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AIR, ISC Sustain Partnership on International Program Office for Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Program

Dec 01, 2023

In a virtual signing ceremony held on November 29, 2023, Prof. WU Yirong, the Director-General of the Aerospace Information Research Institute (AIR) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Salvatore Aricò, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Science Council (ISC), marking the commencement of International Program Office (IPO) for the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) Program which has stepped into the second phase.

Under the agreement, both parties have reached consensus on critical aspects such as operation, management, and science resources for IRDR. Over the next decade, the collaboration aims to harness the huge potential of the IRDR as an interdisciplinary international scientific program. 

The signing follows the landmark five-party cooperation agreement in May of this year between the ISC, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), CAS, and AIR. This agreement signaled the beginning of a new phase for IRDR, dedicated to pursuing global risk-informed sustainable development. 

Prof. Wu Yirong expressed sincere thanks for the support of ISC, citing the success of AIR in hosting the IPO during the first phase of IRDR, which has served as the Secretariat of the Programme to facilitate the formation of science and policy consensus at national, regional, and global levels. 

He highlighted that AIR has accumulated a wealth of scientific data and research results in the field, which will provide essential support for the operation and development of IRDR during its second phase. Wu believed that with joint efforts, IRDR will play a greater role in global disaster risk reduction.  

Salvatore Aricò affirmed the significant role of IPO in coordinating the program, saying that IRDR has benefited from human and administrative support of AIR for the operation of IPO. He concluded that the signing of MOU is not purely symbolic, but really a formalization and manifestation of concrete and long-standing cooperation. 

In 2009, China successfully bid for the IPO for IRDR, and in 2010, the IPO, hosted by AIR was officially launched in Beijing, becoming the first international office of this type hosted in Asia.

Thanks to over a decade of development, IRDR has evolved into a core hub for global disaster risk research. The second phase of IRDR is expected to lead the implementation of the new global disaster reduction agenda, advancing global governance of disaster risk, and accelerating the formation of a new research paradigm within the framework for global science in support of risk-informed sustainable development and planetary health. 

 A snapshot of the MOU signing ceremony. (Image by AIR)