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Migration and Disasters
Newsletter - May 2016
FROM THE DIRECTOR
Angelina Jolie, the UN refugee agency's special envoy, speaking as part of the BBC's World on the Move day, has warned that the international humanitarian system for refugees is breaking down. In some ways it is surprising that the BBC feels the need to front its coverage with the views of an international celebrity actress - but there again, migration has become such a defining issue of our times. However if we concentrate on migration as just being a humanitarian crisis and not a political one we will never have an honest discussion. If you believe in freedom as I do, then migration is an expression of personal autonomy and a right. But as leading sociologist and visiting professor to the IRDR, Frank Furedi, has pointed out (spiked-online 25-4-16), the debate about borders in Europe is driven by two contradictory, but very human, passions. The human aspiration for freedom of mobility is clashing with people’s existential need for a sense of security. Neither of these sentiments can be ignored. For those of us engaged in research and practise in disaster risk reduction, migration on its present global scale, whether voluntary, induced or forced, driven by economics, climate change or conflict, represent a real challenge. We must engage in this debate, both in the academic and political spheres. For this reason, the IRDR’s fourth Academic Summit will focus on Disaster Risk Reduction and Human Mobility. It is preceded by the IRDR’s sixth Annual Conference. We hope you can join us for these events.
The 2016 UCL-IRDR Sixth Annual Conference, on Wednesday 15th June, will cover early warnings for natural disasters, emergency planning challenges, justice, raising and distributing funds in response to humanitarian crises and understanding disaster risk. The  keynote address will be by Saleh Saeed, CEO of the Disasters Emergency Committee and Dame Nicola Brewer, UCL Vice Provost International, will be in Conversation on justice and human rights.  The Annual Conference again promises to be a lively mix of discussions around contentious issues and new developments. For the poster session, we welcome contributions on the theme of Understanding Disaster Risks.

The Fourth Academic Summit, will be held on Thursday 16th June on Disaster Risk Reduction and Human Mobility. The summit is an opportunity for academics and practitioners to get together and share information, knowledge and expertise. For those of us who are involved in studying disaster risk reduction, the future consequences of population movements seem unclear and difficult to predict. What might happen if a migration crisis coincides with, for example, a natural disaster? This year's academic summit is devoted to an interactive debate of the issues associated with this emerging field. There will also be a session at the Academic Summit introducing the new UK Alliance for Disaster Research.

Both events will be held at UCL and are free and open to all, but registration in required (see panel of Events).

New appointments: We are delighted to announce that Maureen Fordham, distinguished researcher in gender and disaster, has been appointed Visiting Professor to the IRDR. Nathanael Harwood and Rory Walshe, NERC London DTP students, recently started PhDs.


Peter Sammonds
Director, UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction
NEW IRDR CPD SHORT COURSES
IRDR professional short course on Business risk and resilience in the face of disasters: a research-based workshop for leaders, 7th July 2016
This one-day course will enable businesses and organisations to prepare themselves for a major disruptive incident, flood, earthquake, terrorism attack, and how they can survive in an immediate aftermath of those incidents.
Register and find out more here.
IRDR professional short course on Reducing disaster risk during reconstruction and retrofit: a research-based course for managers and the built environment professionals, 13th July 2016
This one-day course is for organisations and individuals involved in international and domestic disaster reconstruction and retrofit (such as  earthquakes, floods and landslides) and aims to assist them in devising and implementing disaster reconstruction and retrofitting programmes that will better withstand a subsequent disaster.
Register and find out more here
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE
Natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, floods and storms destroy lives and damage economies across the globe; pandemics have the potential to bring death and suffering on an unprecedented scale; while climate change may increase the severity of both natural and health disasters.

How society sees risk, how to link understanding of the causative mechanics to statistical approaches, and how to increase resilience and reduce the risk of disasters are common themes cutting across research in natural, environmental, health and technological hazards.

Reducing global risks and disasters presents a colossal challenge that requires coordinated and collaborative action.
UCL is uniquely well-placed to lead research and teaching in risk and disaster reduction, with at least 70 academics across 12 departments and seven faculties involved in world-class research and practice in the field.

