ICSU ROLAC Steering Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction discusses strategy

Following the Central American Workshop on Natural Hazards, and volcanic, seismic and hydrometeorological risks, supported by a number of regional science organisations and ICSU-ROLAC, and held at Carrillo-Guanacaste, in Costa Rica, on 19-20 November 2014, the Steering Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction of ICSU’s regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean met on 21 November to discuss the future strategy on this priority area of research in the region. The Group is chaired by Barbara Carby, UWI, Kingston, Jamaica.

After reports on the preparatory committee meetings of the 3rd World Conference on DRR, presented by IRDR SC member I. Alcantara Ayala and IRDR Executive Director R. Klein, the group discussed in detail the progress report presented by the survey on research capabilities and profiles in integrated DRR science across the region. The group then reviewed a number of foreign and regional funding options (against the background of a comprehensive presentation by A. Guzman), including the options for funding multinational, multi-disciplinary research projects in LAC offered by the newly established Cuauhtémoc Forum of national funding agencies (presentation by M. Limonta).

The Chair B. Carby led the discussion on strategic projects for the coming period of 2015-2020, notably Discussion on work Programme of the Committee (2015-2020) on the possibility of setting up an international and multidisciplinary network of science centers to monitor, collect, systematize and analyze natural hazards data (possibly to be discussed with CODATA; possibly seen as an extension of the IRDR DATA project); a LAC version of the Assessment of scientific literature on integrated DRR research under the AIRDR model; a further promotion of case studies under the FORIN methodology; efforts in science educatin for DRR, starting from the idea of capacity building workshops for “Earth and Life Science Labs” (micro-scale experiments that would illustrate mountain growth, earthquakes, volcanoes, the San Andreas Fault, landslides and soil problems, flooding, etc., as well as monitoring techniques). It was agreed that a practical model for the way forward would be to identify champions, among committee members, who could offer institutional support for specific projects, where the priorities selected correspond to strategic priorities of their own institutions.