Since 2015, our director, Katja Samuel, has led an innovative, globally unique project examining what disaster risk reduction (DRR) means in the context of international law. This has been a largely under-researched area to date, but is one of growing global and strategic importance, in particular within the context of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-30, the global roadmap for preventing disasters and for mitigating their impacts. This exhorts the necessity of developing more innovative, truly multi-dimensional, cross-sectoral and, where appropriate, multi-hazard approaches in response to an increasingly complex landscape of risks, hazards and threats.
A significant symposium on DRR and International Law was held at the University of Reading in summer 2017 which attracted approximately 50 participants, drawn from many regions of the world, legal and non-legal disciplines, governmental, intergovernmental, private sector, NGO and academic. This acted as the springboard for developing The Cambridge Handbook on DRR and International Law (published by Cambridge University Press) which is due to be published in February 2019 and for which Katja is the lead editor and project manager (with co-editors Marie Aronsson-Storrier and Kirsten Nakjavani Bookmiller).
Examining many DRR issues from a multitude of different legal regimes, the book was contributed to by 31 authors drawn from many different geographical regions and areas of expertise. In addition to the introduction, Katja also co-authored two chapters on under-researched issues: “Disaster Risk Reduction, Early Warning Systems, and Global Health: Critiquing the Current System-Based Approach”; and “Improving Disaster Risk Mitigation: Towards a ‘Multi-Hazard’ Approach to Terrorism”. Further details are available in this flyer.