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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) rreeppoorrttss that 59.5 million individuals were forcibly displaced in 2014, but this number had risen to 70.8m by the end of 2018. According to UNHCR, the drastic increase of forced displacement was mainly due to the Syrian conflict as well as other conflicts in the region, conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa and the inflow of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) hhiigghhlliigghhttss that the Philippines and China have the largest number of internal displaced people due to disasters, with each having 3.8m newly displaced in 2018, followed by 2.7m in India, and 1.2m in the United States.

In countries susceptible to natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, the construction of buildings plays a vital role in reducing the risk of homes, businesses and lives being destroyed. The Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction (2015-2030), endorsed by 187 UN states in 2015, calls for businesses to integrate disaster risk into their management practices. The framework identifies the need for disaster risk education and training for construction professionals, a view supported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

A national conference titled ‘COVID-19: Impact, Mitigation, Opportunities and Building Resilience’ was held on the 27th and 28th of January 2021. The conference was organized by the National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka.

The era of hazard-by-hazard risk reduction is over. In our increasingly complex interconnected world, risk has become systemic, challenging single-hazard approaches, and governance mechanisms of established disaster risk management institutions. We need to reflect on the systemic nature of risk in how we deal with it. Systemic understanding of risk goes far beyond previous notions and concerns.

It was encouraging to see the National Science Foundation (NSF) has taken a timely move of organising a research conference on COVID-19. It was all about the impact, mitigation, opportunities and building resilience with a fitting theme ‘from adversity to serendipity’. The Postgraduate Institute of Management was so glad to be a strategic partner for this noteworthy endeavour and I was part of the steering committee of the conference, that was ably led by NSF Chairman Prof. Ranjith Senarathne.

A national conference titled ‘COVID-19: Impact, Mitigation, Opportunities and Building Resilience’ was held on the 27th and 28th of January 2021. The conference was organized by the National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka. As part of project activities, two abstracts titled: 1) ‘Settling the Ripples: An Examination of Sri Lanka’s Approach to Addressing Cascading Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic’ and 2) ‘Towards Broadening the Scope of Disaster Risk Reduction:

Thirty two national, regional and international agencies responsible for tackling disaster risk in Sri Lanka participated at the international symposium on Multi Hazard Early Warning and Disaster Risk Reduction 2020 (MHEW DRR 2020) on December 14, 15 and 16 at BMICH.

From ReliefWeb - Promoting the accessibility and application of science, technology, and research for enhanced multi-hazard early warning and disaster risk reduction, and supporting implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction towards 2030

International Symposium on Multi Hazard Early Warning and Disaster Risk Reduction(MHEW 2020) was held successfully during the period 14th to 16th December 2020 to promote availability and application of research, science and technology to promote implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and it was organized as a virtual event.

The International Symposium on Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Disaster Risk Reduction concluded with the adoption of the Colombo Declaration, which calls for greater efforts to accelerate the use of science, technology and data for policy formulation, and to promote an end-to-end multi-hazard approach to early warning.

International virtual symposium on Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Disaster Risk Reduction (MHEW and DRR: 2020) held for three days concluded yesterday (Dec 16) at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH). Secretary of State Ministry of National Security, Home Affairs and Disaster Management and Secretary of Defence Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne attended the closing ceremony as the Chief Guest.

From Flood Resilience Portal - This declaration was adopted at a recent "International Symposium on Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Disaster Risk Reduction" which brought together over 2,500 participants from the Sri Lankan government, private sector, non-governmental organisations and higher educational institutions. The declaration expresses deep concern at the growing frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climate related challenges and the continuing impact of disasters, resulting in an unacceptable loss of human lives and livelihoods, displacement of people and environmental and economic damages in Sri Lanka and across the world.

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