UN-SPIDER at ENHANS International Workshop “Extreme Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk in Africa”

The Extreme Natural Hazards And Societal Implications (ENHANS) International Workshop on Extreme Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk in Africa was held in Pretoria, South Africa, from 17 to 20 January 2011. The Workshop was hosted by the Aon Benfield Natural Hazard Centre, University of Pretoria, and sponsored by ENHANS/International Council for Science (ICSU), Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Important goals of the ENHANS project are to improve the understanding of critical phenomena associated with extreme natural events and to analyze impacts of the natural hazards on sustainable development of society. Furthermore the project aims at establishing links and networks with the international organizations involved in research on extreme natural hazards and their societal implications by setting up a consortium of experts of ICSU Unions and several major intergovernmental and multi-national organizations. The Pretoria Workshop provided fruitful opportunities to the research community of the African countries and international experts, including representatives of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), UNESCO/Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), to discuss and analyze major topics related to extreme natural events and disaster risk, and to establish links and networks between African experts in natural hazards and risk analysis with the relevant international organizations. UN-SPIDER supported the workshop programme committee, and Senior Expert Robert Backhaus gave an invited lecture on the UN-SPIDER Programme, highlighting the Programme’s activities in Africa. As an outcome of the final discussion, a working group was established and mandated to prepare a formal recommendations document. For further information: ENHANS, http://www.technoscene.co.za/hazardsws/