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From PreventionWeb - 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.

Paper supplement on Daily Mirror and the paper advertisement on MHEW 2020.

Is COVID-19 a Disaster?

It is indisputable that Covid-19 is a tragedy, claiming thousands of lives and crippling economies and livelihoods worldwide. But in Sri Lanka, where the death toll and number of cases have been relatively and significantly low, does Covid-19 qualify as a disaster? We ask Prof. Dilanthi Amaratunga, Professor of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management at the University of Huddersfield, UK, and the Head of its Global Disaster Resilience Centre.

Professor Dilanthi speaks to the Sri Lankan Nespaper Aruna on multi hazard disaster preparedness

Newton Prize

The annual £1 million Newton Prize celebrates outstanding international research partnerships between the UK and Newton countries, enabling international research partners to continue working together to address some of the world’s most pressing health and development issues such as malaria, antimicrobial resistance and climate change.

Coastal urban areas are particularly exposed to the impacts of climate change and natural hazards, which tend to hit the poorest and most marginalised people the hardest. The recent flooding and tsunamis in Indonesia highlight the devastation caused by coastal hazards, and the urgent need to build the resilience of coastal communities.

The National Science Foundation is in the process of constructing a digital platform with technical support of SLAASCOM with a view to harnessing Sri Lankan expatriate scientists, professionals and entrepreneurs for national development. Two webinars in this connection were held with active participation of and valuable contribution from Sri Lankans in Australia and America.

The University of Huddersfield's Global Disaster Resilience Centre (GDRC) is bringing its expertise to bear in a project to help disadvantaged countries prepare for pandemics following the award of £166,000.

You may be interested in the following official Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission status report for the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Mitigation System (IOTWMS), that Prof. Richard Haigh and Prof. Dilanthi Amaratunga co-wrote as members of the IOC UNESCO Task Team, and for which we also did much of the underpinning survey design and analysis.

RICS’s UN Global Compact Communication on Engagement report Fostering the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in land, construction,real estate and infrastructure was published in 2018, and shows how it is encouraging implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is doing so by developing standards and promoting their adoption, supporting cutting-edge research, increasing capacity for sustainable built environments, and enabling community action (rics.org/unsusdev).

During the WFH period, there are several activities are being implemented to make this period a meaningful for everyone and, conducting capacity building programs are one area that could easily be focused and concern by NBRO. One program was successfully conducted on 10th April 2020 on “Scientific Paper Writing”. As employees of a research organization, this is one area to be expertise by all.

The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented event in modern human history. The UNDRR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFDRR) [1] highlights biological hazards, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, as a major risk for the 21st century. While the World Health Organisation has declared COVID-19 a pandemic, its underlying factors, vulnerabilities and impacts go far beyond the health sector. It is, in fact, an example of systemic risk: when a hazard leads not only to negative effects in parts of the system but also threatens the failure of the entire system.

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