World Congress on Risk 2015
19-23 July, 2015, Singapore

Online Program

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Monday 20-07-2015

Risk and Resilience Innovation in the US Army Corps of Engineers

Room: Aspiration   10:15–11:45

Chair(s): James H. Lambert, Ada Benavides

1    Geohazards and Loss. Krenitsky N, Yale Medical School; Augenstein J, Vassar College; Franklin A C, Yale-NUS College; Tan F, Yale-NUS College (287)

Abstract: The staggering and ever increasing losses from recent disasters leads us to ask the question-How do different geophysical hazards affect the economic losses and death toll in in nations with varying stages of development? Using data from disasters between 1980-2011, we examine economic losses and mortality for earthquakes, storms, mass movements, extreme temperatures, floods, drought and wildfires taking into account various levels of economic development between nations. These data show that when taken as a whole, earthquakes, along with climate-driven floods, storms, and extreme temperature events are the most deadly and expensive disasters in all nations, regardless of income level., and extreme temperature fluctuations have killed more people in wealthy nations than any other geohazard. As climatic variability intersects with rapidly changing land-use in developing nations, storms and flooding have severe effects on people that rely on natural resources for their physical and economic well-being. Curiously, floods are responsible for the most recorded events- wealthy nations have been able to limit the death toll while economic losses continue to climb. Losses associated with mass movements affect poor countries almost exclusively, both in terms of economic loss and mortality, and wildfires primarily affect wealthy nations. Surprisingly, the high mortality associated with extreme temperatures in high-income, high-latitude nations is due in part to larger temperature swings, and the warmer climate has left many countries with unprepared infrastructure. By analysing these trends by focusing on the hazard in the context of nations’ wealth, we can begin to assess the threats to their well-being, and where prudent disaster risk reduction investments might be made.

2    Water resources engineering and resiliency. Stockton S.    (372)

Abstract: Water resources engineering has a proud history, from the days of the ancient Egyptians who endeavored to harness the flow of the Nile; to the Romans, many of whose aqueducts are still delivering water to this day; to the Dutch, who for more than 1,000 years have been telling water where to go – or where not to go. Today’s irrigation projects have magnified the world’s food supplies, waterways and harbors deliver that food and other commodities, hydroelectric plants harness the power of the sun, and lives have been made longer with the supply of safe drinking water and more enjoyable with recreation areas. We will never be able to prevent all floods – no matter how strong a protective system we design. There are challenges, and with extreme weather events becoming more common, we have to design for them. It’s a constant learning process. In the U.S., Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and the 2011 floods on the Mississippi River have taught us much that could inform discussions: Within the next generation about 70% of the people on the planet will live in vulnerable coastal areas; most of them in “mega cities.” We must do prevention better, not just react to events as they unfold. We must remember the importance of combining uses of water such as navigation and ecological flow maintenance with flood defense measures with a clear view of the whole system of flood defense (structural and non- structural) over the years. Public involvement in decisions made during the planning for potential events is critical, but not easy. Leaders are awakened during disasters but quickly forget. Communication of, and participation in, choosing levels risk was mixed with Katrina. It was clear in the Mississippi floods, but rarely discussed in Sandy until after the event. But no matter the mixture of non-structural and structural approaches, resiliency and redundancy must be built in.

3    Resilience in IRGC’s recommendations for risk governance. Florin M.-V., International Risk Governance Council (365)

Abstract: As a concept, an approach or simply a property of a system, resilience aims to help systems cope with unexpected changes, of various forms. The concept has gained some popularity among scientists and practitioners alike, who are faced with the limits and boundaries of risk management. In 2005 already, the International Risk Governance Council’s White Paper that develops an inclusive risk governance framework to deal with risks marked by complexity, uncertainty or ambiguity, identified a specific space for resilience. Since then, IRGC has continued to make the case that resilience building can be a relevant strategy for reducing the consequences of certain types of risks, among which emerging risks and slow-developing catastrophic risks. We propose that resilience strategies should be considered for risks marked by uncertainty and unexpectedness, as often the case in complex adaptive systems, but that other conventional risk management strategies should not be neglected. For example, managers need to identify and address trade-offs between hardening and protection versus resilience and recovery. We suggest that more work is needed to operationalise resilience approaches. This work must include feedback from experiences in organisations that work to building resilience in the context of disaster preparedness and management, engineering design, cyber security or ecological systems. However, advocates of resilience building will need to demonstrate that metrics for resilience assessment and management can be developed, in such a way that robust investment decisions can be made to allocate financial and other resources. The presentation will present IRGC’s main considerations about resilience, provide examples, list some barriers to implementation and suggest ways to overcome them.

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