On 1 October 2016, the 7th International Conference on Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM 2016) kicked off in the city of Isfahan. The theme for this year’s conference is “Disasters and Development: Towards a Risk Aware Society”.
The three-day conference is co-organized by the International Earthquake Engineering Association (IEEA) and the Integrated Disaster Risk Management Society (IDRiM). UNESCO was one of the co-sponsors of the conference.
Professor Mohsen Ashtiany opened the conference by underlining the importance of the involvement of all parts of society- not just the Government- in disaster risk reduction. He also emphasized the need to move from scientific knowledge to actual implementation and action.
Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, congratulated the organizers for focusing on the important topic of creating a risk aware society, which she said was very much in line with the global objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework of Action for Disaster Risk Reduction.
“I would like to underscore that there is no such thing as a natural disaster. There are only natural hazards, such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, cyclones, etc. A disaster's severity depends on how much impact a hazard has on society and the environment. And the scale of that impact depends on the choices we, as humans, make for our lives and for our environment. These choices relate to how we grow our food, where and how we build our homes, what kind of government we have, how our financial system works and even what we teach in schools. Each decision and action makes us more vulnerable to disasters - or more resilient to them. And therefore, disaster risk reduction is all about awareness and making the right choices”, said Ms. Kuisch Laroche.
The UNESCO Representative talked about the Sendai Framework and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and UNESCO’s actions in support of disaster risk reduction through its programmes in Education, Culture, Sciences and Communication & Information.
Other speakers in the opening ceremony included the Governor General of Isfahan province; the mayor of Isfahan city; Mr. Mahmoodi, acting Minister of Energy; Dr. Hemmati, President of the Central Insurance Organisation, and professor Kabat of IIASA.
The opening ceremony was followed by a high-level panel on socio-economic needs for DRR and a series of technical panel discussions on different topics, including: building code implementation; water; public health; risk communication; and economic analyses of disaster risk reduction.
The conference will conclude on 3 October and will include a half-day session for young scientists.
For more information about IDRiM 2016, please see: www.idrim2016.com
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