The Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2019 at the World Bosai Forum: A Poster Exhibition and Oral Session

12 Nov 2019
Sendai, Japan
Open meeting

The Asia-Pacific region faces a daunting spectrum of hydrometeorological and seismic hazards. At the World Bosai Forum, the Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2019 will be presented with a focus on how the report used new data sets and innovative research methodologies to capture the full complexity of this disaster ‘riskscape’ for the first time.

The findings of the Report will be presented through a poster exhibition as well as an oral session in which a series of organizations and researchers will present their feedback on the findings from their perspectives. This will inform a subsequent open discussion, wherein participants will consider how innovative research methodologies can be used to enhance the understanding of disaster risks in the region and inform policy actions that can strengthen the resilience across the riskscape. Through this engagement, ESCAP aims to disseminate the findings of the Report, build the capacity of researchers to undertake policy relevant research on disaster risk reduction, and to identify opportunities for research collaboration to support future editions.

The findings of the Report are striking. Probabilistic risk modeling is combined with a new proxy for drought related economic losses to estimate annualized economic losses due to each type of hazard facing the region, within each country. Exposure and vulnerability data reveal that the riskscape is becoming more complex, with hazards that deviate from their usual tracks, are harder to predict, and are clustered around four transboundary disaster risk hotspots. A broad analysis utilizing data from post-disaster needs assessments, demographic and health survey reports and numerous measures of inequality, reveals the pathways through which disasters are exacerbating poverty and inequality across the region. However, the report also demonstrates that the links between disasters, inequality and poverty can be broken. Economic modelling is used to demonstrate how sectoral investments can be used to reduce extreme poverty, even with disaster risk. Furthermore, the Report features experiences from across the region of successful social sector policies and applications of emerging technologies that can enhance disaster risk reduction and recovery of poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups.

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