Systems Approach to Flood Forecasting Putting the pieces together

November 10, 2020 11:24 am Published by Leave a comment


Systems Approach to Flood Forecasting Putting the pieces together

Organizer: RMSI

With increasing frequency of devastating floods impacting lives, livelihoods and assets, there is an ardent rise in the demand for flood forecasting and warning systems. But what constitutes an effective flood forecasting system? – This session deals with the essential components of a flood forecasting system. Catch our expert panel members discussing on: – Where do we get real-time meteorological data from? – How do we validate the information and ensure accuracy of flood forecasting model results? – How do we package flood forecasting results so that administrators find it actionable for preparedness and response? – How do we ensure the flood warnings reach the last mile – the most vulnerable? Key takeaway from the session – What constitutes an effective flood forecasting system? Join our multi-disciplinary panel of experts and ask your queries to know more!

Pratap Singh, Full Time Technical Member, Commission Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas, New Delhi (India)
K J Ramesh, Dean, School of Disaster Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Ashwin B Pandya, Secretary General, International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
Rohini Swaminathan, Emergency Specialist (Risk Analysis and Monitoring), UNICEF
Michael Manalili, GIS Consultant, Emergency Division (EMEG), World Food Program, UN
Brahm Prakash Yadav, Sc-F & Head Hydrology Division, IMD

SSTL x The World Bank HADR Challenge Pitching Session

November 10, 2020 11:20 am Published by Leave a comment


SSTL x The World Bank HADR Challenge Pitching Session

Organizer: Singapore Space and Technology Limited (SSTL), Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF)

The application of satellite technology and its increasing role in providing quick, accurate and effective response to frequent and complex disaster situations is evident. Across the world, countries have recognised the need of utilising remote sensing satellite technologies as a critical tool in real-time disaster management. The Singapore Space and Technology Ltd (SSTL) launched the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Challenge to stimulate and tap into the creativity of companies, start-ups, research groups or even students to identify new and translatable solutions to complex problems of coordination and technology usage within the context of HADR. This year, SSTL partnered with the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF) which is supported by The World Bank to find a solution that will help to better analyse the flood extent and the resulting damage and needs.Teams were challenged to develop a solution that will augment real time flood extents derived from satellite imagery with flood depth information from other existing datasets and/or real time data sources. After 3 months of hard work, our top 5 teams will pitch their solutions live to a panel of judges who will then decide on the final winner.

Olivier Mahul, Practice Manager
Bertrand Le Saux, Senior Scientist
Jason Tan, Deputy Director
Lynette Tan, Chief Executive

Extreme Wildfire Development: Why, Where and When?

November 10, 2020 11:17 am Published by Leave a comment


Extreme Wildfire Development: Why, Where and When?

Organizer: FM Global

In recent years, extreme wildfires have claimed lives in Asia, Europe and North America. These fires can move much faster than current models predict and overwhelm communities and emergency response measures. They are not unique to any one geography and pose the potential of increasing in severity and frequency. Current scientific investigations indicate these fires are driven by a critical combination of dynamic fire behaviors and associated with tight coupling to the atmosphere and topology. In this session, experts representing a diverse group of stakeholders will assess these challenges by considering a number of scenarios relevant to different regions. You will be engaged by case studies designed to provoke your thinking and help you better understand the risk of these perils and what is driving such events.

Christopher Wieczorek. Ph.D., Vice president and manager of international codes and standards, FM Global
Janice Coen, Ph.D., Project Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research
Kevin Tolhurst, Ph.D., Honorary Associate Professor in Fire Ecology and Management in the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne based in Creswick
Domingos Viegas, Ph.D., President, Association for the Development of Industrial Aerodynamics (ADAI)

The Power of Grassroots Voices to Shape Effective Climate Policy

November 10, 2020 11:12 am Published by Leave a comment


The Power of Grassroots Voices to Shape Effective Climate Policy

Organizer: Huairou Commission + SlumDwellers International / IIED *this session is part of the Development & Climate Days

Grassroots organizations represent poor communities living and working in rural, urban peri-urban and indigenous settlements. Their lives are characterized by fluctuating, unstable incomes, food insecurity, inadequate shelter and poor access to basic services. These communities are worst impacted by disasters and climate change and are usually excluded from public planning and decision making processes. Despite their adverse circumstances, grassroots women’s networks, urban poor networks, slum dwellers, farmers federations are devising innovative resilience-building strategies – leveraging these along with their expanding constituencies to claim public recognition and resources. Grassroots organisations have a distinct and critical role in advancing social change, specifically in the area of community resilience to climate change.

This session will showcase grassroots organisations’ experiences and insights gained from developing innovative and effective climate resilience strategies, solutions, and policies. It will also discuss the actual and potential impact of partnerships between other urban stakeholders, such as development agencies and multilaterals, and grassroots movements in channeling resources and institutionalising effective policies at scale.  

