Natural Disasters

Prevention, Recovery, Innovation & Response for
Flood, Earthquake & Other Severe Weather Events
Conference 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Programme
  3. Gallery
  4. Delegates
  5. Exhibitors
  6. Exhibition Opportunities
DAY ONE (27 October 2014)
08:30 Registration
09:00 Introductory Remarks
09:15 Advancement of natural disasters prevention: practices and policies across Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe and the region
10:00 Morning Refreshments
10:15 How to prevent natural disasters and assessing the damage and mapping the risks
11:00 Flood disaster: how do we respond?
11:45 Guidelines for the reconstruction of critical structure hit by an earthquake
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Management of disasters and formulating policies to mitigate loses as well as promotion of disaster awareness
14:45 The importance of being prepared, strengthening disaster preparedness and minimizing the devastating effects of natural disasters
15:30 Afternoon Refreshments
15:45 Case studies on stepping up flood control efforts by dredging river channels, reinforcing dikes and reservoirs after a devastating flood: Thailand’s success story
16:30 Panel discussion on better measure and manage risk from financial impact on natural disasters and large-scale catastrophes
17:15 End of Day One
DAY TWO (28 October 2014)
09:00 Chairman’s Opening Remarks
09:15 Re-assessment of extreme weather risks and vulnerability of the region across Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Europe
10:00 Morning Refreshments
Country Focus: lessons to be learned and moving forward
The next 3 sessions will assist countries across Asia Pacific, Middle East & North Africa, Europe and the region, in the development of adaptation strategies needed to deal with the impact of natural disasters and severe weather events anticipated to occur in association with climate change and to strengthen their capacity for adaptation
10:15 Disaster in Europe, more frequent, causing extreme damage and developing a framework to address risk reduction and comprehensive disaster management
11:00 A review of risk governance across Middle East & North Africa (MENA)
11:45 Why does the Asia Pacific region increasingly experience some of the world’s worst natural disasters and responding to the disaster with an improved disaster risk reduction capacity
12:30 Lunch
14:00 The role of geo-information technology in disaster risk reduction
14:45 Can infrastructure and development planning incorporate disaster risk?
15:30 Afternoon Refreshments
15:45 Financing post-disaster recovery, reconstruction and disaster risk reduction/climate adaptation projects
16:30 Panel discussion on action plan for natural disaster reduction and making cities more resilient and avoiding estimated US$500 billion global losses due to natural disasters for 2014 and beyond
17:15 End of Conference

The only question remains. When and where will the next destructive natural disaster occur? It is hard to predict precisely when and where the next natural disaster will strike, but we can choose to be well prepared with an integrated approach to map out strategy for natural disasters’ response and recovery as well as minimizing great losses or face the potential impacts of disaster much worse. The conference provides an opportunity and a timely platform to improve disaster risk reduction capacity.

The conference provides a timely platform to map out strategies for natural disaster preparedness and capacities assessment across Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe and the region. Among the various natural disasters, the most devastating ones are floods and earthquakes. Flood and earthquakes result from natural phenomena related to the atmospheric perturbation and earth movements on geological faults respectively. The impact of natural disaster is massive. For flood disaster, in the last few years, disastrous flood events across Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Europe and the region have caused numerous causalities and material damage on a wide scale. The 2010 Pakistan floods have flooded vast tracts of land across the country, affecting over 20 million people. The floods caused extensive damage to property especially in Sindh Province and killed at least 1,200 people. In Thailand, flood during August to November 2011, caused hundreds of casualties, made millions of people homeless and incurred estimated economic damage amounting to US$50 billions locally. This disaster creates ripple effects toward major multinational players in auto industry such as Toyota, Honda, computer industry such as Dell, HP, etc., as thousands of large-scale supply chains producers ran to a halt, not to mention huge commodities price surge due to massive wipe-out of rice supply as well as shut-down of major food ingredients producers to the world. The flood in China in 2011, leaving a total of over 36 million people have been affected, killing at least 355 and with direct economic losses of nearly US$6.5 billion. Most recently UK experienced the worst hit flood crisis in January 2014 and New Zealand’s Christchurch hit by flooding on 5 March 2014. To respond with the flood disaster, countries have come up with various strategies and tactics to mitigate flood situation so as to effectively respond to flooding problem. In Thailand, the authority has began to map out a national flood plan costing some U$13.6 billion, over the next five years, to prevent a repeat disaster and secure investor confidence. In Makkah, Saudi Arabia, the Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al Faisal who chairs a committee for tackling floods in Jeddah has discussed a time frame to implement emergency solutions that would save the business city from recurring disaster. Work on some emergency plan for flood prevention projects have already begun. The conference will have significant time to discuss update on this national flood plan as well as flood mitigation strategy.

