4 October 2018
The 5-th International Conference on Debris Flows: Disasters, Risk, Forecast and Protection, gathered together about 200 participants from 20 countries from around the world to discuss debris flow hazard and risk reduction. The conference, taking place in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 1-5 October 2018, is organized by the Debris Flows Association and the Technical University of Georgia with the support of UNESCO, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection and Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia.The conference revealed the following topics of discussion: regional analysis of debris flows, presentations on recent debris flows disasters from around the world, as well as risk assessment modelling, preparedness measures and technologies for protection against this natural phenomenon. Special attention was given to debris flows, originating from glacier lake outbursts (GLOFs) due to melting glaciers in Central Asia and Caucasus.
During the first day of the conference UNESCO organized a session on Science to Practice and International collaboration. Experiences from various institutions and regions/countries, covering international cooperation, science, policy and practice, were shared and discussed. During this session, panelists, including from Central Asia region, presented existing mechanisms on debris flows risk reduction, shared knowledge and best practices on ongoing projects and discussed perspectives for better international cooperation, stronger integration of scientific knowledge into practice, as well as education and knowledge exchange.
The session promoted discussion among academia, decision-makers and practitioners to continue the much-needed science-policy-practice dialogue to enhance cooperation, and ultimately aim to ensure that implementation of disaster risk reduction measures from debris flows at all level is sound science and technology based.
UNESCO operates at the interface between natural and social sciences, education, culture and communication, playing a vital role in constructing a global culture of resilient communities. The Organization assists countries to build their capacities for preventing disasters and managing risk, and with their ability to cope with natural hazards.