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GEM at UR24: Advancing Global Resilience through Collaborative Efforts


Jun 25, 2024

Jun 25, 2024

The Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation showcased its leadership in seismic hazard and risk assessment at the Understanding Risk Global Forum 2024 (UR24) held in Himeji, Japan from June 16-21, and organised by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). This event provided an invaluable platform for GEM to share insights, promote collaboration, and reinforce global resilience against geohazards.


Building a Global Community for Geohazards Risk Assessment

On June 20, GEM concluded its activities with a successful focus day session titled "What about Geohazards? Building a Global Community for Hazard and Risk Assessment." Convened by John Schneider, Senior Advisor, GEM; Malaika Ulmi, Geological Survey of Canada; and Gill Jolly, GNS Science NZ, this session brought together experts from organisations such as USAID, USGS, GNS Science, PHIVOLCS, and NASA. It built upon the discussions from the June 18th session, "What About Geohazards? The State of Practice in Risk Assessment and Needs for Improvement at National to Sub-National Level," where contributions from Nicolas Pondard (The World Bank) and Renato Solidum (Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Philippines) were crucial.

The June 20th session focused on establishing a globally coordinated network to improve access to information and expertise in geohazards risk assessment and promote collaboration to strengthen capacities in developing countries. There was widespread interest from attendees for such an initiative, highlighting the importance of a committed community of experts working together to drive significant advancements in understanding and mitigating natural hazard risks.


Exploring Future Directions for Disaster Scenarios

Another key session, "Can ‘Seeing’ the Future Help us Change it?", organised by GeoHazards International and featuring GEM’s Helen Crowley, underscored the power of disaster scenarios. The session demonstrated how co-producing scenarios with stakeholders can help connect technical understanding of risk with locally sustainable actions, including new policies, mitigation, and preparedness.

Key takeaways included the importance of effective co-creation with communities, leveraging recent research insights, and transforming scenarios into practical and actionable mitigation strategies.

First Day Success and Continued Engagement

On the first day of UR24, GEM Secretary General Helen Crowley played a key role in two significant sessions: the plenary session "Richter Resilience: Advancing Seismic Protection Worldwide" and "Symphony of Tradition and Innovation: Orchestrating Global Resilience in Diverse Communities", organised by ImageCat. Both sessions addressed crucial aspects of earthquake resilience, combining tradition with modern advancements to foster a resilient future.

Watch Helen’s plenary presentation below.

Engagement at the Exhibition Booth

Throughout the forum, GEM maintained a strong presence at booth S7, where attendees could engage with GEM's Product Manager, Andres Abarca, and earthquake experts, including Marco Pagani, Head of Seismic Hazards. The booth showcased GEM’s latest tools and methodologies for earthquake hazard and risk assessment, providing valuable insights into driving global earthquake preparedness and resilience.

From left: Marco Pagani, Helen Crowley, Andres Abarca and John Schneider

UR24 has underscored GEM's commitment to global collaboration and innovation in geohazards risk assessment. Through its active participation and leadership, GEM continues to pave the way for a more resilient future against seismic threats.


For updated information on GEM's activities at UR24 - photos, available videos, and other resources - visit the GEM UR24 event page or contact GEM directly:

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