CCOUC hosted the fourth meeting of the Asia Science Technology and Academia Advisory Group (ASTAAG) of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in Hong Kong from 2 to 3 July 2017. This annual meeting brings together members to review their work in the previous year, and identifies concrete avenues by which they can further support UNISDR’s priorities and work for the coming year.
Over the past year, the ASTAAG group ran the 1st Asian Science and Technology Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in Bangkok Thailand, the first conference of its kind focusing on the regional implementation of the science and technology aspects of the Sendai Framework. The group, in collaboration with the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk programme (IRDR) and CCOUC, developed and published the Co-Designing Disaster Risk Reduction Solutions in May 2017, consisting of 40 case studies of good practices relating to participatory action and communication in science, technology and academia. Members also actively participated in the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction held in Mexico in May 2017.
Looking ahead, ASTAAG will support the Global Forum on Science and Technology for Disaster Resilience to be hosted from 23 to 25 November 2017 in Tokyo of Japan by UNISDR, the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the Science Council of Japan. This forum will serve as the follow-up to the UNISDR Science and Technology Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland in January 2016, which resulted in the adoption of the Science and Technology Roadmap to 2030. ASTAAG will also co-organise the 2nd Asian Science and Technology Conference for DRR, which will take place in Beijing, China in April 2018. There, ASTAAG will launch its Regional Status Report which will highlight the progress of promoting the usage of science and technology in DRR policies and programmes across specific countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
In addition to this meeting, ASTAAG members, along with Mr Sujit Mohanty (Head a.i., UNISDR Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific), participated and shared about their latest research in the Croucher Summer Course Open Seminar in the afternoon of 3 July. There, members gave 15-minute presentations highlighting the latest challenges and gaps in disaster risk reduction.
Overall, this meeting provided a fruitful opportunity for ASTAAG members to identify their priorities and activities for the coming year. The next ASTAAG meeting will take place in November 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.