Call for Input: International Science Council Global Risk Agenda
Global News
article written by MRI
14.04.21 | 12:04

The International Science Council (ISC) seeks views on the draft Global Risk Agenda. 

The ISC launched an online survey for the development of a global science agenda on risk. The MRI encourages the mountain research community to reflect on and share mountain-relevant questions for this risk agenda, and contribute to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR)

The survey will close on 5 May 2021.

The emerging global risk landscape of a varying pandemic, climate change, social and financial crises, inequalities and vulnerabilities, pose new challenges for disaster risk reduction (DRR). The trend is for more severe and complex risks with cascading and systemic impacts. Rapid political, social and technological developments in addition to climate change are also contributing to this shifting risk landscape.

In this context, the ISC and UNDRR, with support from the Scientific Committee of Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR), have set up a process to develop a global Agenda for risk science, that is informed and shaped by multiple perspectives to guide international research, scientific collaboration and funding to strengthen the impact of science on risk management and risk reduction.

As part of the Agenda development process, the ISC and UNDRR have launched a consultation process with the science community and other stakeholders to identify key directions for risk science in the next decade. Co-chair of the process, Professor John Handmer (RMIT, Australia) explained:

“Our ambition for this agenda is to see disaster risk reduction as a broad concept working collaboratively across sectors, disciplines and sources of knowledge – to reduce vulnerabilities and all types of risks. By focusing the combined knowledge of science and other sources with the experience of practice, we should be able to start to resolve the seemingly intractable problems confronting humanity and our planet.”

Professor John Handmer

Share your views

The Agenda development process aims to engage with the DRR community but also a much wider range of actors, cognizant of the broadened scope of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and related risk and resilience discussions under the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and other global agreements.

The Risk Agenda currently proposes the research ‘priority areas’ outlined in Box 1, as crosscutting themes to guide research on global risk over the next decade and beyond.

Box 1: Draft Science Agenda themes
1. Understanding risk creation and perpetuation: systemic, cascading and complex risks
2. Addressing inequalities, injustices and marginalization
3. Enable transformative governance and action to reduce risk
4. Measurement to help drive progress
5. Understanding the implications of new thinking on hazards
6. Harness technologies, innovations, data and knowledge for risk reduction
7. Foster multi-stakeholder collaboration for solutions to risk challenges
8. Support regional and national science and knowledge for policy and action

As a member or partner of the ISC, you have valuable insights into how this broadened scope can be addressed, and the ISC would value receiving your views on the draft agenda document.

As Professor Coleen Vogel (WITs University, South Africa) highlights:

“As we make our way through the COVID pandemic the structural drivers that shape vulnerabilities remain ever more pressing. The ‘persistent’ drivers of risk surface repeatedly under the glare of the pandemic. We really do need to urgently get to the ‘heart of the matter’, mobilizing our resources for personal, political and structural transformations. This collective effort is now, more than ever, needed with science working with society to better understood complex, risk landscapes and design appropriate interventions”.

The survey aims to collect feedback and inputs on the Draft Science Agenda. It is therefore essential that survey respondents read the draft before answering the questions. The survey is composed of 10 open questions. The survey will close on 5 May 2021.

Download the Draft Science Agenda


The development of the Agenda is led by Prof. John Handmer (Emeritus Professor, RMIT University, Australia and member of the scientific committee of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk program), Prof. Coleen Vogel (Distinguished Professor, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa) and Dr. Ben Payne (Lead Scientific Officer, Risk Research-Agenda Development Group and researcher, Joint Centre for Disaster Research, Massey University, New Zealand), and a core group of experts.

This article was provided by the ISC. View the original article on the ISC website. 

Cover image by Magyar