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Frederico Pedroso

World Bank

Breakout Room 1.


Data; Methods; Culture; Knowledge; Adaptation

How can the human dimensions of disaster impacts be more accurately captured and represented in the analysis, modeling and simulation of disasters?

Disaster Risk Management as an engineering tool to identify; mitigate and manage extreme events and natural hazards cannot disregard human factors. As engineering elements are designed and deployed; local communities and decision makers along with governments are required to understand how disaster countermeasures work so physical infrastructure can operate as designed. While DRM practitioners acknowledge that human dimensions are imperative for improved DRM; Early Warning Systems; Hydromet Monitoring; community awareness; among others improve as do the probabilities to reduce human and economic impacts from disaster events. Japan offers a wealth of examples of how civic society; government and private sector jointly work towards addressing the great natural hazards the country is exposed to in order to improve its overall resilience in the face of growing climate and disaster risks.

What type of data and supporting research infrastructure would be necessary to enable novel, transdisciplinary approaches to answering these and other human-centered disaster questions?

Good science is only possible when backed up by good data. However; as an applied research professional; we cannot hide from the fact that data is mostly limited for those most vulnerable. While we push the DRM agenda in developing nations; we cannot afford the time and resources needed to gather data and build comprehensive and historical data bases. As such; proven methods; methodologies; approaches; policies; etc. from developed nations (e.g. Japan and the US) shall be adapted to local contexts with limited data so the process of building more resilient communities can take place. In other words; we shall accept that any progress is progress in the urgent climate and disaster risk management agendas.

In what ways can US-Japan collaborations advance these questions in new and important ways?

As indicated in the previous question; capacity building and knowledge exchange between Japan/US and developing nations is paramount to produce the results aimed on international agreements (e.g. Paris Agreement; Sendai Framework; etc.). Sharing lessons learned and the ability to adjust into local contexts (i.e. policies; resources; culture; etc.) will be a determining factor to achieve the ambitious goals to reduce human and economic impacts from extreme events.

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