As for earthquake, these hazard occurrences become disasters when they impact on the man-made structures and systems which are not strong enough to resist their onslaught. The aftermath of an earthquake manifest great devastation due to unpredicted seismic motion striking extensive damage to innumerable buildings of varying degree, as such, significant attention has to be focused on the development of earthquake-resistant buildings and promote earthquake-resistant construction. Most of this loss and suffering is due to lack of, or inadequate, structural design for the forces that earthquakes impose on buildings and other structures. However, advanced preparation can greatly reduce the extent of damage. Therefore, assessing the seismic risk and determining mitigation alternatives as well as earthquake risk management process is critical. Most earthquakes happen near or along the system of fault lines which cover our earth. Some of the most active fault lines are along the East Coast of Japan, the West Coast of the USA and along the West Coast of South America. Earthquakes are the most feared of natural hazards because they occur without warning, including the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake on 11 March 2011, the massive 8.2 earthquake struck off the northern coast of Chile on 2 April 2014 with almost a million people have been displaced and a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands on 13 April 2014. Most recently and unexpectedly on 5 May 2014, a 6.0 magnitude quake strike Chiang Rai in Thailand, while a strong 6.4 magnitude quake shook the Southern Pacific coast of Mexico as well as the capital and several inland states on 8 May 2014.The only question will remain. When and where will the next destructive earthquake occur? This is where the conference will provide a platform to share fresh perspective and forward plan to manage earthquake disaster, whenever and wherever it next strikes.

On the slow onset drought crisis in Namibia and Angola and most recently on 4 March 2014, drought over Malaysia, this situation brings forth an uninvited haze. The current haze problem partly was a result of natural fire outbreak caused by overheating due to the current drought season. On the other extreme weather events including quick-striking hurricanes, powerful storms as well as over the past few days, a chain of deadly tornadoes dangerously flattened homes and businesses in half a dozen states across the U.S, forcing frightened residents to take cover and leaving tens of thousands still in the dark, downing power lines, gas leaks and shredding trees and the threat of tornadoes could last for several days as the strong weather system with a large area of unstable air lashed the southern and central United States. Over in the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Central Philippines on 8 November 2013 killing nearly 6000 people and displacing more than 3.6 million.

All these indicate that the frequency and intensity of natural and climate-related disasters has quadrupled in the past two decades. As such, this conference provides a fresh update to look at new models and set new policy instruments for decision-making under deep uncertainty or face the potential impacts of disasters much worse.

Asia is home to 6 of the 10 most vulnerable cities in terms of exposed population from Bangladesh to Vietnam, while the Middle East region has suffered 276 disasters in the last 25 years and Europe will face the threat of floods, droughts, earthquakes and landslides

According to OECD estimates, Asia is home to six of the ten most vulnerable cities in terms of exposed population. If additional measures are not put in place in Bangladesh, for instance, the damages from a single severe cyclone is expected to rise nearly fivefold to over US$9 billion by 2050, affecting the poorest households the most. In Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta, an expected sea level rise of 30 cm by 2050 will result in increased seasonal inundation and salinity intrusion of over 300 thousand ha of paddy fields leading to a 13% decline in rice production. Across the Middle East, the region is affected by several hazards: earthquakes, floods, landslides and drought. According to a recent report by Arab environment ministers, their region has suffered 276 disasters in the last 25 years, in which 100,000 people died, 10 million were affected and 1.5 million left homeless. Over in Europe, the number and impacts of disasters have increased significantly. Some part of Europe and Turkey face the threat of natural hazards, including floods, droughts, earthquakes and landslides. Climate variability and change are likely to exacerbate these events, threatening to set-back economic progress across Europe. The emphasis should now be on proactive efforts to reduce risk, based on comprehensive risk assessments and the integration of risk-reduction measures. Against this development, World Natural Disasters Prevention, Recovery, Innovation & Response for Flood, Earthquake & Other Severe Weather Events Conference 2014 is designed to bring together practitioners and industry players, including engineers, planners, health specialists, disaster managers, decision makers, and policy makers engaged in various aspects of natural disasters prevention, protection and mitigation. In addition, the conference provides a timely platform to improve disaster risk reduction capacity with the sharing of ideas and perspective that will enable delegates to take a closer look at new models of cooperation and coordinated policy responses, with a new set of policy instruments for decision-making under deep uncertainty. Time has been set aside to discuss and analyse climate related disasters risk reduction governance across Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe and the region. Climate change impacts for disaster management are multi-sectoral and must be addressed from a multi-sector approach, as such, this conference has been designed to meet those challenges.