Plenary 1: From Thoughts to Action: Research, Education, Training and Application in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

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There is an imperative need to improve the transfer of knowledge, technology and expertise and the sharing of best practices and lessons that may help to enhance capacity building for sustainable risk reduction and improved disaster management. The panellists will consider what kind of research, education and training is needed, in order to respond efficiently to risks and disasters in the future, as well as how new technologies can enhance the processes of learning about reducing risks and managing disasters. They will discuss how to build capacity in order to analyse, map and forecast hazard, risk, vulnerability and impact. In particular, the speakers will address the problem with respect to developing countries, which may be less equipped financially and institutionally to adapt than are developing countries. The panellists will further consider what support should be given to developing countries so that they can improve evidence-based science and education, access information more readily, and enhance governance. The session will address how to raise awareness in all sectors of society, and how to make sure that relevant information is disseminated effectively to policy-makers, the general public and communities at risk. In order to reduce vulnerabilities and increase resilience, information must be integrated into decision-making processes. The session will investigate gaps and improvements in research, education, training and knowledge transfer, as well as discuss how to link DRR with sustainability science and climate change adaptation.


Haresh C. SHAH, Obayashi Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, Stanford University, Founder and Senior Advisor, Risk Management Solutions RMS Inc., Stanford, USA

Ambassador Martin DAHINDEN, Director General Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency SDC, Berne, Switzerland
Kirk W. JUNKER, Professor, Chair, International Master of Environmental Science and Chair, US American Law, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Joao RIBEIRO, General Director, INGC, Mozambique
Badaoui ROUHBAN, Director, Section for Disaster Reduction, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO, Paris, France

Charles STEGER, President, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA