What is this Summer University about?

Locally-based but internationally supported research, tertiary education and training about the thorough understanding and assessment of hazard and risks and of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is of utmost importance in this mountainous part of the world. Applied research of local conditions and developments, university and practical education as well as in-depth training of a broader community within mountain risk management will stimulate future mitigation concepts facing the challenges of climate and socioeconomic changes.

The 2015 debris flow events in Barsem (outside of Khorog) will serve as excellent training ground for this first edition of the summer university. Issues of magnitude and probability of hazards and risks, of effects of climate change and of peoples understanding and interpretation of mountain hazards will constitute a focus of this Summer University.

 Learning objectives

Participants from universities as well as from government and non-government agencies will work on the assessment and management of risks from mountain hazards. Combining regional practitioner’s experience and international knowledge, the workshop will offer both scientific and practical skills in disaster risk reduction.

After the Summer University, the participants:

  • will understand the fundamental frameworks and concepts of DRR and resilience building (hazard, risk, vulnerability, resilience).
  • are able to identify and analyse flood, flash flood, debris flow and other prevailing hazards in a high-mountain environment (magnitude and probability considerations), assess causes for the initiation of these processes (particularly in light of climate change) and analyse multi-hazard conditions.
  • know how to analyse risks in a semi-quantitative and quantitative manner
  • are aware of and can consider people’s perception of risks and their willingness to invest in increased resilience
  • are able to develop risk reduction concepts based on changing natural and socio-economic conditions
  • are familiar with community and ecosystem-centered DRR approaches and are aware of the potential and limitations of Climate Chance Adaptation (CCA) strategies for DRR (e.g. Ecosystem-based Adaptation)

Lectures and class-room exercises will be complemented with sufficient field exposure and practical work. Khorog and its surroundings offer abundant opportunities to study issues related to hazards and risks.