The Disaster Risk Reduction Conference

October 12-13, 2017, Warsaw, Poland


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: José Manuel Palma-Oliveira

Professor of Environmental Psychology and Risk Perception and Management – University of Lisbon, Portugal

Professor of the University of Lisbon is past-president of SRA- Europe; Fellow since 2012, and 2016’s recipient of the Society of Risk Analysis Presidential Merit Award “for his humanitarian and scientific contributions … a distinguished educator and mentor to international students and a leading member of Society in thought and action”.  Also is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar of University of Virginia, Dept of Systems and Information Engineering. He made significant contributions to environmental and risk policy in Portugal and in the EU. He was the President of Quercus, the most active environmental NGO in Southern Europe. He was President of the Board of the Foundation for the Protection of the Salinas (wetlands) Samouco between 2001 and 2008, and a Board member of the European Federation of Transport and Environment (Brussels–EU advocacy group) from 1997 to 2010. Invited expert in EU policy working groups (air quality, noise). He works currently as a consultant in Portugal, Tunisia and Brazil within conflicts with local communities and/or governments over some type of projects. His unique approach to risk communication is based in an attempt of constructing a shared knowledge base and grounded of this profound knowledge of the logic and the pay-off perceived by the different groups at the different decision levels. He works actively in resilience in EU projects and just edited a book with Igor Linkov about the theme (Resilience and Risk: Methods and Application in Environment, Cyber and Social Domains. Springer).

TOPIC: Predicting Community Resilience in a Changing climate and in a Disaster Prone World

José Manuel Palma-Oliveira, University of Lisbon

It will presented data that shows that, particularly since the systematic use of agricultural practices (around 6000BC), not only there is a radical change of the ecosystems throughout the globe, but essentially a change in the human societies and their organization. Until now the consequences of the societal changes (i.e., higher chronic stress, total absence of perceived control in a high percentage of the population, power imbalances between genders, etc.) are underestimated. We will present research that shows the negative consequences those changes for human health and well being, particularly when associated with pollution, urban life, and badly designed “places”.

This combined alteration where of particular –negative- importance in moments where climate change is a major threat. It will be predicted that communities’ resilience depends upon two main factors: a) the degree by witch the ecosystem is dependent of the Human action and b) the degree by witch stress and inequality abound. The consequences of that context in predicting resilience to disaster (less time and effort to recover) will be stressed and some avenues for action will be highlighted.

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