Much of the world’s rapid population and economic growth is occurring in large coastal cities that are at high risk from a changing climate, including sea level rise, intense precipitation and heat stress. Densely populated mega-deltas and other low-lying coastal urban areas are among those described in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report as “key societal hotspots of coastal vulnerability” with many millions of people potentially affected.
With the increase in population in coastal areas, there is an increased potential for loss of life and property. Physical risks and vulnerabilities in these regions are often accompanied by a deficit of adaptive capacity (i.e., the ability to cope with the risk and vulnerabilities posed by climate change) as the cities generally lack necessary resources – financial, human and institutional – as well as access to relevant scientific information. These constraints argue for an urgent demand to enhance the knowledge base and adaptive capacity of cities by the integration of science into planning and policy for potentially affected areas, based, in part, on improved data management. Further research is needed to advance the methods for collecting, analyzing and evaluating data for coastal cities and to have improved management and accessibility of scientific information and its incorporation into systemic analyses of methods to reduce risk and improve adaptive capacity. For this purpose, models of cities are being developed to reduce vulnerabilities and increase resilience.
Addressing this deficit requires integration of research and policy-making across all hazards, disciplines and geographic regions. The Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) program, a decade-long program of international research and related activities, aims to bring together the natural, socio-economic, health and engineering sciences in coordinated efforts to address the challenges brought about by natural disasters, mitigate their impacts and improve related policy-making mechanisms.
The 2012 Advanced Institute on Data for Coastal Cities at Risk provided 29 international participants from Asia and Africa with the enhanced understanding, skills, and resources to use and collect data for coastal cities related studies in their own countries. The 6-day intensive training event included educational modules, hands-on interactive exercises and field visits. Click here to view the Institute program and browse the participant directory.
The 2012 Advanced Institute on Data for Coastal Cities at Risk was organized by START and the IRDR International Centre of Excellence (ICoE) in Taipei, together with IRDR International, ICSU and Taiwan’s National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR). Funding for the Institute was provided by the IRDR ICoE in Taipei. Click on partners’ logos below for more information about respective institutions and their programs.
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Last Updated on November 5th, 2013