Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction Working Session 12: Global Risk Trends

Mar 17, 2015

As the global community moves towards establishing the Sustainable Development Goals, there is an urgent need to ensure that managing disaster risks becomes an integral part of development. Relevant risk information provides the basis for development to become risk-sensitive.

This session, held during the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction Working titled Session 12: Global Risk Trends provided an opportunity for an overview of state-of-the-art risk information available at global level as well as on current progress and future drivers of disaster risk. Governments, the scientific community and private sector discussed current and emerging risks, drivers of risk and ways of integrating risk information into development planning and practice in support of sustainable development.



Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, UN Resident Coordinator in Malaysia and UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam chaired the session which was joined by panellists:

1) Mr Andrew Maskrey, Chief Risk Knowledge Section, UNISDR

Andrew Maskrey is Chief of the Risk Knowledge Section at the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).  He is the architect and coordinating lead author of the United Nations Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) series of publications, the first of which was published in 2009. Between 2001 and 2007 he was Chief of the Disaster Reduction Unit at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where he led a global team that supported disaster reduction and recovery programming in UNDP Country Offices worldwide. Before joining UNDP he founded and was General Coordinator of the Network for Social Studies on Disaster Prevention in Latin America: LA RED, contributed to regional networks in South Asia (Duryog Nivaran) and southern Africa (Peri Peri), and collaborated with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) on the first courses on community based disaster management.  Mr Maskrey has written and published extensively in both Spanish and English.

2) Mr Omar Dario Cardona, Representative INGENIAR and CIMNE and Professor, National University of Colombia

Omar-Dario Cardona is professor and researcher at the Institute of Environmental Studies (IDEA) of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNC) at Manizales and visiting professor of the International Center of Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE) of the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) in Barcelona. He has been consultant of the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and other UN agencies. He is known internationally for his pioneering approaches to vulnerability reduction and risk management and is the 2004 Disaster Prevention Sasakawa Laureate. He holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the UNC and a Ph.D. in Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamic from the UPC, in Barcelona, Spain.

3) Mr Ilan Noy, Professor, Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand

Ilan Noy currently serves as the EQC-MPI Chair in the Economics of Disasters and Professor of Economics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. His research and teaching is focused on international, environmental and development economics and since 2007, the economics of natural disasters. Mr Noy holds a BA from the hebrew University in Jerusalem and a PhD in International Economics from the University of California in Santa Cruz. Previously, he worked as a tour guide in China and India and was Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii in Manoa.

4) Ms Priyanthi Fernando, Executive Director, Center for Poverty Analysis, Sri Lanka

Priyanthi Fernando is the Executive Director of CEPA. In this role she is responsible for the overall functioning of the organization, providing direction for research and research communication and facilitating the management of resources. Ms Fernando is a social development professional who has worked in the development sector for over 30 years, in the areas of technology, infrastructure and poverty.  She has strong gender analytical skills, and has specialized in development communication. She has worked in Sri Lanka and overseas, led a specialist global network, managed the Sri Lankan arm of an international NGO, and worked with a grassroots women’s organisation.  She has also been an international consultant with considerable experience in evaluating and designing networks, institutions and programmes. Ms Fernando holds a Masters Degree in Mass Communications from the University of Leicester.

5) Mr Shinichi Takemura, Professor and Director, Earth Literacy Programme

After a career as an anthropologist conducting field research in the Amazon, Tibet, India, and Africa, Shinichi Takemura returned to Japan to teach and work as a curator of museums of cultural anthropology. He founded the Earth Literacy Program, a nonprofit organization that seeks to communicate the reality of what is happening to the planet. Mr Takemura embraces new technology and adopted a career as a media producer, harnessing the power of the Internet to develop social information platforms. He produced the Japanese virtual pavilion Sensorium for the first online Internet World Expo held in 1996, for which he won the 1997 Gold Ars Electronica Nica Award. In 2001, he started developing the Tangible Earth project, a multimedia globe that allows people to understand the condition of our planet using interactive technology, based on information provided by scientists from various fields. Since 2011, UNISDR and the Earth Literacy programme have collaborated to bring disaster risk data to the Tangible Earth project, the results of which were presented by Mr Takemura during the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2013 in Geneva. The Tangible Earth is exhibited in the Sendai Museum throughout the World Conference.

For more, go to the Global Assessment Report page here


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