CCOUC organised a session on Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health-EDRM) in the International Conference on Silk-road Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development (SIDRR), hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences from 10 to 11 May 2019 in Beijing. The theme of the Conference was “Towards Safe, Green, and Resilient Silk Road”. It brought together multidisciplinary international experts, including climate, ecology, public health, etc. to discuss building sustainable, disaster-resilient policies and infrastructure along the Silk Road.
Professor Emily Chan, Director of CCOUC, convened the session on Health-EDRM in partnership with other participants: Professor Virginia Murray (Public Health England and co-chair of the WHO Thematic Platform for H-EDRM Research Network), Dr Ryoma Kayano (WHO Kobe Centre), Professor Qian Ye (Beijing Normal University), Professor Michael Parker (University of Oxford) and Ms Katharine Wright (The Nuffield Council on Bioethics). The session highlighted the importance of promoting scientific advancement in disaster risk reduction under the Sendai Framework, and health as a critical component of reducing disaster risks at the individual and community levels. Among other points, the speakers stressed the importance of integrative guidelines and reporting mechanisms; the inclusion of national governments in planning and reporting; engagement with local researchers and communities; the perception of health risks beyond the biological to the chemical, technological, and zoonotic; and ensuring that available data, frameworks, and policies for Health-EDRM were not just useful, but actively used.
A key theme throughout the conference was the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to disaster risk reduction. It emphasized that achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development would require a concerted effort.