International Conference on Urban Disaster Resilience held in Yangon

An international conference was held in Yangon on January 16-17, 2018 to mark the culmination of the three-year long Grant for Global Sustainability (GGS) Project in Myanmar and Nepal titled “Enhancement of urban disaster resilience through activities of local participatory platform.” The two-day conference was co-organized by Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC), Yangon Technological University (YTU), Myanmar Engineering Society (MES), and the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies (GSGES) of Kyoto University. Representatives from Lalitpur Metropolitan City, Nepal and researchers from Japan who were part of the project attended the conference.

On Day 1, representatives from Myanmar and Nepal presented the outcomes of their local platform activities and joint research activities to the 200 attendees at Yangon City Hall. Highlights included the presentation of the urban resilience action plans of the two pilot wards in Yangon, an open forum on how to move forward with action plan implementation, and a choreographed presentation by high school students about the disaster risk management cycle. Posters showing the outputs of different workshops in the past two years were displayed at the venue. The event was attended by Mayor Maung Maung Soe of Yangon and Mayor Chiri Babu Maharjan of Lalitpur and was covered by six local media organizations.

On Day 2, a research symposium attended by 90 experts, practitioners, graduate students, ward-level stakeholders, and government officers was held at the MES Building. Representatives of the different joint research teams presented in detail their findings and recommendations. There were presentations on urban seismic risk assessment, disaster education, wind vulnerability, risk perception and housing safety, and social fairness of action plans. One professor and two PhD students from YTU also gave a presentation related to urban resilience.

The international conference was the final activity in Yangon under the GGS Project, which was initiated by United Nations University (UNU), Tokyo and financed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan. The pilot wards will be implementing their urban resilience action plans using their own resources.

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