It will explore how grassroots movements and decision makers engage with and learn from one another to formulate and implement policies and programs that are responsive to the priorities of those historically marginalized from public planning processes. The session will focus on grassroots engagement with local and national stakeholders, reflecting on strategies to build trust and partnership with the government and other decision makers, and making a case for the inclusion of grassroots voices in shaping policies through the experience shared by multilateral organisations.

The session will showcase the leadership and insights from seasoned grassroots leaders in community resilience, highlighting the distinct roles, tools and impacts of their movements to build community resilience from the ground up. Urban and rural grassroots leaders will share experiences of utilising decentralised policies and programs to address community needs by influencing local government plans and decisions. Key discussants representing international and multilateral organisations will share their insights and experiences on the impact of partnerships with social movements for their institutions and the need for such agencies, government and private sector to meaningfully engage grassroots organizations in policy and decision making.

Violet Shivutse, Grassroots Leader, Founder and Coordinator, Shibuye Community Health Workers, Kenya and Chair, Huairou Commission Governing Council
Nereide Segala Coelho, Grassroots Leader and Member of the Cooperativa Ser do Sertão Red Pintadas Brasil cooperative
Nancy Njoki Wairimu, Community Leader
Sonia Fadrigo, Community Leader
Clare Shakya, Director, Climate Change Group, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
Heather McGray, Director, Climate Justice Resilience Fund
Sheela Patel, Executive Director, SPARC India
Margaret Arnold, Global Lead, Social Dimensions of Climate Change at the World Bank, The World Bank
Suranjana Gupta, Advisor, Community Resilience, Huairou Commission

Disaster risk and resilience: Understanding perceptions, exploring possibilities Lessons to be learnt from the curious way of life

November 7, 2020 2:41 pm Published by Leave a comment

Disaster Risk and Resilience: Understanding Perceptions, Exploring Possibilities Lessons to be Learnt from the Curious Way of Life

Organizer: Confederation of Risk Reduction Professionals (CRRP), Risk & Resilience Institute (RRI)

What is disaster risk? Should disaster risk reduction strategies be designed based on the definition that ‘we’, the intellects and the academicians, understand? What about the perception that a community has of its disaster risk? Shouldn’t that be accounted for? But are we aware of the varied and contradictory perceptions of disaster risk? Floods, for us may be a hazard, an extreme event, but there are communities to whom flood is a blessing. How do we propose to manage disaster risks in such communities? This session would take the audiences through a journey – a journey across the state of Assam in India, exploring undocumented cases, in form of stories, of adaptation, preparedness and resilience. We often tend to ignore the power of indigenous practices, traditional knowledge and rely heavily on science and technology – these stories would prove otherwise. The stories would portray how the rural communities are more ‘risk literate’ and ‘risk savvy’ than the population with access to plethora of tools. The COVID-19 pandemic has ensured that we do not get to go back to our usual lives. However, this is no excuse to refrain from engaging with communities. In such times, how do you go about it? How do you indulge and interact with people to understand their perceptions and perspectives, how do you nudge individuals of a community to think about the root cause of their problems? The second half of the session would take the audiences through an experience of community engagement, limited within the restrictions imposed by various protocols of COVID-19, with an agenda to understand how the urban crowd perceive development? Do they blame risk-un-informed planning and development as a factor causing issues like urban floods? The session would present a framework for engagement with stakeholders or community, stimulating them to analyse their exposures and vulnerabilities, develop an understanding of disaster risk and think about addressing it in some way. The session would be an outcome of 3 month long project carried out by CRRP and RRI, with support from ICCROM, during the period of COVID-19 imposed lockdown. The project has been executed completely by youth and young professionals, all below the age of 30, and therefore the lingo of communication of science and risk is at par with the contemporary vernacular of our society, especially India.

Repaul Kanji, Co-Founder & Director, Risk & Resilience Institute
Saran Prakash, Member, Confederation of Risk Reduction Professionals
Bhola Saha, Assistant Professor, Royal Global University
Amrita Sabhapandit, Assistant Professor, Royal Global University
Dikshya Saikia, Assistant Professor, Royal Global University

Operational flood damage assessment using SAR data

November 7, 2020 9:40 am Published by Leave a comment


Operational flood damage assessment using SAR data

Wednesday, Dec 02, UTC 02:00 to 02:55

Organizer: Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

Floods are part of a natural phenomenon which is regarded as a persistent hazard, causing negative socioeconomic impacts, i.e. significant damages to lives, livelihoods, and infrastructure. Therefore, flood management has gained more attention recently. Lack of time-effective and correct analysis of damage is major constraint for post disaster management. In many countries, Government have policy to give compensation rates for housing and agricultural loss but to implement this policy, there must be a reliable mechanism or approach to estimate damage. The government had highlighted the need to adopt remote sensing technology and tools as part of strategy in fighting against the menace of floods and many governments provides services too. However in the services, flood intensity considerations of depth, duration, velocity etc. have not been taken into account. In absence of flood depth and duration maps, optimal commitment of mitigation resources for micro level can’t be guaranteed. This hands on session will avail participants to estimate habitat and agricultural damage from polarimetric SAR data. We will be only be using SAR data for mapping, modelling and validation in freely available software and Google Earth Engine.

