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Reducing Risk of Disasters launch presentation


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The presentation given at the launch of the Foresight report on Reducing Risks of Future Disasters.

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Reducing Risk of Disasters launch presentation

  1. 1. Reducing Risks ofFuture Disasters:Priorities for DecisionMakersProfessor Sir John BeddingtonChief Scientific Adviser to HM Government
  2. 2. The impact of disasters • 1.3 million killed in the last 20 years • Droughts, earthquakes and storms have caused most mortality in past 40 years • $2 trillion damage in past 20 years > total overseas development spend • Long term and indirect effects poorly captured Data source: Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters2
  3. 3. The HERR and SHED report • The 2011 HERR recommended better use of science to improve disaster anticipation • The GO Science SHED report has delivered: 1. Risk expert group on emerging international risks 2. Database of experts to provide emergency advice 3. Procedures for Humanitarian Emergency Expert Group to provide immediate advice in emergencies3
  4. 4. Reducing Risks of Future Disasters • Foresight Project looks out to 2040 • Lead Expert Group of academic, industry and humanitarian experts • Evidence base: • 18 independently peer reviewed papers • High level international stakeholder summit • Several expert workshops • Final report peer reviewed by experts and stakeholders4
  5. 5. Without action disaster risk will increase • Growing concentrations of people exposed to hazards • 65 million more people a year in cities in less developed regions • Many more vulnerable people • Number of people over 65 in less developed countries set to triple from 2010 to 20405
  6. 6. As climate change occurs, variability in weather increases The mean is moving, but the distribution is getting wider >2x faster Source: Hansen et al (2012), courtesy of Tim Benton6
  7. 7. Science for disaster risk forecasts Professor Angela McLean
  8. 8. Science and disaster risk• This framework is used in many sectors for addressing risk: • Identify risk • Decide how to respond to risk • Act to address risk • Monitor outcomes• For disaster risk, science plays an important role at each stage8
  9. 9. Ability to forecast hazards • To identity future disaster risk first need to be able to forecast future hazards • Where? • When? • How severe? • Science can do this well for some hazards • Improvements are expected by 2040 • Some gaps will remain9
  10. 10. What is a reliable hazard forecast? • Forecasts of hazards are inherently probabilistic, not deterministic • Reliability is the indicator of quality: does the hazard happen as often as the forecast says that it will • Decision makers need to see track records of reliability so they10 know which forecasts to trust
  11. 11. Hydrometeorological hazards • Storms, floods and droughts could all be fairly reliably forecast by 2040 • This relies on improvements in Source: Foresight technology: • Higher resolution modelling powered by faster supercomputers • Next generation of satellites for earth observation • More integration between models Source: Argonne National Laboratory11
  12. 12. Geophysical hazards • Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunami will remain hard to forecast even in 2040 • Improvements are possible, Source: Foresight from similar sources as for hydrometerological: • Next generation of satellites for earth observation • More integration between models • Forensic analysis of past events12
  13. 13. Biological hazards • Ability to forecast disease outbreaks in humans, animals and plants is variable, and will improve gradually • Novel approaches show promise: • Aviation patterns • Satellite sensing • Social media • Data mining13
  14. 14. Pooling of resources for science infrastructure • Improvements in forecasting hazards of all types rely on new science infrastructure: • Satellites • Supercomputers • Sensors Source: CERN • International collaboration on the next generation of infrastructure could make improvements affordable Swinburne Astronomy Productions for SKA Project Development Office14
  15. 15. From hazard to risk • Disaster risk is not just hazard risk • Exposure, vulnerability and resilience determine whether a hazard becomes a disaster15 • Measuring and mapping these is difficult but important
  16. 16. Exposure, vulnerability and risk Source: UNICEF 2012 Source: Josef Muellek | • Exposure, vulnerability and resilience depend on local context • Need locally specific measurements • “Bottom up” approaches will be needed • Local decision makers can take the same hazard forecast and then overlay measures of exposure, vulnerability and resilience that matter to them16
  17. 17. The path to integrated risk forecasts • Improved single hazard forecasts • Drawing on new technology • Pooling resources for expensive infrastructure • Track records of reliability • Better interfacing between hazard models • Outputs of one model can be inputs of another • May need interfacing software • User friendly outputs of hazard models • So that local measures of exposure, vulnerability and resilience can be overlaid on them • By 2040, it should be possible to have a family of disaster risk models that give local decision makers the information they need17
  18. 18. Using science to tackle disaster risk Brendan Gormley
  19. 19. Global imperatives to act now Source: UNISDR,
  20. 20. Acting on disaster risk • Decision makers must decide how to address disaster risk • As with all risks, options are: • Transfer risk • Avoid risk • Reduce risk • Accept risk • Need to know what works and what does not to be able to decide20
  21. 21. Transfer risk Source: Foresight • To address disaster risk in developing countries, neither formal nor informal mechanisms work well in isolation • Much potential to expand both formal and informal mechanisms21
  22. 22. Avoid risk Source: Esoko • Early warnings can work well if make use of both communities and technology • Migration can increase as well as avoid risk22
  23. 23. Reduce risk: Infrastructure and cities • Over the next 30 years, many cities will build major infrastructure for the first time • Resilient infrastructure design can reduce disaster risk • Need to understand what Source: UNICEF 2012 designs perform well • May require a degree of redundancy and flexibility • One of the biggest opportunities to determine future disaster risk23
  24. 24. Reduce risk: Ecosystem management • Healthy ecosystems can mean large reductions in disaster impacts Source: Foresight, compiled from other sources • Even if reduction of disaster risk does not justify protection, other benefits often result • As with all actions, need to know what reduces risk and what does not Source: Wikimedia Commons24
  25. 25. Accept risk • If the costs of action outweigh the benefits, accepting the risk may be the right option • But weighing up is not easy25
  26. 26. Evidence base to support decisions • Decision makers need to know what forecasts are reliable, and what actions actually reduce disaster risk • Need to build up a trusted repository of evidence26
  27. 27. The need for culture change • Disaster risk is not a problem that can be dealt with by disaster specialists alone • Many other decisions (infrastructure, ecosystems, mobile phones, satellites) impact on future disaster risk • And many of the solutions are in the hands of others (across government, business, development NGOs, communities, funders) • All those who care about sustainable development should care about disaster risk and factor it into their decisions • Otherwise the benefits of development will be put at risk27
  28. 28. Thank you: - DFID comments - ODI comments -Q&A
  29. 29. Reducing Risks ofFuture Disasters:Priorities for DecisionMakersTweeting with #DRR from:@foresightgovuk@uksciencechiefLive stream: