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.

12th APRU Research Symposium on Multi-Hazards around the Pacific Rim

The Role of Science and Technology in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

Event Report

The 12th Multi-Hazards Symposium 2016, held at Kyoto University on 7th and 8th March, focused specifically on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), and aimed to discuss how science and technology advancement in combination with social science can strengthen the disaster risk reduction framework and how key priority areas can be addressed through these disciplines. 


President Juichi Yamagiwa, Vice President Junichi Mori and Prof Rajib Shaw welcoming delegates to the Symposium.

The key note session chaired by Prof. Rajib Shaw featured presentations by Prof. Kaoru Takara, Prof. Fuihiko Immamura and Prof. Hassan Virji – it provided background and an overview of the advancement of science and technology in DRR, highlighted lessons learnt from the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, and addressed challenges of developing and implementing solutions for DRR. Key messages echoed in all three presentations were the importance of multidisciplinary efforts and linking the development of solutions to policy development and implementation on the ground. 

Symposium Sessions 

Close to 100 delegates attended the Symposium which featured eight parallel sessions with 46 paper presentations and two plenary sessions over the two day proceedings. 


The four main sessions of the event each focused on one of the four key areas of the SFDRR; 

Understanding disaster risk

Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk

Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilence

Enchancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to 'Build Back Better' in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction

Campus Safety Workshop Report: Is your University ready for the next Natural Disaster?


The International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) held a “Building Disaster Resistant Universities ~Is Your University Ready for the next Natural Disaster?~” workshop February 2–4, 2016 at IRIDeS. Ms. Amy Aiken, Director of the Department of Emergency Management at Florida International University (FIU), was the invited trainer and facilitator, and more than 30 participants, including faculty, staff, and students from 16 universities in the United States, Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand attended.

The workshop discussed lessons learned from other universities, common challenges and issues, and tools to develop an effective emergency plan that introduces necessary improvements and enhances overall university preparedness.

See the Multi-Hazards web site for the full workshop report. 

APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Summer School 2015 Report is out now

The Report of the APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Summer School 2015 is now available on our website.  Have a look on what the very active and imaginative class of 2015 has discussed.  Please download it from the link below. 

Call for Submission of Case Studies on the Role of Science and Technology in DRR in Asia

In May 2015 the UNISDR Asia Pacific Office formed the Asia Science Technology and Academia Advisory Group (ASTAAG) to facilitate an active role of science and technology in DRR in Asian countries. ASTAAG is composed of 8 member from 7 Asian nations and plans to publish the Asia Science Technology Status Report at the AMCDRR (Asia Ministerial Conference for DRR) in New Delhi in 2016.  The status report will include a number of country analysis and selected case studies showcasing good practices for application of science technology in DRR.  

ASTAAG has issued this call for submission of good practices/ case studies for possible inclusion in the status report.  Submission from wider stakeholders (not necessarily restricted to science, technology academia community only) is highly encouraged. All submissions will be peer reviewed by at least two ASTAAG members on the eligibility and suitability to be include in the status report. 

Tohoku University to continue successful leadership of Multi-Hazards Program Hub

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.

APRU is now a member of the UNISDR Asian Academia, Science and Research Advisory Group (AASTAG)

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.

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