The Tang Prize CEO Dr. Jenn-Chuan Chern traveled to Bangkok, Thailand to attend the International Symposium of the 11th SSMS (Society for Social Management Systems) and the 5th RCND (Regional Conference on Natural Disaster) 2017 from September 19th – 21st. Organized by the SSMS, the Symposium focuses on topics concerning disaster prevention and rescue, post-disaster reconstruction management, public construction planning and management, and the distribution of resources under the influence of climate change.
Natural disaster has become a worldwide issue in recent years. Hurricane and flooding disasters continue to hit the United States and countries in the Caribbean region and Asia, resulting in serious damage and casualties. During the Symposium, Professor Yasuto Tachikawa of the Kyoto University presented his prediction, analysis, and assessment on flooding disasters caused by heavy rainfall brought by typhoon. Long-term climate data is applied into the analysis to enhance the accuracy of the prediction. Government agencies can make decisions concerning the improvement or planning of public infrastructure based on these information. Island countries must enhance the capacity of disaster prevention, and cooperation among Japan and countries in the Asia-Pacific and other regions should be promoted.
According to the Tang Prize CEO Dr. Jenn-Chuan Chern, the rapid occurrence of disasters associated with hurricanes and heavy rain, including landslide and flooding, has led to significant damage in many of the developed countries, such as Japan and the United States. Thailand also suffers from both flood and drought in consecutive years, which is a significant indication to the effect of climate change. Challenge concerning climate change has become an imminent issue that should be dealt from the socio-economic perspective. Appropriate policies have to be designed and implemented with the consideration of environmental, climate, and population factors.
Professor Ravi Sinha, the Dean of the Department of Civil Engineering of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, is an expert on disaster risk management in the urban area. He said, a report from the United Nations has indicated that over half of the world’s population reside in the metropolitan area, and this data will increase from one-half to two-third by the year 2050. Urbanization is a global trend. Megacities should focus more on building the capacity of disaster resilience and apply the concept of sustainable development into the planning and management of transportation, energy and resource, health, and education, creating smart and sustainable social systems.