Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 1 Number 1 (2009)

doi: 10.3850/S17939240200900012X

Editorial Note:
Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management

Rajib Shaw1 and R. R. Krishnamurthy2
1Graduate School of Global Environment Studies,
Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
2Department of Applied Geology, University of Madras,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India


Disaster impacts are increasing, and disasters are becoming more complex due to different factors, including climate uncertainties. Traditional disaster risk reduction approach is under pressure. We need to be more proactive in risk reduction and need to find innovative approaches.We can see that the number of catastrophic disasters and their consequences have been increasing in spite of the advancement of technologies. For example, Japan is one of the leading countries in Disaster Risk Reduction, but in the 1995 Kobe Earthquake (The Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake) more than 6400 people were killed.Most of the damages of this earthquake were concentrated in the non-engineered constructions, old wooden houses. We have engineering knowledge to upgrade these housing on seismic viewpoint, but we need social process to transfer that knowledge to practices. The Kobe earthquake experience pointed out the importance of multidisciplinary research.

2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami had a lead-time more than two and half hours, but the early warning information could not reach the people and communities in most affected countries. Therefore, there is a need for educational knowledge, research and practice in DRR. How can we bring the academic knowledge beyond the university boundaries?

Many school buildings were collapsed in the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake in Pakistan and India, as well as in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China. Mainstreaming of DRR into different sectors, especially in the education sector is extremely important. How can we implement the polices focusing on the safety schools?

In 2006 Sidr Cyclone in Bangladesh, the death tolls were less than expected. It is argued that it is because of the advancement of the early warning systems in Bangladesh during the last three decades. However, the number of people killed by the cyclone was more than 5000. Is that a small number?

In the case of the 2008 Nargis Cyclone, Myanmar, we had the early warning information in advance. However, the information could not be sent to the people and community, and people could not be evacuated out of the cyclone areas. How can we bridge the gap between knowledge and practice?

These examples show that we need not only the educational product or knowledge tools in DRR but also its implementation. How can we outreach the educational products for actual implementation? Synergy between research, education and implementation is very important in this regard.

Asian University Network of Environment and Disaster Management (AUEDM) is established to address some of these questions. The key emphasis areas of AUEDM are: to focus on higher education in environment and disaster management, and to enhance field based action research. AUEDM values the interactions with the civil society, government and other stakeholders, and will seek multi-stakeholder cooperation to enhance education, research and implementation linkages.

As a vehicle to share this learning, Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM) aims to focus on new and frontier disciplines of field based education and research. It emphasizes on co-learning and co-implementation. As academicians and researcher, "impact factor" of the journal is considered to be important. The "impact" in case of AJEDM needs to be linked to implementation, and higher impact factor means higher degree of collaboration among different stakeholders.We encourage practitioners and professionals in the field of environment and disaster risk reduction to contribute to this journal. We also encourage submission of joint papers by the academicians and field practitioners.

Publication of the journal is a tiny step to address enormous problem of environment and disaster risk reduction.Hope,with our joint collaborative efforts, we will be able to develop sustainable mechanisms to address these issues in the Asian region. Asia needs unity among diversity.

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