In a major partnership agreement, the cities of Newcastle upon Tyne in England and Kyoto in Japan are working together to find ways in which anyone caught up in an environmental or human-induced disaster is as well prepared as possible and has the very latest help at hand.
High-ranking officials from both cities have visited their counterparts to share the latest research and practices through work being co-ordinated by the Disaster and Development Centre at Northumbria University in Newcastle and the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) at Kyoto University. A new website has also been launched, highlighting the collaboration: www.drs.dpri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/jp-uk/
In January last year, a high level North East delegation visited Japan to share expertise on managing major disasters. The Universities of Kyoto and Northumbria have since signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which has led to specialists from the two countries working together in an unprecedented way.
Representatives from Northumbria University’s Disaster and Development Centre, Newcastle City Council, Tyne and Wear Emergency Planning and the Northumberland and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Services flew to Japan last January to exchange knowledge and expertise, which could benefit some of the most needy people worldwide in the wake of environmental and human disasters.
Dr Andrew Collins, Director of the Disaster and Development Centre at Northumbria University in Newcastle says: “Our visit to Kyoto last year cemented a relationship which we had been nurturing for a number of years. We were involved in a major conference there in 2005, attended by many of the world’s leading academics and policy makers involved in disaster management. Since then we have run our own collaborative international seminars with our Japanese counterparts on an annual basis.
“The visit during 2007 also provided an opportunity for Trevor Tague, Group Manager of the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to spend a further week in Japan undertaking vital research into disaster preparedness and community response and education.”
As the partnership strengthened and developed, Northumbria University welcomed high-ranking officials from Kyoto to its wider international conference on ‘Dealing with Disasters’. Hosted by the University at its Newcastle city centre campus, the conference focused on the issues of resilience, response and investigation.
Kyoto’s Chief Fire Officer, Mr Yoshio Orisaka was delighted to attend and believes the involvement of practitioners is vital to the process. Taking the opportunity to find out about practices here in the UK, he said:
“My visit to Northumbria University enabled me to observe differences in fire prevention detail between the UK and Japan and I was particularly pleased to be involved in developing the good relations between our two countries and helping to develop a model which will benefit people across the world”.
Dr Norio Okada, Professor of Integrated Disaster Risk Management, of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) at Kyoto University believes this unique partnership approach and sharing of expertise is vital if we are to help some of the most vulnerable people across the world.
Dr Okada says: “Bringing together academics, policy makers and practitioners is a real challenge and I am delighted to see this happening. Most importantly, this has a snowball effect and we are delighted to have the opportunity to develop a model between Japan and the UK which will in turn provide a model for the rest of the world”.
The collaboration with Japan has also resulted in two Japanese academics coming to Newcastle to work with Northumbria’s Disaster and Development Centre.
Kyoto University postgraduate student Hideyuki Shiroshita, 26 from Kobe in Japan and academic Keiko Ikeda from Shizuoka University are currently working with the North East team, utilising their expertise and undertaking research in the specialist areas of disaster management in education and gender equity issues in community-based disaster management.
Hideyuki says: “I have been working with a number of specialist audiences in the North East, Edinburgh and London, looking at the issue of disaster management in education and it is interesting to compare the very different issues affecting both countries.”
Hideyuki explains that the threat of terrorism in the UK and the increasing risk of flooding affecting many parts of the UK are of significance here, but the issues facing Japan are very different. He says: “In Japan we face many more environmental disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons, compared to the UK where man-made disasters are more likely. My research is looking at how disaster management can be incorporated into education to help prepare for the future and equip the specialists of tomorrow more fully.”
Hideyuki’s research will continue when he returns to Japan in the Spring, through further work in this field, which will also be represented at the 2008 Dealing with Disasters Conference (10th and 11th July). This sharing of knowledge and expertise is typical of the relationship, which is being developed and which began at both academic and practitioner level two years ago.
Dr Andrew Collins says: “There are many reasons for disasters occurring throughout the world and they vary in scale and impact. Our work is looking at how best to prepare for everything from the problems associated with localised flooding, to the fallout from terrorism attacks and some of the worst global disasters affecting tens of thousands of people.
”By working with leading academics, practitioners and policy makers, we are able to take a holistic approach to disaster management and preparedness at a variety of levels, which we hope will both inform and influence the policy decisions of the future.”
Ruth Laing | alfa
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy