IRDR Fifth Annual Conference
- UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre and South Cloisters, London
The road to a safer world from natural hazards - can science impact on policy and practice?
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 from 17:00 to 19:30 (BST)
Keynote Speaker: Virginia Murray, UCL Honorary Professor and Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at Health Protection England.
he need to take concrete measures to tackle risk drivers including poverty, hunger, disease, conflict, violence and inadequate health services, education, infrastructure, poor water and sanitation, housing, unemployment, land degradation, displacement, forced migration and discrimination was identified at the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) - a 10-year plan to make the world safer from natural hazards. This was endorsed by the UN General Assembly in the following the 2005 World Disaster Reduction Conference in Kobe 2005. The dynamic and multidimensional aspects of risk was noted and these require holistic and comparable methodologies for risk assessment to enable, science-based decision-making and identification of development opportunities.
A successor arrangement to HFA will be negotiated in Sendai in 2015. The UK will make a major input. Professor Murray will discuss how the new instrument should introduce the innovations necessary to address the challenges relating to risk over the next 20 to 30 years. The talk will also highlight the need to focus on implementation as a pragmatic, strategic, dynamic and realistic plan for action advancing integrated risk governance, underpinned by a clear set of principles and commitment to addressing the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. In particular it is expected that HFA2 will recognize the need to govern disaster risk reduction and resilience through clear responsibilities, strong coordination, enabled local action, appropriate financial instruments and a clear recognition of a central role for science.
UCL Honorary Professor Virginia Murray FFPH, FRCP, FFOM, FRCPath qualified in medicine. In 1980 she joined Guy and St Thomas’s Hospital Poisons Unit and in 1986 was appointed consultant medical toxicologist. In 1989 she started the Chemical Incident Research Programme and was Director of the Chemical Incident Response Service from 1995.
From 2003 Virginia worked for the Health Protection Agency’s Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental hazards (CRCE). She has considerable experience in advising on toxicological and environmental public health aspects of response to acute and chronic chemical and extreme event incidents. Appointed as Visiting Professor in Health Protection, Visiting Professor in Health Protection, MRC-HPA Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College and King’s College, London (2004), she has also published widely.
On 1 January 2011, she was appointed as Head of HPA’s Extreme Events and Health Protection section (since April 1 2013 this was transferred to Public Health England). She is taking forward work on evidence base information and advice on flooding, heat, cold, volcanic ash, and other extreme weather and natural hazards events. In addition, Virginia has been a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, published in March 2012. She has been the UK Government member on the UN International Strategy for Disaster Scientific and Technical Advisory Group since 2008 and she is also a member of the Hyogo Framework for Action Mid Term Review Advisory Group, representing science, for the UN ISDR since 2010 and this role is likely to be ongoing to 2015.
In order to maximise the impact and value of UCL activities in risk and disaster reduction, and to increase and enhance interdisciplinary collaboration and cooperation; the IRDR brings together different areas of expertise found across established centres throughout UCL, and leads research and teaching in risk and disaster reduction.
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