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Aitsi Selmi et al. (2016). Reflections on a Science and Technology Agenda for 21st Century Disaster Risk Reduction

Bibliographic details:

Aitsi-Selmi, A., Murray, V., Wannous, C., Dickinson, C., Johnston, D., Kawasaki, A., ... & Yeung, T. (2016). Reflections on a science and technology agenda for 21st century disaster risk reduction. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science7(1), 1-29.


The first international conference for the post-2015 United Nations landmark agreements (Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, Sustainable Development Goals, and Paris Agreement on Climate Change) was held in January 2016 to discuss the role of science and technology in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030. The UNISDR Science and Technology Conference on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 aimed to discuss and endorse plans that maximize science’s contribution to reducing disaster risks and losses in the coming 15 years and bring together the diversity of stakeholders producing and using disaster risk reduction (DRR) science and technology. This article describes the evolution of the role of science and technology in the policy process building up to the Sendai Framework adoption that resulted in an unprecedented emphasis on science in the text agreed on by 187 United Nations member states in March 2015 and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in June 2015. Contributions assembled by the Conference Organizing Committee and teams including the conference concept notes and the conference discussions that involved a broad range of scientists and decision makers are summarized in this article. The conference emphasized how partnerships and networks can advance multidisciplinary research and bring  together science, policy, and practice; how disaster risk is understood, and how risks are assessed and early warning systems are designed; what data, standards, and innovative practices would be needed to measure and report on risk reduction; what research and capacity gaps exist and how difficulties in creating and using science for effective DRR can be overcome. The Science and Technology Conference achieved two main outcomes: (1) initiating the UNISDR Science and Technology Partnership for the implementation of the Sendai Framework; and (2) generating discussion and agreement regarding the content and endorsement process of the UNISDR Science and Technology Road Map to 2030.