The fifth global Understanding Risk forum took place from May 14-18, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico at the Palacio de Minería. The annual event organized by The World Bank/GFDRR with support from Coca-Cola FEMSA, World Vision México, and Compromiso Social Citibanamex kicked off with two days of dedicated side events, followed by three days (May 16 – 18) of main conference plenaries and technical sessions.
The 2018 Understanding Risk Forum (UR2018) broadly focused on understanding the risk of disasters in order to better prepare and create more resilient societies. This year, the UR community convened to specifically examine the critical role of risk communication and disruptive technologies in disaster risk management. More than 1000 experts and practitioners from more than 100 countries and 550+ organizations participated in more than 20 technical sessions and close to 60 side events.
GEM’s Vitor Silva, Risk Team coordinator presented in the side event ‘Discussions on DRR Tools and the Exchange of Hazard, Exposure and Vulnerability Data’. His presentation, MEGA or Make Exposure Great Again focused on exposure data developed by GEM as part of the DFID/GFDRR Challenge Fund 2 (creating a data schema and global exposure database to fill the gap between data providers and users of exposure information for disaster risk assessment and reduction). Vitor also highlighted the importance of open exposure data in the pursuit of better global access to risk information.
“Historically exposure data has been collected and developed at large scale by the private sector. GEM in partnership with GFDRR is changing this by breaking the walls between data providers and decision-makers, advocating openness and collaboration, and promoting the sharing of information,” Vitor remarked during the discussion. Vitor also discussed GEM’s worldwide work on earthquake hazard, risk and social vulnerability assessments, and key features of GEM’s online data-sharing tool: the OpenQuake Platform.
The forum also seeks to redefine the goal of risk communication from merely informing to inspiring action: a goal that GEM will actively pursue with the upcoming release of the first Global Earthquake Hazard and Risk Model (GRM2018) on 5th December 2018 in Pavia, Italy.