Integrated Disaster Risk Management Conference in Canada

The 5th IDRIM Conference in 2014 highlighted opportunities to reduce risks in the long term, through both science and technology investment and insights and by changing political will and societal behaviour. The conference was hosted by the Western University, in London, Ontario, Canada from 30 October to 1 November 2014. The theme of the conference was “Building Disaster Resilient Communities”, and was introduced by ICLR Executive Director Paul Kovacs.

“There is a need to bridge gaps between disaster reduction and development through varied types of science (natural, social and others), technologies and people centric actions. This requires ‘smart awareness’, motivation and vision to enable combined disaster reduction and sustainable development at local and global levels”, said the conference announcement. The conference showcased state-of-the-art contributions from the disaster science, technology, policy and practice, including less conventional approaches, with the goal of stimulating the next generation of ideas and actions for disaster reduction.

The many young scientists parallel and poster sessions attracted many new talents in the field from around the globe, especially from China and Japan.  Papers and sessions addressed a wide range of cross-cutting themes of disaster management, sustainable development, resilience building, vulnerability reduction, risk assessment and governance, risk financing, living with uncertainty, transformative processes, cultural recognition and change, poverty reduction, well being, climate change adaptation, integration science, disaster communication, social subgroups, innovation, communities of practice, and policy including dialogue from different disciplines related to risk.

In the spirit of connecting the grand challenges of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, one of the key notes was given by ICSU President Gordon McBean.

The IDRiM Society and its Journal (IDRiM Journal) were officially launched in 2009 in Kyoto, Japan, at the 9th Forum on Integrated Disaster Risk Management organized by the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) of Kyoto University and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). IDRiM Society is promoted also by many national and international organizations including Beijing Normal University, International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES), National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED), the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC/EC) and other organizations. The founding members of the IDRiM Society include Prof. Norio Okada (Director, DPRI), Dr. Aniello Amendola (IIASA), Dr. Peijun Shi (BNU), Dr. Joanne Bayer (IIASA), Prof. Hirokazu Tatano (DPRI), Dr. Mohsen Ghafory-Ashtiani (IIEES), Dr. Reinhard Mechler (IIASA) and Dr. Ana Maria Cruz (DPRI).

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