Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development Education Network in Asia

Project objective
This project aims to establish a working group on Higher Education Institutions on Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development under the ProSPER.Net umbrella. Its aim is to form a robust regional network with the collective capacity to lead initiatives that protect society from shocks to physical, socio-cultural, politico-economic and natural systems and hence enhance the potential for sustainable development of the region. The working group intends to pursue curriculum reform to integrate the sustainability agenda into postgraduate courses, curricula and programmes, along with the development of a multidisciplinary curriculum mapping tool focussing on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Asian region is recognised as critically important for global sustainability due to its rapid growth and vulnerability to environmental degradation, social disparities, human rights violations and geo-climatic effects. Whilst hazards and disasters can at times be seen as unexpected, external events, they can also be viewed as outcomes emerging from interactions between people and their environment.

Within the region there is a lack of awareness and education on disaster prevention and mitigation within all levels of the community, from individuals to the national level. As such, the importance of capacity development, education and regional synergy for natural disaster resilience and sustainable development in addressing this cannot be underestimated. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can potentially play an important role in imparting the sustainability education paradigm upon society and in integrating the notion into educational programmes and systems. Further to this, building academic alliances for promoting sustainability in postgraduate education and research and to share resources and knowledge will certainly enhance regional and global Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and sustainable development efforts.

Project leader
Asian Institute of Technology

Project members
Miyagi University of Education
Keio University
Universiti Sains Malaysia

Project Policy Briefs

Higher Education Institution Network in Disaster Resilience – A Critical Game Changer in Asia
by Indrajit Pala*, Rajib Shawb, Takashi Odac, Sangam Shresthad, Munirah Ghazalie, Tomonori Ichinosef, Mohammad Zohir Ahmad Shaarie, Nooraida Yakobe

a Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation and Management, Asian Institute of Technology, THAILAND
b Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University, JAPAN
c Center for Disaster Education & Future Design, Miyagi University of Education, JAPAN
d Water Engineering and Management, Asian Institute of Technology, THAILAND
e Regional Centre of Expertise, Universiti Sains Malaysia, MALAYSIA
f Research Institution for Capacity Development of Education, Miyagi University of Education, JAPAN
*Corresponding author: indrajit-pal@ait.ac.th

Executive Summary
A well-updated education will help the country as well as the region to have successful learners and well-informed citizens who can build resilience in society. Quality education not only helps to bring economic prosperity in the region, but it also improves individual as well as the institutional caption on climate change mitigation, adaptation and impact reduction. Education is central to reorient efforts towards a new path for development with sustainability. It is also possible to achieve other SDG goals to its fullest extent through education. Education can also be a roadmap to support the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030. It is also necessary to develop new products, services as well as promote further development and dissemination of standard practices and operational guidance to enhance disaster preparedness. Policy introduction and implementation at various levels through multidisciplinary educational curriculum and incorporation of disaster risk knowledge in formal and non-formal education can strengthen the capacity at all levels (regional, National and local) to understand disaster risk and also help for effective risk communications. Multi-institution engagements and multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches will not only enhance global partnership, but it will also help to mobilize shared knowledge, technology and financial resources towards sustainable development goals.

Read the full project policy brief here.