Natural hazards menace human life, livelihoods and assets all over the Pamir, Hindu Kush, Tien Shan and Karakoram Mountains. The risks they pose to settlements and infrastructure is not new. However, intensified land use, greater social complexities and higher concentrations of wealth constitute new challenges for Disaster Risk Reduction/Management (DRR/DRM) specialists, emergency managers or land-use planners. Both the immediate as well as the longer-term effects of climate change only further exacerbate such challenges. Mainstreaming the risk of disasters or natural hazards in development planning, promoting preparedness as well as capacities to respond to hazards (risk management) and designing protective measures (risk reduction) all require a clear and multi-faceted understanding of natural hazards, social and economic vulnerabilities, and the range of views that are held by different stakeholders in Central Asian mountain societies about risks and their socio-economic impacts, and about risk reduction.
This first edition of the Summer University on Disaster Risk Management takes place embedded in a development project fostering self-sustained and resilient communities (Creating Opportunities in a Safe Environment – COSE), funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The Summer University is hosted by the University of Central Asia and is organised jointly with the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat as well as the University of Bern, Switzerland.