International Symposium on Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction


Date: 12 November 2013,


Location: U Thant Hall, UNU Headquarters Map »

Ministry of the Environment, UNU-ISP, International Union for Conservation for Nature (IUCN)

Co-Organizers: Global Environment Outreach Centre (GEOC)

Languages: Japanese and English (simultaneous interpretation available)


Aya Yokoi, UNU-ISP,

The Ministry of the Environment of Japan and UNU-ISP will organize the international symposium “Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction” in Tokyo on 12 November 2013, in advance of the 1st Asia Parks Congress taking place in Sendai, Japan on 13–17 November.

Asia is known as a disaster-prone region, with various natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides and forest fires. The frequent occurrence of natural disasters in the region is due not only to meteorological and geographical factors, but also to growing populations, urbanization in coastal zones, inappropriate land use and ecosystem degradation. Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (eco-DRR) is usually inexpensive in terms of construction and maintenance costs compared with measures depending on artificial infrastructure. It is also a no-loss strategy which can provide a wide range of benefits such as improvement of landscapes and local livelihoods, regardless of whether a disaster occurs or not. Nevertheless, ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction measures tend to be forgotten, and promoting eco-DRR is one of the common challenges for the region.

At this international symposium, experts from Japan who have been working on reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, as well as foreign experts participating in the 1st Asia Parks Congress, will share their knowledge, experience and views through keynote speeches and panel discussions, and identify challenges and the future direction of eco-DRR.


To register for this event, please click on the link below and complete the registration form by 6:00 p.m. on 10 November, 2013. Registration will be closed when it reaches the capacity.


Master of Ceremonies: Mr. Tsunao Watanabe, UNU-ISP Senior Programme Coordinator, GEOC Coordinator


Welcome addresses

  • Representative of Ministry of the Environment
  • Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji, Asia Regional Director, IUCN

Keynote Speeches

  • Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Senior Vice Rector of UNU and President of the Central Environment Council, Japan
    “Towards the resilient society living in harmony with nature”
  • Mr. Trevor Sandwith, Director, Global Protected Areas Programme, IUCN
    “Role of Protected Areas for Life”



Panel Discussions :Theme “To promote ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction” (Tentative)


  • Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Senior Vice Rector of UNU and President of the Central Environment Council, Japan


  • Prof. Tohru Nakashizuka, Professor, Graduate School of Life Science, Tohoku University
  • Mr. Kazuaki Hoshino, Director-General, Nature Conservation Bureau, Ministry of the Environment
  • Dr. Yuki Matsuoka, Head/ Senior Programme Officer, UNISDR Hyogo Office
  • Mr. Trevor Sandwith, Director, Global Protected Areas Programme, IUCN
  • Ms. Radhika Murti, DRR Programme Coordinator, Ecosystem Management Programme, IUCN