The Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC) of the Ateneo de Manila University and the Center for Integrated Area Studies (CIAS) of Kyoto University jointly organized a two-day international conference-workshop titled “Toward Building a Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia.” Held at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center Hotel on March 2, and at Faber Hall of the Ateneo de Manila University on March 3, 2016, the Conference-Workshop was co-sponsored by two programs of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS): the Core to Core Program and the Program for Advancing Strategic International Networks to Accelerate the Circulation of Talented Researchers.
The idea for this workshop was conceived by Dr. Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Center for Integrated Area Studies, Kyoto University, and IPC Visiting Research Associate), Dr. Nishi Yoshimi (Center for Integrated Area Studies, Kyoto University), and Dr. Filomeno V. Aguilar, Jr. (IPC, Ateneo de Manila University).
Twenty-eight representatives hailing from four countries (Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines) and seven universities (Ateneo de Manila University, Hiroshima University, Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia, Siliman University, Syiah Kuala University, Universiti Teknologi MARA, and University of Malaya) joined the workshop. The participating researchers/faculty also come from various fields (economics, history, psychology, sociology, philosophy, business and management, engineering, chemistry, environmental science, computer science, physics, and biology, among others), emphasizing the Conference’s goals of creating an interdisciplinary discourse on disasters, and sharing insights and brainstorming on how to mitigate disasters and their effects in the ASEAN-Japan Region.
The Conference-Workshop highlighted the importance of discussing current environmental issues in the region; recognizing the different ‘discourses’ and ‘rationalities’ at work in disaster preparedness and mitigation; integrating vertical and horizontal coordination among government agencies, local government units, civil society, and private sector; conducting inter- and trans-disciplinary research and collaborations; creating multi-stakeholder platforms to mitigate disasters; and listening to the voices of marginalized and affected communities and involving their participation in disaster management.
This Conference is part of a series of workshops organized by the Center for Integrated Area Studies, Kyoto University. The next workshops are set to be held in Malaysia and Indonesia in mid-2016.