14 March 2015 - 18 March 2015
Sendai, Japan

IIASA at the Third United Nations World Conference on Risk Reduction

IIASA researchers are informing deliberations regarding disaster risk reduction at this year’s WCDRR in Japan. 

The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) will be held from 14 to 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. Several thousand delegates are expected to convene, including at related events linked to the World Conference under the umbrella of building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. 

Disasters often have a significant and negative impact on the economic growth of a country, threatening public finances and putting livelihoods in jeopardy – often disproportionately affecting those communities who are already most vulnerable. In order to strengthen the economic and fiscal resilience of a country, governments need to take a proactive stance to disasters by introducing cost-effective risk management measures. These measures should be based on a robust economic analysis that incorporates local needs and knowledge.

Junko Mochizuki is co-organizing a working session on 16 March, entitled “Economic Approach to Public Investment and Financing Strategy”. International policy makers from around the world – in particular, Latin America and Asia - will meet together with economic analysts (including representatives from IIASA, JICA, OECD and the World Bank) to discuss how economics can be utilized to enable better budgetary decisions and investments. IIASA’s input, presented by Reinhard Mechler, revolves around taking a broader perspective on investments into disaster risk management, including giving due consideration to the ancillary and co-benefits of disaster risk management. Expected outcomes include voluntary commitments by participating governments to further facilitate risk sensitive public investment, supported by the ongoing provision of systematic technical expertise.  

Huge flood disaster in Bangkok, Thailand. 5 November 2011. © Witthayap | Dreamstime.com

In addition to his participation in the working session, Reinhard Mechler, will be a keynote speaker at one of the conference’s umbrella events, “Making communities resilient - What does it take?”, hosted by the Zurich Flood Resistance Alliance, in which IIASA is a key partner.

This event, which also takes place on March 16, looks to explore innovative approaches which support effective grassroots decision-making – ensuring that assistance is delivered when and where it is most needed.

IIASA representatives will also attend "Beyond Losses:  The Benefits of Investing in Disaster Resilience" on 17 March - a side event, sponsored by the Global Facility for Disaster Risk reduction (GFDRR) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). The event is to include a discussion facilitated by Reinhard Mechler on risk management as an entry point for comprehensively managing disaster risks.

There is compelling evidence that investment in disaster resilience – rather than impeding the development process by diverting public spending unnecessarily – can have a direct and complementary effect on economic growth and social cohesion. These co-benefits need to be identified and magnified, whilst taking into account individual communities’ needs and constraints.

As a direct follow-up to the WCDRR, the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) of Kyoto University, in collaboration with the Japan Council of Natural Disaster Research (JCNDR), will be hosting the Second Global Summit or Research Institutes for Disaster Risk Reduction (GSIDRR): Development of a Research Road Map for the Next Decade.  The summit is being held at Kyoto University on 19-20 March, and will feature Reinhard Mechler as keyspeaker, under the title “Academic Challenges to Achieve DRR in the Real World: Perspectives from Climate change research”.

United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction: Timeline

© Olivier Le Moal | Dreamstime.com

1994: the 1st World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction adopted the Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action for a Safer World

2005: the 2nd World Conference on Disaster Reduction adopted the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Countries and Communities to Disasters (HFA) in Kobe, Japan.

2015: Objectives for this year's conference include a complete assessment and review of the Hyogo Framework for Action, and the adoption of a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.

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Last edited: 13 March 2015


Reinhard Mechler

Acting Program Director

Risk and Resilience

T +43(0) 2236 807 313


Junko Mochizuki

Research Scholar

Water/Water Security

Risk and Resilience

T +43(0) 2236 807 576



30 Nov 2021 - 02 Dec 2021

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313