Landslides: the Next Frontier of Hazard Early Warning

February 9, 2021 5:28 pm Published by Leave a comment


Landslides: the Next Frontier of Hazard Early Warning

Organizer: Met Office

Landslides are complex hazards that affect many areas of the world and cause significant loss of life and damage. Landslide early warning systems provide an opportunity to generate information in advance of such events, allowing for early actions that can reduce risks and impacts of these hazards. However, landslide early warning systems vary widely in approaches, scale, and many case studies are non-operational. There are also no existing holistic guidance resources for countries considering implementing landslide early warning systems. This session will provide an overview of landslide early warning systems from both a technical and operational/practical perspective, drawing on experiences and knowledge across the globe and case studies of Nepal and India from the Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience programme (SHEAR). Both slope and regional scale LEWS will be covered in a virtual marketplace format to encourage discussions and tailored sharing of knowledge aligned with participants’ interests and needs. The essential value of a combined approach across physical science, social science and practitioners will be emphasised in order to achieve an operational, sustainable system.

Emma Bee, Senior Geospatial Analyst
Mauro Rossi, Researcher
Claire Dashwood, Engineering Geohazard Geologist
Robert Neal, Research Scientists
Christian Arnhardt, Engineering Geologist
Alessandro Mondini, Researcher
Arnulf Schiller, Geophysicist
Anshu Ogra, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Jonathan Paul, Lecturer in Earth Science
Mirianna Budimir, Senior Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor
Saibal Ghosh, Director of Geology

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Teaching to the nth degree: Effective risk communication in Rohingya camps In Bangladesh

September 29, 2020 9:11 am Published by Leave a comment


Teaching to the nth degree: Effective risk communication in Rohingya camps In Bangladesh

Over the last three years, close to a million Rohingya community members have left Myanmar and settled in the hills in the outskirts of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Among the many challenges facing the Rohingya settlers is the considerable risks from the torrential monsoons and massive tropical cyclones that beleaguer Bangladesh each year. In working with the Rohingya community, the team faced two significant challenges. First, how does one create a new disaster reduction programme and early warning system in a place where no institutions exist? The CPP and ARC will share their story of how this work entailed dealing with serious challenges around language and communication. Secondly, how does one encourage proactive risk-reducing action among a community that is in a foreign place and still reeling from the trauma of being forced to leave their homeland? BDPC and NYU will share their story of how the risk communication intervention evolved and, with an exercise involving participation of the audience, will illustrate how the risk communication workshops work. The design is called “Teaching to the nth” because participants train themselves to train others and, in so doing, allow knowledge to reach even the most secluded parts of the community. Lastly, the programme is placed within the larger context of the World Bank’s effort at cyclone preparedness in Bangladesh, which includes the building of thousands of multipurpose cyclone shelters all over the country. (See project website at

Organizer: New York University; Bangladesh Cyclone Preparedness Programme; Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre; American Red Cross; World Bank

Mapathons, machine-learning, models – oh my! A friendly debate about data sources and how to use them

September 29, 2020 8:52 am Published by Leave a comment


Mapathons, machine-learning, models – oh my! A friendly debate about data sources and how to use them>

The world of data sources that are useful for the assessment and communication of risk is expanding rapidly. New and emerging data sources, especially for geospatial data, present exciting opportunities to aid disaster prevention, preparation, response, and recovery. However there are important questions about when and how to use these data sources, especially for government actors. Join us for a friendly debate and discussion of the merits and limitations of various data sources, with a particular focus on geospatial data such as crowd-sourced maps and machine-generated data from satellite imagery. This conversation will contribute to a broader consensus around ways of bridging conventional protocols and novel techniques for data creation, processing, and use throughout the disaster timeline.

Organizer: Mapbox, MIT Urban Risk Lab

Dynamic cities, dynamic risk – Representing urban change in disaster risk models

September 29, 2020 8:31 am Published by Leave a comment


Dynamic cities, dynamic risk – Representing urban change in disaster risk models

The world’s urban population continues to grow rapidly in many parts of the world, with urban areas expanding or densifying to accommodate this growth. As a result, new structures are built on previously undeveloped land, density of development is intensified and multiple infrastructure systems need to be expanded or improved to provide more capacity. These changes fundamentally change the exposure and vulnerability of people, their built environment and livelihoods, to disaster risk. They change the magnitude, the distribution and the concentration of disaster risk.
We generally estimate risk using a snapshot of the conditions at one time point – when it comes to exposure and vulnerability this represents the built environment and population at the present time, or at a moment in the recent past (e.g. at the most recent census). A greater number of risk assessments now apply future socio-economic scenarios to estimate future risk, but this has largely been based on simple trending of asset values and population numbers based on shared socio-economic pathways (SSPs).
With the growth in urban development modelling, and new tools emerging that link these changes to risk quantification, it is now possible to better represent the impact of planned changes in the urban environment on disaster risk projections. Can we use these developments as a springboard to better account for urban dynamics in risk models more widely, and ultimately enable risk understanding to be updated dynamically, to keep pace with the changing built environment and account for potential changes in the coming decades?
We bring together experts in risk modelling, planning decision-support systems, machine learning and infrastructure systems to discuss how we can best account for the uncertain future built environment, in risk information. The audience, with inputs from our panellists including short model demonstrations, will discuss: the shortcomings of current risk models in representing urban dynamics; the challenges of including urban dynamics in risk models; what future model capabilities should provide; and how to provide meaningful decision support for urban development in the design of less-exposed and more-resilient cities and regions.
This session is being held in conjunction with a hands-on side event where users can experiment with the decision-support system UNHARMED, among others.

Organizer: GFDRR, University of Adelaide