Disaster-related science diplomacy in the Arctic: Advancing disaster resilience in the Arctic through international scientific collaborations and stakeholder engagement

Theme 5. Other
Session Name 5.14 Science diplomacy dialogue: Building common interests in the Arctic
Datetime Sep 05, 2018 02:50 PM - 03:00 PM (UTC +3)
Location IT115
Presentation Type Oral
Presenter Yekaterina Kontar
Author(s) Yekaterina Kontar (Science Diplomacy Center, Tufts University, USA)
Abstract text

Whether of natural or technological origins, disasters result in serious disruption of the functioning of any community. In the Arctic, disaster resilience – the ability of communities to resist and recover from disasters in an efficient manner – is further challenged by the region’s unique geographic and climatological features. Prolonged winters, presence of snow and ice, seasonal lack of daylight, vast distances, and limited infrastructure pose significant obstacles to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery in the Arctic. Meanwhile, rapid and sustained environmental changes and development activities in the region are amplifying existing and creating new disaster risks. To enhance disaster resilience in the Arctic, foremost, drivers and impacts of disaster risks need to be accurately identified and thoroughly analyzed. Disaster risk is the consequence of the interaction between a natural or technological hazard and the characteristics that make communities vulnerable and exposed. Thus, comprehensive and cohesive disaster risk analysis requires the combined expertise of social and natural scientists, local knowledge holders, first responders and emergency managers, and other non-academic disaster experts. Facing similar hazards and sharing many regional challenges in disaster resilience, Arctic states could significantly benefit from their neighbors’ experiences in disaster risk reduction and crisis management. Disaster-related science diplomacy fosters international collaborations among disaster experts mentioned above, while simultaneously strengthening diplomatic ties between the countries with shared risks. In this presentation, the author will articulate and examine the importance of disaster-related science diplomacy to disaster resilience in the Arctic, and correlations between disaster resilience and sustainable development in the region.

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