The 2nd International Symposium on Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development (DRSD 2021) took place virtually on 24 - 25 June 2021. Organized by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), it focused on building on learning towards a better tomorrow. The event provided a platform to higher education systems, institutions, and young researchers to present their research and engage in dialogues for knowledge sharing.
The symposium focused on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and sustainable development and various dimensions of existing and future risk scenarios, as well as concerted efforts of scientific communities to find new, adaptive methods.
The event witnessed over 200 technical sessions on DRR in higher education; public health emergency and COVID-19 risk; technology, innovation, and DRR; multi-hazard risk assessment and governance; critical infrastructure resilience; and vulnerability, resilience, and sustainable development. The symposium also included a virtual networking platform to connect participants, researchers, and practitioners.
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) served as an institutional partner, collaborating with 22 conference partners for the event. ADPC participated in the symposium by sharing knowledge products and promoting the conference through its networks. Furthermore, representatives of ADPC presented at keynote sessions and co-chaired technical sessions.
Mr. Hans Guttman detailed how ADPC promotes evidence-based approaches to DRR and climate resilience.
Mr. Hans Guttman, Executive Director of ADPC, presented at the first keynote session. He shared how ADPC is dedicated to promoting evidence-based approaches to DRR and climate resilience. Mr. Guttman detailed how the integration of inclusiveness, empowerment, equality, cooperation, and access, have all led to ADPC’s progress from a training center in 1986 to an autonomous international organization today. He highlighted some of the organization’s programs as examples of strengthening localization strategies, urban resilience, and climate change adaptation across Asia and the Pacific. The programs he discussed include the Asian Preparedness Partnership (APP), Climate Adaptation and Resilience (CARE) for South Asia project, Program for Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER), and Urban Resilience to Climate Extremes (URCE), etc. Mr. Guttman concluded with ADPC’s overall advancements in innovation, private sector engagement, various levels of cooperation, mainstreaming gender and human rights in DRR, and health sector resilience with local communities at the center.
Mr. Sisira Madurapperuma, Director for the Preparedness for Response and Resilient Recovery (PRR) Department, co-chaired the technical session titled ‘Multi-Hazard and Governance’. He elaborated on the purpose of the presentations. The session covered several topics including multi-hazard risk assessment, saline intrusion vulnerability and resilience in the Mekong River Delta, cyclonic damage assessment in rural houses, and much more.
Mr. Madurapperuma highlighted the importance of engaging policymakers and regulatory bodies in research to apply knowledge for DRR. He also proposed engaging with end-users, such as local and national governments, and integrating gender and diversity and indigenous practices in research proposals to ensure inclusivity.
Global summits like DRSD 2021 underline the need to bring global actors together because the ideal knowledge-sharing opportunity instills awareness and insight that all changemakers can act on and employ. ADPC believes that such events are vital to building cooperation and connecting stakeholders towards a more informed and collaborative path forward.