Refining Disaster Risk Reduction Education: Exchange of Practical Experience in Disaster Risk Reduction among US, Japanese, Australian, and Domestic Scholars in Taiwan
The 2019 International Conference on School’s Disaster Risk Reduction was held on April 17 at the National Taiwan Science Education Center. The Ministry of Education invited domestic and international experts and scholars to share their practical experience promoting disaster risk reduction (DRR) education in their countries. Participants could thereby gain knowledge and learn from the shared experiences that occurred both locally and internationally.
In addition to domestic scholars, renowned scholars from the United States, Japan, and Australia with expertise in disaster management, DRR education, and school disaster preparedness were invited to the conference, where they gathered to engage in thorough discussions on disaster management and DRR in each country through participation in lectures and talks.
US scholar Dr. David A. McEntire, recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, discussed the paradigm shift in disaster management in a talk entitled “Promoting Education Programs to Effectively Address Disasters.” In a lecture entitled “Disaster Risk Reduction in Kesennuma: Disaster Risk Reduction Education After the Great East Japan Earthquake,” Japanese Director Masahito Abe highlighted the resilience of DRR education through describing and reflecting on the personal experience of leading the safe evacuation of Minamisanriku Isatomae Elementary School in the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. In the lecture entitled “Disaster Resilience: Lessons from Recovery,” Australian Professor Lisa Gibbs emphasized the importance of post-disaster mental health rehabilitation for children. The three lectures detailed the theoretical development and practical promotion of DRR education as well as the actual experience of disasters. The talks and discussions between international speakers and domestic scholars greatly inspired the participants and should help to refine domestic DRR education.
Through the joint efforts of the international representatives in industry, government, and academia regarding DRR education, this conference provided participants with innovative ideas and valuable experiences, by broadening their horizons and facilitating growth in disaster prevention capabilities, and thus achieving the effect of sharing practical experiences between countries. The suggestions proposed in this conference can effectively promote DRR education. In addition, in-person visits from foreign experts and scholars enable Taiwan’s experience of promoting DRR education to be brought onto the global stage, enabling the world to become aware of Taiwan’s endeavors and achievements in DRR education.
Photo:Opening Remarks by Dr. Chu Nan-Shyan, Chief Secretary, Ministry of Education.