kuroda joined the IRDR International Programme Office, Chinese Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and the Centre for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CEODE) for a meet-and-greet.Representatives from the IRDR IPO, CAST and CEODE made introductions of their organizations, followed by Ms Reiko Kuroda’s comments and lunch.