UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Evening conference: Natural Hazards, Conflicts and Disasters in the Himalaya. Where now the future?

19 February 2020, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

UCL Quad and Portico building

Find out how natural hazards, conflict and disasters impact lives and livelihoods in the Himalaya and what lies ahead from experts from the region. Development practitioners, policymakers, researchers, students and the general public are welcome. We extend a special invitation to school students interested in international development and their teachers.

This event is free.

Event Information

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Akhtar Alam


G06 Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre
Roberts Buildings
Gower Street,
United Kingdom

The Himalaya are a unique and hazardous environment, supplying water to 1.4 billion people but subject to amplified global warming. The people of the Himalaya have witnessed some of the deadliest disasters in human history. The region is an epicentre of the geopolitical turbulence with rivalry between the nuclear armed states, and on-going internal conflicts, border incursions and insurgency, which has led to communities divided across borders and migration. These inter-dependencies pose complex challenges for disaster mitigation and development in the region.

Presentations cover history of regional disasters, hydrometerological hazards and climate change, managing resources across borders, what makes population vulnerable to disaster risk, conflict and transformation in society. There will follow an open discussion on “where now is the future?”

Confirmed speakers:

Jessica Field is Lecturer in Global Challenges at Brunel University. She is a member of UNHCR India Academicians Working Group, New Delhi, where she was until recently Associate Professor at O.P. Jindal Global University. She will introduce disasters in the Himalaya in their historical and social contexts.

M. Sultan Bhat is Professor of Geography in the University of Kashmir, India, where he is Head of Department. He will address human drivers of vulnerability and disaster risk in Kashmir. His research interest also include watershed studies and impact of urbanisation in mountain regions.

Aktar Alam is a researcher in the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction and Assistant Professor (on-leave) in the University of Kashmir. His core interest is spatial science, exploring earth surface processes and interplay of natural and social environment.

Punam Yadav is a Senior Research Fellow and Co-director of the IRDR Centre for Gender and Disaster, UCL and General Secretary of the Britain-Nepal Academic Council. She will address the gendered impacts of disaster and conflict on development and social transformation in post -conflict post-disaster contexts.

The event will be followed by a reception at 8pm.

UN Sustainable goals infographic

UCL Humanitarian Institute Conference Series on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Part of the UCL Humanitarian Institute Conference Series on the UN Sustainable Development Goals showcasing research in developing countries and providing an international platform for their leading researchers. 

Produced by the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. For further information on Humanitarian Institute Conferences contact: IRDR-comms@ucl.ac.uk

Please note this event will be filmed and photographed for promotional purposes. Please let an usher know if you do not with the appear in any footage.

Teachers wishing to bring groups of students should book directly by emailing IRDR-Comms@ucl.ac.uk

Image: Gorkha earthquake, Nepal, 2015 (Source: gurkhasecurityservices.co.uk)