By bearing a theme of Raising Tsunami Awareness, Reducing Tsunami Risk: Sharing Tohoku-Aceh Experience, Knowledge and Culture, the AIWEST-DR was being successfully reconvened for the 12th times in Sendai, Japan for 2 days on November 7-8, 2019. International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) of Tohoku University hosted this year’s AIWEST-DR in collaboration with TDMRC Unsyiah. The event was also fully supported by World Bosai Forum (WBF) 2019 that was conducted between November 9-12, 2019 in Sendai.
Since 2016, the AIWEST-DR event has been continuously coordinated by TDMRC and IRIDeS as part of the collaboration or partnership between the research centers. Hence, TDMRC would like to extend its utmost gratitude to IRIDeS Tohoku University for hosting this event as an organizing partner this year.
The annual AIWEST-DR conference that has been regularly held since 2005 aimed at researchers and practitioners with the need to transmit knowledge and experiences from Sumatra’s December 2004 earthquake and tsunami. Concerning the past event, it becomes an opportunity for IRIDeS to draw comparative studies between the 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami, and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. This year, it provided parallel discussions for the exchange of study results on the way to raise tsunami awareness and develop the culture of risk prevention. Around 80 participants from 14 countries have participated in this event. Beside participants from Japan and Indonesia, other participants come from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, Taiwan, India, United States of America, Australia, Peru, Chile, Colombia, and China.
On the first day, the conference commenced with welcoming remarks by Director of IRIDeS, Prof. Fumihiko Imamura, followed by keynote addresses delivered by Prof. Dr. Ir. Samsul Rizal, M.Eng.IPU (Rector of Unsyiah), Dr. Yoshimi Nishi (CSEAS, Kyoto University), and Prof. Toshiya Ueki (Executive Vice President of Tohoku University). Rector of Unsyiah addressed his keynote speech titled “Strengthening Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia through Universities Collaborations and Capacity Building in Research”. The Rector emphasized the important of disaster-affected universities to develop their capacities as they will be the first affected institutions should a disaster occur. The rector also presented some lessons learned from Unsyiah’s experieces after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and after the 2016 Pidie Jaya Earthquake.
The event continued with a signing ceremony for the renewal of MoU between Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (MIPA) of Unsyiah with IRIDeS of Tohoku University. Also, another new MoU was signed between Faculty of Engineering of Tohoku University and Faculty of Engineering of Unsyiah.
Next, Dr. Elizabeth Maly from IRIDeS invited the participants to have an ice-breaking session in the form of Bosai Stamp Rally coordinated by Mari Yasuda (Project Instructor of IRIDeS). Here, the participants collected stamps of various colours by answering the multiple choices of DRR-themed questions. The results of stamp collections reveal the level of preparedness of participants upon disasters. The first day ended with field visits by having Bosai Bus Tour to Sendai and Natori tsunami-affected areas.
The second day was filled with oral presentations from researches sharing various cases of disaster studies from around the world, which were organized in three parallel technical sessions. The second day was wrapped up with a rewarding closing ceremony moderated by Dr. Sebastien P. Boret from IRIDeS. Dr. Boret asserted his gratitude to all speakers and participants to the succesfull of the 12th AIWEST-DR. Also, Dr. Boret conveyed his gratitudes to all supporting staffs and researchers from IRIDeS who continously prepared and helped the event.
During the closing, Prof. David Alexander of UCL was invited to deliver his comments by highlighting how scientific research progress, and disaster awareness and its mitigation efforts have been so rapid over the last thirty five years. Professor Shinichi EGAWA from IRIDeS of Tohoku University also delivered his closing remarks stating the important of collaborations between disaster-affected countries through various ways, including sharing through conferences. The AIWEST-DR conference then was closed by Head of TDMRC, Prof. Khairul Munadi by inviting Prof. Fatma Lestari of DRRC of Universitas Indonesia to the stage to announce the next venue of 13th AIWEST-DR 2020.
During the closing ceremony, we were delighted to announce that the 13th AIWEST-DR conference will take place in October 2020 at Universitas Indonesia.
Again, TDMRC of Unsyiah express its high appreciation to IRIDeS of Tohoku University who had been preparing and conducting the event with detailed and smooth processes. Also, the gratitude goes to the World Bosai Forum 2019 Committee who has fully support the event. TDMRC hope that this conference will be even impactful. More details to come, we will send out a separate announcement when the time comes.
We hope to see you next year in Depok, Indonesia!
Sampai jumpa lagi !