UNESCO Jakarta organized 25th interview session of the “Sustainability Insight” on 22 October 2020 from 12:00 to 12:50 (GMT+7). In this series, we invite implementing partners and learn from their knowledge, experience, and view the post-pandemic new normal. 

Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, invited Prof. Yuichi Ono, International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, and Dr. Markus Buchhorn, General Manager of the Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) as guests.

Resilience is an ability to bounce back to the original state when society receives external stress, according to Prof. Ono. This term was introduced to communities at the 2nd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) and has been recognized as a key concept until now. Dr. Buchhorn introduced the role of the Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN), which provides support to build human networks of researchers and educators built on physical/ICT infrastructure. He considers it is important for research and education networks to be resilient in order to collect and distribute information in times of disaster.

Disaster can be averted or mitigated through knowledge sharing. Dr. Buchhorn indicated that the major issue for disaster is the lack of information. Prof. Ono has been addressing this issue through his initiative on the “Global Centre for Disaster Statistics” which was established in cooperation with UNDP and Fujitsu to help the government to understand the impact of disasters better. Another initiative is the “World BOSAI Forum” which links local lessons learned and cultures in tsunami-affected Tohoku to the world.     

COVID 19 has been adversely impacted on the achievement of targets in the “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030”. Yet, Dr. Buchhorn indicated that COVID 19 also triggered the willingness of communities to share data on an unprecedented scale. The guests advised UNESCO and JFIT to support the identification of local issues in which the knowledge networks can help as well as networking of disaster museums. 

Relevant links:

Recorded video is available at: