The meeting of the IRDR National Committee for China under the chairmanship of Academician Prof Huadong Guo, Director General of RADI, heard reports from IRDR China and from IRDR International, as well as prospective presentations on possible future trajectories of work. The Secretary General proposed a number of new interdisciplinary working groups to be set up – including one that could be modelled on the AIRDR project in order to map and monitor the state of IRDR-related science in China.
The IRDR Executive Director in his presentation referred inter alia to the decision of the IRDR Science Committee to intensify interaction with the Chinese scientific community, for example by joint workshop and research activities, and called on IRDR China members to identify early career scientists who could join such events. This would help ensure a strong showing of Chinese scientists at the next IRDR conference in 2016. He also commented on the need to better connect scientific bodies and existing and emerging national policy-making bodies in the domain of DRR, as was envisaged under the new post-2015 framework for DRR. R. Klein was recently appointed by the committee as IRDR China Special Adviser.
Currently, the Committee membership represents disaster related research institutions and state agencies from the capital and nine provinces, as well as numerous nation-wide scientific in associations. See IRDR China Committee Members (2014-2019)
In the afternoon, just under half of the membership presented recent scientific advances in their field, ranging from disaster data sharing practices to technologies that enhance food security in times of climate change. Also delegates of state agencies such as the Chinese Earthquake Administration or the Chinese Academy of Meteorological sciences gave updates on their IRDR related work. Members emphasized that the links to IRDR are also a window for IRDR China to showcase areas of DRR science in which China is world-leading or aspiring to such scientific leadership.
In his closing remarks, the Chairman summarized, among the challenges ahead, the translation of the call for transdisciplinary work into meaningful scientific practice (and the important that platforms such as IRDR China can play in this context) and the opportunities arising from the location of the IRDR International Programme Office in Beijing, China.