Disaster Risk Management (DRM) is becoming increasingly important worldwide due to rising exposure to climate change effects and natural hazards like earthquakes, which can severely disrupt economic growth. Japan is particularly exposed to many types of natural hazards, so DRM is a national priority there. For instance, in January 1995, Japan's Hyogo prefecture was struck by the 6.9 magnitude Great Hanshin Awaji earthquake, causing extensive physical and economic damage. This was the first major urban seismic event in modern Japanese history.
Lessons learned from this quake led Japan to further improve its DRM practices across sectors. Recognizing the importance of mainstreaming DRM for resilience, the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) was adopted in 2005 by 168 United Nations member states at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction. After a 10-year implementation period, HFA was succeeded by the Sendai Framework in 2015.
With the 30th anniversary of the Great Hanshin Awaji earthquake approaching in 2025, the 2024 Understanding Risk Forum (UR24) will be held in June 2024 in Himeji city, Hyogo prefecture. This forum will bring together DRM experts and practitioners from around the world to continue discussions on the central theme of better understanding risk from natural hazards to enable more effective action. Best practices will be shared and new knowledge, innovation, and collaboration will be fostered. This event will showcase the best of Japan’s traditions, history and culture, blended with innovation, technology, and creativity. These elements make for an exceptional UR event.
Established in 2010, Understanding Risk (UR) is a global community of around 20,000 members, active in the creation, communication, and use of disaster risk information for resilience. Members from the public sector, NGOs, private sector, academia, and more share knowledge and experience, collaborate, and discuss innovations in assessing and reducing risks.
Since the first UR conference in Washington DC at the World Bank headquarters, the biennial global forum has been held in locations including London, Venice, Mexico City, Singapore, and Florianopolis, Brazil, with focused regional events nearly every year. Details of past events can be found here.