NHRP / Hazard themes / Societal Resilience / Societal Resilience 2013-14

Societal Resilience 2013-14

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In 2015, three major international endeavours will come together: 1) the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015) on building resilience to disasters; 2) the Sustainable Development Goals; and 3) the 2015 climate agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Platform researchers and other stakeholders are actively engaged in preparations for the post-2015 international discussions on the successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action, as well as the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Current research is directly contributing to the UN processes, as well as New Zealand efforts to define and build resilient communities. (Link to post-2015 Hyogo framework).

The Canterbury earthquakes and their aftermath continue to provide a focus for much of the research activity, but projects also address other thematic risk issues and hazard-specific problems. Several longitudinal studies are tracking social and economic recovery in Canterbury. These projects inform operation and policy of the recovery agencies and provide a baseline for further research.

Land use planning and policy researchers are providing vital input to support the proposed changes of the Resource Management Act. There is consensus on the need to enhance the use of a “risk-based” approach to land-use planning, focusing more on the consequences of hazards (Link ♦).

Our international linkages are strong. Researchers at GNS Science are working together with the USGS on earthquake hazard education in New Zealand and Washington State. The Resilient Organisations team have been engaged by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to examine workforce issues that emerge following a disaster. Erica Seville (Resilient Organisations) has been selected as a member of the Resilience Expert Advisory Group for the Australian Federal Government. Erica is the only non-Australian member on the panel and she will provide advice to the Critical Infrastructure Advisory Committee. David Johnston (Societal Theme Leader) continues to serve as chair of Scientific Committee of Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Reduction. The IRDR is an integrated research programme co-sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU), International Social Science Council (ISSC) and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).

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Student Profile - Abi Beatson

Abi is a doctoral candidate at Victoria University, Wellington.

As part of her studies, she works at Opus Research and the Joint Centre for Disaster Research. Abi’s thesis is titled ‘Social Media, Information Flows and Crisis Mapping: Information Sharing Practices in Response to the Christchurch Earthquakes.’ Her research focuses on crisis mapping - the practice of geo-locating information onto ‘live’ maps to produce and visualize a birds-eye perspective of the complex and rapidly changing environment in near real-time. This project investigates the value of data produced by social media-based crowd-sourcing techniques in New Zealand; the extent to which it can be used to improve situational awareness for traditional emergency response organisations; and the roles and functions it has with regard to the self-organising capabilities for disaster-effected communities. Abi also serves as a volunteer on the social media response team for the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO).

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