Putting resilience in place: Learn to apply cloud AI disruptive geospatial technologies people will use for decision making

October 29, 2020 11:18 am Published by Leave a comment


Putting resilience in place: Learn to apply cloud AI disruptive geospatial technologies people will use for decision making

Organizer: Mapbox, Microsoft AI for Good, Planet, World Bank

A new generation of converging geospatial, cloud, AI, and big data technologies now provide fresh opportunities to improve public sector decision making towards resilience a range of country settings, ranging from advanced Singapore, emerging mega-cities, to fragile and conflict affected settings at national and sub-national levels. The sessions will familiarize participants with the transformative impact that successfully designed and implemented user-centric digital platforms-tools can deliver for spatial decision-making and risk management. The focus will be on highlights public sector governance applications concerned with strategic planning and zoning, budgeting, delivery, and feedback for better living environments and resilient infrastructure. We will illustrate a set of use-cases in terms of they were interesting? How and where applied? Highlights include new “user-in the loop” AI tools for capturing land use cover, road network infrastructure, and risk exposure for local government users.

Andrew Zolli, VP, Global Impact Initiatives – Planet
Caleb Robinson, Data Scientist
Dr. Sanjay Chawla, Research Director of QCRI’s Data Analytics Group
Kai Kaiser, Senior Economist, World Bank

So what if you have data? Conversations with humanitarian decision-makers on user-centric design and data-driven approaches to flood risk reduction

October 29, 2020 11:17 am Published by Leave a comment


So what if you have data? Conversations with humanitarian decision-makers on user-centric design and data-driven approaches to flood risk reduction

The ability to build climate hazard monitoring products has increased thanks to an increase in the availability of satellite data, the internet of things, other big data and the technology to analyze it. However, the ability to interpret and to ultimately use this data to measure risk and impact on vulnerable populations remains a significant challenge. For example, in 2019, Cyclone Idai devastated Mozambique, creating almost as much damage as a cyclone in 2000 of the same magnitude. Clearly, nearly 20 years of scientific advancements and development had not reduced the risk of the country. Creating effective systems for decisions-makers requires a new interdisciplinary, user-centric research approach that prioritizes gathering a deep understanding of the decision-making and risk assessment process on the ground, and utilizing this knowledge to inform how data is shared.

Organizer: United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Cloud to Street, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, and International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) – Columbia University

Indira Bose, Head of Analytics and Policy Advocacy, WFP Cambodia
Fabio Cian, Disaster Risk Finance and EO specialist
Ophélie Lobjois, Partnerships and Operational Information Management Officer
Bessie Schwarz, CEO & Co-founder
Amit Wadhwa, Global Program Manager, WFP Headquarters
Andrew Kruczkiewicz, Senior Researcher

Heatwaves in an urbanising world: Exposing the silent killer

October 29, 2020 11:15 am Published by Leave a comment


Heatwaves in an urbanising world: Exposing the silent killer

Organizer: Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

Heatwaves are surprisingly deadly, killing thousands of people every year… that we know of. There are probably many more deaths that aren’t counted, especially in places where it’s hot all year. The science is also clear: heatwaves are already getting worse because of climate change. But, it’s not all doom and gloom. We can forecast heatwaves days or weeks in advance and take action to reduce the risk of death or illness.

Roop Singh, Climate Risk Advisor at Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

ShakeMap‐related research, development, operations, and applications

October 29, 2020 11:12 am Published by Leave a comment


ShakeMap‐related research, development, operations, and applications

Organizer: U.S. Geological Survey

ShakeMap is an open-source software program employed to automatically produce a suite of maps and products that portray the geographical extent and severity of potentially damaging shaking following an earthquake. ShakeMap’s primary purpose is to provide post-earthquake situational awareness for emergency management and response as well as loss estimation. ShakeMap is widely deployed internationally in numerous countries yet there are significant gaps worldwide. The U.S. Geological Survey will discuss ShakeMap: its underlying science and software, installation and operations procedures, seismic network requirements, and discuss its many uses for earthquake information, loss-modeling, and response decision-making. The anticipated audience will include seismic network operators, scientists and engineers, potential users (lifeline and infrastructure operators, financial institutions, agencies), researchers, and emergency managers.

David Wald, Research Geophysicist
Bruce Worden, Geophysicist
Eric Thompson, Geophysicist