18.11.2011 - Natural Sciences Sector

Recently published: Surveys and Activities on Post-Earthquake Disaster

The UNESCO–IPRED–RIHS Workshop on ‘Surveys and Activities of Post-Earthquake Disaster’ hosted by the Research Institute for Human Settlements (RIHS) and the Ministry of Public Works of Indonesia in cooperation with the Provincial Government of West Sumatra, with the support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), provided an opportunity to advance international cooperation in the evaluation, prevention and mitigation of earthquake disasters. The meeting took place against a backdrop of an appalling loss of human lives and wholesale destruction of communities and infrastructure as a result of major earthquakes.

Natural disasters, including earthquakes, do not recognize geographical borders. The recent major earthquakes in Padang, Indonesia (2009), Haiti (2010) and Chile (2010), followed by the devastating earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan (2011) after the workshop, came as a tragic reminder of the urgent need for nations to make optimum use of knowledge and technology in order to reduce the risk of disasters. Efforts must be pursued so that all realistic measures are taken to ensure more resilient communities.

In July 2008, UNESCO launched the International Platform for Reducing Earthquake Disaster programme (IPRED) to identify gaps and priorities through the sharing of scientific knowledge and experience in the field of seismology and earthquake engineering, and to support the development of political will and public awareness, to ensure better earthquake preparedness and build a culture of safety for people around the world. Earthquakes are one of the major expected disasters, especially in the metropolitan areas located in seismic zones all over the world. IPRED aims to advance partnership and networking and to help draw lessons from earthquake disasters.

The workshop, which aimed in particular at discussing activities for post-earthquake reconstruction, was very successful, providing a fresh impetus for coordinated initiatives in public preparedness and the rehabilitation of buildings. It considered the roles of national and local authorities before, during and after disasters as well as the need for more practitioners who are well-educated, trained and prepared. The outcomes of this workshop, compiled in this publication, will contribute to the reduction of earthquake losses, and to the health and safety of millions of people worldwide.

Full publication (.pdf)





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