The year of 2020 marks the fifth year of Sendai Framework implementation since 2015. The Target E of Sendai Framework, which called to “substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020”, requires a sense of urgency by all nations. Countries in the Asia Pacific are have been putting their efforts in developing or revising their national and local strategies. At this point, it is important to ensure that the national and local strategies that are being developed or revised are science and innovation evidence-based. At the same time, it is also crucial to inject the importance of science and innovation in evidence-based disaster risk management approaches at all level in these policies, plans and strategies.

The UNDRR Asia Pacific Science Technology and Academia Advisory Group (APSTAAG) plays a crucial role in strengthening regional networking and providing advice and insight to boost national science and technology capacities. In line with this role, the 2020 Asia Pacific Science and Technology Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (APSTCDRR) will be hosted by UNDRR and key national partners in Malaysia: the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), Academy of Science Malaysia (ASM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Southeast Asia Disaster Prevention Research Initiative (SEADPRI-UKM).

The APSTCDRR 2020 aims to provide an opportunity to the science, technology, and academia community in Asia and the Pacific to continue the much-needed science-policy dialogue to ensure that implementation of disaster risk reduction measures is based on reliable science, technology and innovation. Successful applications of science and technology in preventing and mitigating risks from different types of hazards including flood, earthquake, drought, health and other climate related hazards will be showcased.

There will be a focus on the application of science, technology and innovation for local and inclusive action to build disaster resilience in the face of growing disaster risks and a changing climate. The application of science and innovation in the development or revision of national and local strategies to meet Target E of the Sendai Framework will also be highlighted. Opportunities will be provided to various organisations and stakeholders, in particular the young scientists, to learn and share on application of science and technology for DRR.

The Conference will:

  • Review progress on the outcome of the 2018 Asian Science and Technology Conference, against the revised S&T Global Roadmap;
  • Review progress in the commitments made by the science, technology and academia community in the region, in particular, the Voluntary Action Statement made at the AMCDRR 2018 in preparation for the Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (APMCDRR) 2020 in Australia and other Voluntary Commitments registered;
  • Renew the commitments and promote development/revision of science-based national and local DRR strategies;
  • Identify future work priorities for the Asia Pacific region; and
  • Share good practice in application of science and technology in disaster risk reduction.

Expected outcomes of the Conference will include:

  • Final draft of the Asia Pacific Science Technology Status Report 2020;
  • APSTAAG position for the APMCDRR 2020; and
  • Conference report.