Disaster Risk Reduction and Open Data Newsletter: February 2020 Edition

Bushfire crisis: More than half of all Australians found to have been directly affected
More than half of all Australians have been directly affected by the summer’s bushfire crisis, including millions suffering health effects, according to a new survey from the Australia Institute.

How AI is battling the coronavirus outbreak
AI helped spot an early warning about the outbreak, and researchers have used flight traveller data to figure out where the novel coronavirus could pop up next.

Philippines lowers Taal Volcano alerts as eruptions wane
The alert was reduced to 3 from 4 out of a 5 rating-scale, says the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. The agency has cautioned the downgrade “should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of a hazardous eruption has disappeared.”

Thailand: Government sets up water crisis centre
With Thailand facing a drought disaster, the government has set up a special command centre chaired by the Prime Minister, to handle the crisis and assist affected villages.

Major boost for disaster risk management in Vanuatu
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a contingent US$10 million in support to Vanuatu that will strengthen the island nation’s resilience to disasters, support climate adaption, and help manage its debt.

Deep data helps cities prepare for disasters
Disaster response experts have begun utilising non-traditional data sources to assist with planning including high-resolution images from satellites and drones, localised temperature and seismic intelligence from microsensors, and open data repositories such as social media activity to street maps from thousands of volunteer digital cartographers.

World Economic Forum: The top risks facing the world in 2020
The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report identifies the top threats facing the world by likelihood and extent of impact, and names failure to mitigate and adapt to climate change as the key concern for the Forum’s network of business leaders, NGOs, academics and others.

Using mobile phone surveys to track survey resilience and post-disaster recovery: A how-to guide
Around the world, increasing access to mobile technologies is making it easier (and cheaper) to gather information about people’s lives and livelihoods, allowing it to inform development and humanitarian activities.

Preferences for improved early warning services among coastal communities at risk in cyclone prone south-west region of Bangladesh
This study aims to estimate the willingness to pay (WTP) for improved warning services by considering the at-risk households’ trade-off between proposed improved EWS and existing EWS in coastal Bangladesh.

Early warning action report on food security and agriculture (Jan-March 2020)
The report provides a quarterly forward-looking analysis of major disaster risks to food security and agriculture, specifically highlighting potential new emergencies resulting from imminent disaster threats and new developments in countries already affected by protracted crises.

Australia’s annual climate statement 2019
Released through the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology, 2019 has been noted as Australia’s warmest and driest year on record.

International Monetary Fund – Natural disaster insurance for sovereigns: issues, challenges and optimality
The paper discusses sovereign experience with disaster insurance as a key instrument to mitigate the risks; proposes ways to judge the adequacy of insurance; and considers ways to enhance its use by vulnerable countries.

OCHA – Latin America and the Caribbean: Natural disasters 2000-2019
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is the second most disaster-prone region in the world. Some 152 million people have been affected by 1,205 disasters (2000-2019). The collective impact of recurring climate shocks, most notably protracted droughts followed by seasonal flooding, leads to complex and multidimensional humanitarian needs.

UNDRR: Global Consultative Workshop – Scaling up DRR in Humanitarian/Development Contexts – 27 Feb – Geneva, Switzerland
The main objective of this workshop is to consider the extent to which DRR is currently integrated in humanitarian/development contexts, including the identification of barriers and enablers.

2020 Asia-Pacific Science and Technology Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (APSTCDRR) – 16-17 Mar – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The 2020 Asia-Pacific Science and Technology Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction aims to provide an opportunity to the science, technology, and academia community in Asia and the Pacific to continue the much-needed science-policy dialogue to ensure that implementation of disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures are based on reliable science, technology and innovation.

The Sustainability Research and Innovation 2020 Congress – 14-17 June- Brisbane, Australia
The Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2020 (SRI2020) will be a unique gathering to connect those at the forefront of sustainability science, innovation, funding, communication and implementation across sectors and disciplines.

Open Data Day 2020 – mini-grant scheme launch
This scheme will provide small funds to support the organisation of open data-related events across the world on Saturday 7th March 2020.