Disasters have devastating and long lasting societal and economic impacts that are often regional and sometimes global in reach. By nature, disasters usually occur with little or no warning. This element of 'surprise' often overwhelms community and government resources and their ability to respond. The adverse societal, economic and environmental impacts often endure long after the event.
Almost half the world's natural disasters occur within the Asia Pacific region to Australia's immediate north. These disasters tend to concentrate along the geo-tectonic region called the Ring of Fire or the Circum-Pacific Belt. Hundreds of millions of people are affected with economic losses exceeding an estimated US$200 billion annually. Invariably, impoverished communities that have limited economic means and social support to recover are most severely affected. Australia is also increasingly impacted by a range of disasters, given enhanced forecasting, technological and institutional responses.
Activities focussed on the disaster risk theme will encompass a range of areas including the cascading impacts of disasters, public health and disasters, fire and natural hazards, social cohesion and community resilience. Its interactions with energy and climate will be a key area of focus.
Our Institute's research scope encompasses the following themes.