Full version in PDF: HIWeather News Letter_Aug 2019.pdf
I am delighted to share our new HIWeather web site with you in this newsletter. Our project website has been created and is maintained by CMA at http://hiweather.net. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to add or amend material on this web site. I would particularly encourage those involved in HIWeather activities to post descriptions of progress there. Our communications website has been created and is maintained by Massey University, New Zealand and will be available shortly.
I attended my second UNDRR Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR 2019) preceded by the Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference (MHEWC-II) in May, along with our Co-Chair David. As last time in Cancun, the whole Global Platform experience was quite overwhelming, with vast numbers of people and lots of parallel sessions ranging from serious science to political statements to sound-bites. As planned, HIWeather got lots of visibility, especially in the MHEWC-II. For the GPDRR, early warnings are just one of many policies that can reduce disaster risk. Nevertheless, with the Secretary General of WMO as opening speaker, the final scientific session on early warnings drew a good crowd. A highlight was the launch of the new Global Assessment Report on DRR, which I have previously circulated links to (https://gar.unisdr.org/report-2019). This draws on recent work in climate change and biodiversity to paint a stark picture of the urgency of action to manage the risk of global disaster. Sadly, the supporting papers, including a HIWeather authored value-chain paper, were not published until much later. The link for this paper is http://www.preventionweb.net/publications/view/65828 and it will eventually by accessible from the main GAR page.
As ever, there was insufficient time to properly follow-up on these meetings before the next one was upon me. That came in the form of some work under the banner of the GCRF fund in the UK. First came a selection meeting for the outline stage of the multi-hazard risk call, followed by the first meeting in Edinburgh of the “Future Cities” research hub, the bid for which was first dreamt up during the Cancun GPDRR. This project aims to address the systemic problems that create new risk when developing cities expand. It is working in four cities: Istanbul, Kathmandu, Nairobi and Quito. A wide range of natural hazards affect the poorer inhabitants of these cities and the work will involve a combination of different mitigation policies, including early warnings. Currently the main focus is on flooding. HIWeather provided a letter of support for this project and will maintain contact as it progresses.
Shortly after this I was in Newcastle on Tyne for the third annual meeting of the UK Alliance for Disaster Research. Like the GPDRR, these meetings are highly inter-disciplinary and feature some very colourful characters. I have extensive notes from this meeting that need to be followed up in August!
I was delighted to be invited to join the MSF and HIVR teleconferences in July and enjoyed catching up on their progress – some of which you will read later in this newsletter – as well as feeding back on the GPDRR. Sharan Majumdar shared the latest copy of the review paper that the MSF team is preparing and I have been able to suggest some inputs. We are hoping to have a complete draft before the Steering Group meeting in October.
My other writing assignment was to outline the book proposal to Springers. Following discussions with the Steering Group I submitted an outline based on the “Five Valleys of Death” version of the early-warning value-chain, with the emphasis on the bridges over the valleys. We now have to refine that and assign authors before the end of the year.
Looking forward, October will be a busy month for me. The WWRP scientific steering committee meets in the first week; I am attending the Herrenhausen conference on building resilience to extreme events in the second week; and the HIWeather steering group meets in the third week. I look forward to seeing some of you at one or more of these events.
Wishing you all every success in your HIWeather activities.