In 2005, the total number of disasters increased by 18% compared to the previous year. While the number of deaths associated with disasters has declined in recent years, the economic losses have been increasing steadily. In the Asia Pacific region, between 1994 and 2003, there were 1,143 natural disasters (earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, droughts/famines, extreme temperatures, floods, forests fires, and windstorms).

At the same time, there has been a growth in techniques and tools designed to help prepare for and cope with disasters which include risk mapping, remote sensing, earth observation, hazard monitoring and early warning systems.

This semester-based course on Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance was developed by the University of Hawai’i and implemented in collaboration with a network of universities in the Asia Pacific region. The topics covered include:

What is a disaster?
Who is responsible for disaster management?
Disasters, vulnerability and social resilience
Cultures of Disaster and Cultures of Coping
Earthquakes and Tsunamis – their science and technology for mitigation
Climate Hazards, Forecast Warnings and Response Systems
Slow-onset Disasters
Community Based Disaster Management
Hazard Mitigation
Global Observing Systems
Public Awareness and Disaster Management

Each partner university integrates the course into their existing teaching programmes and in many instances offers credits to the students taking the course. A certificate of completion is awarded to students who successfully complete the course.

Designed for students in the tertiary education (graduate and post-graduate) and for professionals and practitioners.

Design and Technology
The course is implemented real-time over video-conferencing with 15 sessions, each lasting 2.5 hours. Hosted on the Moodle Learning Management System maintained by the University of Hawai’i.

Course Coordinator
University of Hawai’i

Copyright License
Copyright is owned by the individual lecturers. Some Rights Reserved.

Project Title
Asia Pacific Initiative

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