International Conference on Building Resilience 2011
About the Conference

With growing population and infrastructures, the world’s exposure to hazards – of natural and man-made origin – is inevitably increasing. This reality reinforces the need to proactively consider disaster risk as a part of the sustainable development agenda. The International Conference on Building Resilience will encourage debate on individual, institutional and societal coping strategies to address the challenges associated with disaster risk. Central to these strategies is the concept of resilience, which is becoming a core concept in the social and physical sciences, and also in matters of public policy. Resilience refers to the capability and capacity of systems to withstand change. By encouraging participation from researchers in the social and physical sciences, the conference will explore inter-disciplinary strategies that develop the capacity of a system, community or society potentially exposed to disaster related hazards, to adapt, by resisting or changing, in order to reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning and structure. Contributions are welcome from members of the research community that address disaster risk and the need to develop resilience from diverse perspectives, as indicated by the conference themes that are listed here.

Image: Construction of a new hospital near Ampara, Sri Lanka in 2009.

The conference outcomes will be used to support the 2010-2011 World Disaster Reduction Campaign ‘Making Cities Resilient’, which addresses issues of local governance and urban risk while drawing upon previous ISDR Campaigns on safer schools and hospitals, as well as on the sustainable urbanizations principles developed in the UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign 2009-2013. Mayors and their local governments are both the key targets and drivers of the campaign. The overall target of the Campaign is to get as many local governments ready as possible, to span a global network of fully engaged cities of different sizes, characteristics, risk profiles and locations. The campaign is focusing on raising political commitment to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation among local governments and mayors; including through high profile media and public awareness activities, and will develop specific technical tools that cater for capacity development opportunities.

Image: Capacity building for local government will be vital in order to sustain recovery. Mayor's Office, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka.

This is also the annual International Conference of the International Institute for Infrastructure Renewal and Reconstruction (IIIRR), which  is a multi-university international consortium which provides overall leadership in research, education, planning, design and implementation for mitigation of the impact of natural disasters and infrastructure renewal and reconstruction projects in tsunami affected or underdeveloped regions.

All papers will be subject to double blind peer review by the conference's international scientific committee. Accepted abstracts and full papers will be published in an ISBN Book of Abstracts and ISBN e-proceedings respectively.