Gender and Water Alliance

IIAS-DPRI International Forum, September 2007: Coping with Disasters: Global Challenges for the 21st century and Beyond

Sara Ahmed, Chair of the Gender and Water Alliance, attended this annual disasters forum, which was organised by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (EC/JRC), the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) of Kyoto University, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

After the official inauguration, the keynote address, ‘ Natural Disasters: Challenges for the 21st Century’, was delivered by Dr. Debarati Guha-Sapir, CRED, Brussels (Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters). Dr. Guha-Sapir began by describing the role of CRED in providing a global database on the epidemiology of disasters (who is affected and why) and also in recognizing the limitations of such a data-base (depends on government sources, is not gender disaggregated). She then outlined some key challenges in understanding the epidemiology of disaster risk reduction, including:

  1. The challenge of tracing the trends in human impacts.
  2. The challenge of building up credible (scientific) evidence.
  3. The challenge of finding realistic financial solutions within competing priorities.
  4. The challenge of getting rid of myths.

The conference was then divided into several parallel sessions and the Chair attended the following sessions, over the next 2-3 days:

  • Development-Disaster Risk Reduction Linkages and Synergies
  • Risk Communication and Participation
  • Climate Change and Variability
  • Integrated Disaster and Environmental Risk Governance: Asian Challenges
  • Panel: Policy, Legislation and Implementation on DRR

On day 2, the Chair was part of the post lunch session: From Risk to Resilience: Emerging Strategies on Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction from South Asia, unfortunately participation was limited (three parallel sessions, second day of conference with only 120-150 participants in total). However, the session was used to launch a publication for ProVention: Working with the Winds of Change: Towards Strategies for Responding to the Risks Associated with Climate Change and other Hazards, edited by Marcus Moench and Ajaya Dixit (2007). It contains a chapter on vulnerability methodologies, which talks about gender concerns.

Several useful contacts have been made by Sara Ahmed for future cooperation.

Training of trainers

Realisatie door Four Digits op basis van Plone.