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Sustainable Society

Research Disaster Resilience

Disaster Resilience

Disasters are events that disrupt societies and threaten their future prosperity. They cause widespread and serious damage to people, communities and the physical environment they live in. How damaging these events are depends on the strength of the event (for instance earthquakes) but the level of risk awareness and preparedness of a society plays a pivotal role in mitigating these effects, both in the short and the long run. Therefore, developing sufficient Disaster Resilience is a fundamental need of societies with high future welfare.

On a global level, this becomes a more and more pressing issue over time. The effects of human activities reaches Planetary Boundaries and make societies vulnerable all over the world. Climate change demands climate adaptation to mitigate its growing effects. The corona-virus results from an increasing intensive relation of humanity with its environment and affect our lives deeply and globally. And the Beirut Blast on August 4, 2020, illustrates the enormous size of ‘industrial’ accidents. Our university hosts a growing group of experts that work on disaster resilience from a variety of perspectives: psychology, sociology, international relations and humanitarian aid and cultural geography.

Our academic expertise is complemented by our own experiences and by relationship with local stakeholders. Our region is subject to man-induced earthquakes as result of long-term gas extraction. Although earthquakes are not very strong, there are many and they continue over the years. The damaging effects are multidimensional and branch out into the physical and human fabric of our community. The damage to properties is substantial and ongoing. The fears and frustrations of the residents are real and have mental and health consequences. The institutional and political struggle to mitigate the effects stretched over the years turned out to be another source of damage to the community showing how many facets resilience and sustainability have.

Contact
For more information about Disaster Resilience please contact dr. Kees van Veen: k.van.veen@rug.nl

Last modified:06 April 2021 12.34 p.m.
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