The last day of the conference was the first rainy day of the trip, with the weather almost identical to a cold rainy Newcastle. The day promised to be a good one though, with some interesting talks and discussions followed by a cultural visit and of course the banquet later that evening.
The first session of the day was named ‘Sharing information of Research Institutes’. The first keynote of the day was delivered by the acting head of the European Commission, Joint Research Centre’s (EC-JRC) Disaster Risk Management Unit, who’s keynote presentation was called ‘Science for Policy: From knowledge production to knowledge management’. The presentation was based on the forthcoming publication ‘Science for Disaster Risk Management’ written by the ‘Disaster Risk Knowledge Centre’, which will be released in May at the UNISDR conference in Cancun. The talk was focussed on the ‘science-policy interface’ and advocated for ‘knowledge management’, to allow for knowledge to be collated and understood in detail, so it could be applied to specific policy goals. The 2nd keynote was delivered by a senior advisor to the Sri Lankan ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, it was called ‘Knowledge to Sustainable Practices: International Network for Transdisciplinary Education (INATE) Approach. The INATE approach links post-graduate courses closely with sustainable construction and ‘future city’ development projects. Arguing also that sustainability will only be brought about through sustainable practices. The final keynote was delivered by the director of the International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM). The presentation was titled ‘Prescription for the Reduction of the Changing Disaster Risks of Water-Related Disasters. The talk was primarily showcasing the excellent scientific work predicting water hazards in Asia and North Africa, and the ‘quantification of uncertainty’.
Immediately after some questions and discussion on the keynotes, the next session, presenting findings from the previous day’s discussions on ‘Evaluating Current Research Status and Identifying Most Important Research Themes’, began. The 3 presentations (in order) were on Governance, DRR for resilience and the ‘Build Back Better’ (BBB) concept. The first session, the one attended by the DDS, highlighted the question of measuring the impact of policy on science and the need for research on the ‘science-policy’ interface itself, having argued that so far that governance focussed DRR activities have established policy frameworks, agencies to monitor and implement these frameworks and researched DRR engagement at a local scale. The 2nd session highlighted the difficulty in the multiplicity of the word ‘resilience’, though it was pointed out by an audience member that this multiplicity may not be such a bad thing given the multiplicity of the causes of disaster. The 3rd session explored the concept of BBB, and argued that the ability to BBB is dependent on the ‘resilience’ of the society ‘pre-disaster’, though highlighted the need for learning in post-disaster scenarios. The overall discussion on the 3 talks lead to the idea being proposed of DRR being ‘a new subject area’, the development of new areas of study within DRR such as the science policy interface and the need for a shift from ‘knowledge production’ to ‘knowledge management’.
After a coffee break, the conference reconvened to work together on forming GADRI’s future endeavours by editing the document on the ‘final outcomes’ of the conference, which was followed by some ‘closing remarks’ to thank all those who helped the conference to be a success.
We the visited the Byodoin temple (a UNESCO world heritage site) and headed back into Kyoto for the banquet, where we saw some geisha perform, ate some amazing Japanese food and drank plenty of sake from wooden boxes (which improves the taste)! After a few drinks with a fellow young researcher from Mexico, we headed back to the hotel to rest after an amazing 3 days at the 3rd GADRI Summit.
We will post a 'trip summary' in the coming days, with more photos which aren't currently ready for uploading because they're on a camera that we can't connect to a computer!)
Peter McGowran and Mark Ashley Parry