Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ICSU hosts conference on hazards and disasters

19.09.2006
Building on an initiative launched last year, the International Council for Science (ICSU) today held its first conference on environmental hazards and disasters.

The conference, which took place in conjunction with the official inauguration of ICSU’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, addressed how science could be used to prevent natural and human-induced hazards from becoming catastrophic events. UNESCO, through its Regional Office for Science in Jakarta, and the Academy of Sciences of Malaysia co-sponsored the conference.

The number of recorded natural disasters has increased dramatically in recent times, from about 100 per decade in 1940 to nearly 2800 per decade in the 1990s. Unfortunately, the Asia-Pacific region is no stranger to such events -- an example being the Indian Ocean tsunami, which happened at the end of 2004. Other examples of recent disasters include the hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, the earthquake in Kashmir and landslides in the Philippines. Such disasters kill, injure or displace millions of people a year and cause hundreds of billions of dollars worth of damage.

Today’s conference ties in with the planning for a major new initiative on hazards that ICSU launched last year. This programme, which builds on work done by the international scientific community to date, plans to use science to prevent natural and man-made hazards from becoming catastrophic events. While we can’t stop flooding and earthquakes, we should be able to prevent these events from becoming economic and human disasters. But to do this, scientists and policy makers need to work together more closely.

For instance, policy makers must take more notice of scientific evidence that can help prevent natural hazards from causing widespread devastation. In turn, scientists need to find new ways of communicating their research so that policy makers better understand how to integrate it into their decision-making processes. Moreover, new research to find out more about why disasters are increasing, and which human activities could worsen or lessen their effect, is urgently required. Finally, the public also needs to be kept informed of any imminent hazards as well as any decisions taken by policy makers.

“In ten years, the result should be that fewer people die, fewer are adversely impacted and wiser investments are made,” said Gordon McBean, Chair in Policy for the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction at the University of Western Ontario and Chair of the ICSU Scoping Group on Environmental Hazards and Disasters.

Speakers at today’s conference focused on hazards like extreme weather events, earthquake prediction, landslides and land fires, tsunami early warning systems and the effects of the 2004 tsunami on livelihoods in the Indian Ocean area. “This conference is the first activity organised by ICSU’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific,” explained Mohd Nordin Hasan, Director of the Regional Office. “It also marks the beginning of greater involvement of scientists from developing countries in setting the agenda and eventually engaging in international research on environmental hazards and disasters”

Belle Dumé | alfa
Further information:
http://www.icsu.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

05.12.2016 | Information Technology

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>