Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes/typhoons/cyclones and floods are common threats for many societies on the Pacific Rim’s ‘Ring of Fire’. To address these shared threats, the APRU Multi-Hazards Program aims to build safer and more disaster resilient societies through education, research and partnerships. To do this, the Program is working to harness the collective capabilities of APRU universities for cutting-edge research on disaster risk reduction and recovery, the sharing of strategies to cope with campus disaster risk management, and to contribute to international policy making processes on disaster risk reduction. In particular, the Program focuses on better strategies to deal with low-frequency high impact disasters. The APRU Multi-Hazards Program builds upon the strengths APRU Multi-hazards symposia over the past decade in countries spanning the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’. An APRU program hub has been established at the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) with an International Core Group chaired by Professor Yuichi Ono and coordinated by Associate Professor Takako Izumi of Tohoku University leading the program. A key milestone for the Program is to develop a strong presence and contribution to the UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction in March 2015 to be hosted in Sendai, Japan. To facilitate this, Tohoku University is hosting an annual summer school for disaster risk reduction for APRU university faculty, staff and students to complement the annual Multi-Hazards Symposium to be hosted by University of the Philippines in 2015.
On 21 July, 2015, President Susumi Satomi, Tohoku University, met with APRU’s Secretary General, Dr Christopher Tremewan, and agreed that Tohoku University will continue to lead the APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Program for another 3 years. The APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Program was launched in April 2013 by APRU and the International Research Institution of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University. IRIDeS is the key coordinating unit for the program which aims to harness the collective capacities of APRU universities in advancing research and international policy on multi-hazards (e.g. earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes and floods) and also on disaster risk reduction (DRR).
On 8 June 2015, Dr Tremewan had written to Executive Vice President, Professor Toshiya Ueki, thanking Tohoku University for its strong support of the program and attesting to its outstanding success:
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for Tohoku University’s interest to continue your strong support for the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) in hosting the APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Program Hub at Tohoku University. In its two project years the Multi-Hazards Program has achieved a wide recognition among the APRU member universities and beyond. I think we have conducted and implemented a very good mix of conferences, international outreach, publications and workshops within the program. I also would like to congratulate Tohoku University and the International Research Institute of Disaster Science for the well-organized side events at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR).
The APRU Secretariat is fully supporting the continuation of the APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Program and looks forward to continue the excellent cooperation with Prof.Yuichi Ono, Prof. Takako Izumi and the staff at IRIDeS.
APRU looks forward to an exciting and productive continuation of Tohoku University’s leadership of this highly significant program.
The UNISDR Regional Office for Asia-Pacific established the UNISDR AASTAG in May 2015. The Program Coordinator of the APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Program Prof. Takako Izumi was invited to the first meeting on the establishment of an Asian Academia, Science and Research Advisory Group held on 14 May 2015 at Beijing Normal University, China.
More than 100 international and local participants from various disciplinary fields convene at the 11th APRU Research Symposium on Multi-Hazards around the Pacific Rim held at the University of the Philippines main campus in Diliman, Quezon City from 7 to 9 October 2015.
Symposium partcipants gather for a group photo. Photo by: University of the Philippines
Launch of Resilience: Survive and Thrive TM University-wide Tournament
The symposium commenced with the launch of Resilience: Survive and Thrive TM University-wide Tournament on 7 October. Resilience: Survive and Thrive TM is a tabletop card game that aims to teach its players the lessons of balanced development and resiliency under the climate change lens. This ingenious initiative is the brainchild of the BaR-C2 Project of the University of Philippines (UP) in collaboration with Balangay Entertainment with the goal of introducing the concept of climate change and extreme weather events among the youth. It is also envisioned that schools will adopt the use of this game as part of their curriculum.
Resilience Survive and Thrive TM Game
UP Students and MH Symposium participants engage in the game.
APRU presented its Campus Safety Initiative at the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) 2015 Conference in Hong Kong, 17-19 June 2015. This year’s conference was hosted by The University of Hong Kong (HKU), a longtime APRU member university, and it was themed “Expanding the Dialogue: Sustainability in a Connected World”.
Call for Nominations
Multi-Hazards Summer School 2015
Towards the Implementation of the New International Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
Tohoku University, Sendai/Japan, 21-24 July 2015
To mark the second anniversary of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, APRU and Tohoku University launched the APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Program in April 2013. The Program builds upon the strengths of ten APRU Multi-Hazards Symposiums over the past decade in countries spanning the Pacific Ring of Fire. The International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) of Tohoku University coordinates the program and harnesses as the APRU Multi-Hazards Program Hub the collective capabilities of APRU universities for cutting-edge research on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and recovery, shares strategies to cope with campus disaster risk management, and contributes to international policy making processes on DRR.
The third Multi-Hazards Summer School (21-24 July 2015) is hosted and organized by IRIDeS, Tohoku University.
The major objectives of the 2015 Multi-hazards Summer School are to:
- Understand the mechanism of the international DRR strategy through the Sendai Framework for DRR which is a new international framework adopted at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (UNWCDRR);
- Learn from the experiences and recovery process of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
The APRU Multi-Hazards Program (MHP) was actively involved in the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai in March 2015. Centered on the theme “Science and Practical Disaster Risk Reduction – The Role of Universities and Academia”, the APRU MHP organized three panel discussions at the public forum of the conference.
Prof Fumihiko Imamura (Tohoku University), Dr Christopher Tremewan (Association of Pacific Rim Universities) and Dr Shuaib Lwasa (Integrated Research on Disaster Risk) welcomed the audience. All speakers highlighted the importance of the cooperation between higher education institutions, private sector, public administration and the civil society for successful disaster risk reduction in theory and practice.