The First International Workshop for Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Service (DRRKS) took place in Beijing on November 21 and 22, 2017. The workshop was co-sponsored by the UNESCO International Knowledge Center for Engineering Sciences and Technology (IKCEST) and the UNESCO Earth Sciences and Geo-Hazards Risk Reduction Section, and was hosted in Beijing by the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGSNRR, CAS).
IGSNRR Prof. WANG Juanle, the project executive and technical leader of DRRKS, moderated the opening ceremony. He presented a progress report and development plan for the Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Service System of IKCEST.
Mr. SONG Dexiong, Director General of the General Administration Department of Chinese Academy of Engineering and the Executive Deputy Director of IKCEST made four suggestions. First, he called for holding annual or biannual international seminars in cooperation with the Disaster Risk Reduction effort at UNESCO. Second, he encouraged maintaining contacts with high-level DRR experts and gradually building an international experts network. Third, he noted the importance of strengthening multinational cooperation and using UNESCO to promote use of the Knowledge Service platform. Finally, he called for regular communications and exchanges among domestic organizations in China and promotion of Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Service real applications.
Mr. Soichiro Yasukawa, programme specialist and coordinator for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience of the UNESCO Earth Sciences and Geo-hazards Risk Reduction Section, discussed ways to bring together the two stages of exchanges by developing case studies of disaster metadata standards, and video conferencing activities that allow knowledge service experts to exchange information aimed at developing plans to improve disaster risk reduction knowledge services in the future.
A summary of the first stage of exchanges was provided by LIU Jiyaun, who commented about areas of knowledge service planning that are priorities. He discussed the need to develop standards for disaster metadata, to analyze the requirements of those using knowledge services, to provide information services for disaster locations, and to develop disaster knowledge big data applications and make knowledge services more open.
The IKCEST Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Service project team based at CAS IGSNRR will greatly strengthen cooperation among international and domestic institutions. The team’s work will steadily broaden the uses of the Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Service System (http://drr.ikcest.org) and make improvements to service capabilities.
About 40 researchers and experts attended the meeting, including Ms. Gretchen Kalonji, former Assistant Director-General of UNESCO and Dean of the Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, Sichuan University-Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Ms. Himalchuli Gurung, Officer-in-Charge of the UNESCO Beijing Office; Ms. FENG Kai, Deputy Director of the Division of International Organization Programme, Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Professor SHI Peijun, Executive Vice President of Beijing Normal University; Ms. LIU Chang, Deputy Director of Office of Knowledge Center and Office of the Chinese Academy of Engineering; and Mr. ZHANG Ming, the Deputy Director of the Foreign Cooperation Department, IGSNRR, CAS.
The establishment of IKCEST was approved in November, 2013, at the 37th session of UNESCO and on June 2nd, 2014, a UNESCO sub-centre was opened in Beijing. Relying on the construction of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Beijing sub-centre aims to integrate various types of engineering science and technology data resources and establish a shared data service platform to provide advice, research, education and other online and offline services to policy makers and engineers throughout the world, especially those in developing countries.
DRRKS is a sub-centre set up by IKCEST in 2016. Driven by UNESCO's mission to prevent or reduce the risks of disasters, this sub-centre is intended to meet global demands for disaster risk prevention. The sub-centre is committed to developing disaster metadata standards and best practices, and to building a global disaster database. It will prioritize typical disaster hazards, integrating disaster data and information at both national and regional scales. Technology to mine and analyze big data will support the development of the Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Service System platform. The development of specialized knowledge and services for disaster prevention and mitigation, the popularization of science, and international training and cooperative exchanges will provide full support for UNESCO's disaster prevention and mitigation work. Taken together, all of these efforts will significantly increase the influence of the UNESCO IKCEST, both internationally and in China.