To maximise the impact and value of our activities in risk and disaster reduction, and to increase and enhance interdisciplinary collaboration and cooperation, we aim to bring together individual areas of expertise, under the umbrella of a UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction, built around established centres across UCL.
We also seek to contribute to the UCL Grand Challenges of Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing.
JOIN THE INSTITUTE
Reducing global risks and disasters presents a colossal challenge that requires coordinated and collaborative action. UCL is uniquely well placed to lead research in risk and disaster reduction, with at least 70 academics across 12 departments and 7 faculties involved in world-class research, teaching and practice in the field. The Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, responding to the UCL Grand Challenges, brings together this wealth of knowledge and expertise, and through research, teaching and knowledge exchange aims to overcome the barriers to understanding risk and reducing the impact of disasters.

To find out more about risk and disaster reduction research at UCL - or to register your own activity - please visit Our Page. Here you have the option to stay involved through different mailing lists, and to become a member of the Institute.
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EVENTS
UCL IRDR 6th Annual Conference
Weds 15th June 2016, 9am - 8pm
UCL South Cloisters and Wilkins Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
This is a one-day event of thought-provoking lectures and discussions on the latest issues and research in risk and disaster reduction. Themes include early warnings for natural disasters. emergency planning challenges, justice, raising and distributing funds in response to humanitarian crises and understanding disaster risk. The  keynote address will be by Saleh Saeed, CEO of the Disasters Emergency Committee. 
Register and find out more here.
UCL IRDR 4th Academic Summit
Thurs 16th June 2016, 9:30am - 5:00pm, UCL Wilkins Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
The summit on Disaster Risk Reduction and Human Mobility is an opportunity for academics and practitioners to get together and share information knowledge and expertise. There will also be a session at the Academic Summit for the new UK Alliance for Disaster Research.
Register and find out more here.
Public Panel Discussion on Development in the Arctic: Risks and Rewards
Weds 8th June 2016, 6pm - 7:30pm UCL Roberts Bdg G08 Lecture Theatre, 7:30pm - 9pm drinks reception
Climate change and technological advances are opening up the Arctic for exploitation by the world - or so we are told. But what do we really know about development risks and rewards in the far north? What realities of Arctic environmental conditions are rarely described? What Arctic social and political conditions are frequently bypassed? What about the people who live in the region who have rights and interests? This panel discussion explores the risks and rewards regarding the so-called 'Arctic Gold Rush' for resources and development. 
Register and find out more here
UCL IRDR Total Ice Seminar: Ice action on structures and ice rheology description in ice dynamics models
The seminar programme cover the following key themes: Climate change and impact on sea ice conditions; Sea ice observations and modelling for operational forecasts; Ice action on structures. This seminar is by invitation. Please contact Sarah Schubert if you wish to attend. 
NEWS
New IRDR MSc programme in Risk and Disaster Science
We are launching a new MSc programme in Risk and Disaster Science in September this year, which aims to meet the growing need for scientific experts trained in disaster science in sectors ranging from finance to humanitarian response. Applications are now open. More details here. 
UCL IRDR members visit the Fukushima Prefecture as part of bilateral agreement
Six IRDR members recently visited the areas affected by the tsunami and the Fukushima-Daichi nuclear power plant accident in March 2011. The visit was undertaken as part of a bilateral agreement between UCL and the Prefecture of Fukushima, which was signed to promote mutually beneficial knowledge exchange and to strengthen the long-lasting relationship between UCL and Japan. Find out more…
UK Alliance for Disaster Research launched
The UKADR will be launched at the meeting at the Academic Summit at UCL on 16th June. Its first major event will be a conference at King's in January 2017. 
The primary motivation for the UK Alliance for Disaster Research (UKADR) is to bring together the rich and diverse research and academic disaster research community to facilitate collaboration and partnership in order  to  aid representation of  the research community at government level in the UK and to facilitate where appropriate  the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The interim co-chairs are Professor Mark Pelling (Kings College London) and Professor Andrew Collins (Northumbria University).
Please contact Amy Donovan (amy.donovan@kcl.ac.uk) for further information. A UKADR session will be held at the Academic Summit at UCL on Thursday 16th June.
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