were five sessions over the two and a half days. Each session ended
with an extended discussion. In addition to oral presentations there
were posters on display throughout the conference.
meeting was opened by a session of invited keynote talks, which
introduced the fundamental concepts of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR),
identify directions for future research and provided a framework
for the open sessions that followed.
Click here for copies of the presentations
What is disaster risk reduction and how does it work in practice?
United Nations defines DRR as ‘the concept and practice of
reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyse and
manage the causal factors of disasters, including through reduced
exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property,
wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness
for adverse events’. We will explore this concept and examine
how it works in practice, particularly the application of knowledge
acquired from hazard research. These topics will be investigated
by invited DRR experts and practitioners, who will also define some
of the key knowledge gaps that could be used to establish an agenda
for future research.
2. Quantifying hazardous natural processes (Day Two)
capacity to map, monitor and model hazardous natural processes is
essential for developing reliable forecasts and early warnings,
and underpins Priority 2 in the Hyogo
Framework for Action. Although there have been significant developments
in these aspects of hazard science, a high degree of uncertainty
remains in quantifying complex natural hazards. We invite presentations
that showcase recent advances in hazard science and their practical
application to DRR. We also encourage contributions that evaluate
uncertainty and consider how it is communicated.
3. Assessing vulnerability, resilience and capacity (Day Two)
resilience and capacity building are key components to understanding
the circumstances that make vulnerable citizens more likely to suffer
a significant loss. To provide an integrated approach all three
of these elements must be assessed together, although in practice
the focus remains largely on vulnerability. We invite papers that
describe state-of-the-art research in evaluating vulnerability,
resilience, and capacity building, utilising qualitative and quantitative
methods and at local and global scales.
4. Cultural perceptions of hazard and risk (Day Three)
have been living with disasters for hundreds, even thousands of
years. As a result many communities have learned to adapt to the
threats posed by natural hazards and, in some cases, the hazards
have even become part of the culture. In order for DRR to be effective,
it is vital that community perceptions and indigenous knowledge
are understood. How a community perceives risk may be vastly different
from the views of an outsider. We invite papers that describe strategies
for tapping into indigenous knowledge and perceptions and how this
helps guide effective approaches for reducing risk. Contributions
may also explore the effectiveness of education campaigns in improving
risk perception and reducing risk.
5. Effective policy, communication and decision making (Day Three)
communication can render meaningless decisions made by scientists,
stakeholders and responsible state agencies. Even so, DRR studies
only rarely evaluate the effectiveness of communication. This session
invites papers that discuss: methods of communication within and
between groups in the DRR community; the role of decision making
tools, warnings and alert systems; and the increasing use of technology
in communication. We also welcome contributions on how communication
is optimised under different economic, cultural and political constraints.