Science & Technology into Action: Disaster Risk Reduction Perspectives from Asia (2018)


Asia Science Technology Academia Advisory Group (ASTAAG)

About this Publication This publication is developed by a group of individuals from the Asia Science Technology Academia Advisory Group (ASTAAG) with support from researchers, scientists from different countries. A call for submission was made for implementation examples of science and technology for disaster risk reduction. A total of 25 examples were submitted.

This publication is not the official voice of any country or any United Nations organization. The analysis presented in this publication is of the author (s) mentioned for each country.

Australia: Frank Thomalla and David Sanderson
Bangladesh: Jamiur Reza Chaudhury
China: Peijun Shi, and Emily Ying Yang Chan
India: Vinod Sharma Indonesia: Sugeng Triutomo Iran: Ali Ardalan
Japan: Rajib Shaw and Takako Izumi
Malaysia: Joy Jacqueline Pereira
Philippines: Antonia Yulo Loyzaga
Secretariat: Saini Yang, China

How to refer this publication:
Please refer this publication as follow:
Shaw R., S. Yang, E. Chan, and P. Shi. 2018. Science & technology into action: Disaster risk reduction perspectives from Asia. Beijing, China: ASTAAG Secretariat.

April 2018


The new paradigm of risk-sensitive development triggered by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 requires sound foundations in knowledge and understanding to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Sendai Framework, while adopting ‘Understanding Disaster Risk’ as its first priority for action, emphasizes the importance of science and technology. It calls for enhanced scientific and technical work on disaster risk reduction and highlights the need to prioritize the development and dissemination of science-based risk knowledge, technology and innovation.

The UNISDR Scientific and Technical Advisory Group (STAG) has established itself as an essential global forum providing technical advice and support in the formulation and implementation of disaster risk reduction activities worldwide. The contribution of the UNISDR Asia Science Technology and Academia Advisory Group (ASTAAG) is equally critical. Its contributions in the Asia-Pacific region address and enhance all aspects of the scientific and technical dimensions of disaster risk reduction, with particular emphasis on the needs of the developing countries. ASTAAG has also made significant in-roads in leveraging the academic community to engage in disaster risk reduction activities.

ASTAAG has played a pivotal role in strengthening the science-policy interface in the region as a means of informing decision making and shaping risk governance. This was a key action identified at the First Asian Science and Technology Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2016. The Asia Regional Plan for Implementation of the Sendai Framework also highlights the importance of ASTAAG in mobilizing science and technical work for disaster risk reduction.

The current publication ‘Science and Technology in Action: Disaster Risk Reduction Perspectives from Asia’ takes forward the 12 action points, adopted at the First Asian Science and Technology Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction as contribution to the global ‘Science and Technology Roadmap’. The publication identifies examples and good practices of implementation of these action points, identifying the role of science and technology in each. This is a unique way of bridging the gap between science and policy.

Building on the notable progress to date and to consolidate the knowledge base for implementation of the Asia Regional Plan and the Sendai Framework, future actions in this area of work should include man-made, cascading and complex hazards. The use of new technology is an imperative, but it should be linked with local and indigenous knowledge to be effective. The focus on innovation is key — the ASTAAG will play an instrumental role in enhancing access to innovation and technology, and multi-hazard and solution-driven research and development in the field of disaster risk management. The upcoming 2018 Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction offers a key opportunity to further address these issues while underscoring the essential role of science and technology in the successful implementation of the Sendai Framework.