21 February 2017
Disaster Prevention Research Institute, University of Kyoto, Japan

From Kobe to Sendai - Tracing progress in risk discourse and analysis for informing risk management and climate adaptation

This year IIASA is to receive the 4th Disaster Prevention Research Institute Award for its work in the field of disaster risk management; as part of the award ceremony IIASA Research Scholar and RISK Deputy Director Reinhard Mechler will be delivering a key note talk.

©superjoseph | Shutterstock | Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple, Kyoto

©superjoseph | Shutterstock | Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple, Kyoto

The award ceremony forms part of the DPRI annual meeting which takes place from 21 to 22 February 2017, at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute, University of Kyoto, Japan.

IIASA will receive the DPRI Award for its contribution to initiating the IIASA-DPRI conferences on integrated disaster risk management.


  • Japan is one of the most hazard prone countries in the world, being located in the so-called 'Ring of Fire.

  • Japan accounts for about 0.25% of the planet's landmass, but has experienced approximately 18% of the global  earthquakes measuring above 6.0 magnitude in the last 10 years.

  • Japan has been the single largest donor of disaster risk reduction assistance in the world for the past 20 years.


Risks associated with natural disasters and climate change rank high among global socio-economic sustainability challenges. These risks, the outcomes of coupled socio-ecological systems' interactions, can lead to far-reaching and adverse developmental consequences (erosion of livelihoods, increase in poverty, loss of human, economic, environmental and social assets, and migration), and have been at the center of disaster management and climate negotiations for some time. Concepts, methodologies, methods and metrics associated with risk have been of fundamental and increasing importance for informing policy and action on these interlinked challenges. 

The talk traces the evolution in conceptualisation, modelling and assessment, as well as policy related to risk analysis for the examination and management of disaster and climate risks. Building on work done by IIASA-RISK with many colleagues around the globe, the talks aims to show how thinking and analysis of disaster and climate-related risk has evolved towards broad-based debate which simultaneously takes into account epistemological, instrumental, reflective and participative discourses, thus providing great potential for informing action on key challenges associated with extreme event risks across multiple scales along the science-society interface.

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Last edited: 24 May 2017


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