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Internet virtual conference on

From 26 August to the end of' October 1966 as an innovative component of its strategy of dissemination. promotion and exchange of experiences, the IDNDR Secretariat its Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and Peruvian NGO QuipuNet have launched an Internet Virtual Conference on Solutions for Cities at Risk. The objective is to hold a ''conference" and exchange of ideas at the international level while cutting back dramatically on the Costs of participation.

In order to participate. all you need is a willingness to enter cyberspace. a computer a modem an Internet account and a normal telephone line. (If you have any technical questions. contact your local universities or the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Focal Point on Disasters) Our goal ix to promote communication and information exchange among disaster experts of Latin America and the Caribbean by means of the worlds largest computer network.

Why Participate?

The IDNDR Internet Conference on Solution to Cities at Risk is a forum for debate where technicians. professionals and communities around the world can exchange experiences Participants will have the opportunity to consult experts about disaster mitigation issues All conference participants will he able to present comments or position papers. By September, 340 participants had signed on.


The emphasis of the conference is on exchanging practical solutions that city authorities and concerned citizens can adapt to their own local needs The conference aims to:

· Encourage urban authorities and community leaders to protect their cities from disasters.

· Gather «success stories» of urban disaster mitigation that can he adapted in various cities around the world.

· Identify policies and «lessons learned» that may he adapted to local circumstances.

· Facilitate networking partnerships and exchanges between all organizations interested in making cities safer from disasters.

Conference proceedings will he published as a «Solutions for Cities at Risk» publication in 1997.

How to Participate

To participate. you need to have access to the Internet.

The conference can he found on the World Wide Web at the following address http//

It you only have e mail you can also participate by subscribing to following mailing list:

To subscribe, send a message to

In your message, write: Subscribe risk "your first name" "your last name" (For example: Subscribe risk Helena Molin).


English is the main language. Guidelines will be available in Spanish and French. Some submissions will be available in Spanish. (If you can assist in translating information. please contact

Steering Committee

Alberto DeIgado, Vice-President, QUIPUNET, Peru (Japan). Natalie Domeisen. IDNDR Secretariat, Switzerland. Helena Molin Vald├ęs, IDNDR Regional Office. Latin America/Caribbean, Costa Rica.

Technical Partners

EPIX at Simon Fraser University, Canada

Natural Hazards Research Center, University of Colorado at Boulder. USA

Pan-American Health Organization

Computer Science Department. San Francisco State University, USA

AGENDA (Topics can be found on the World Wide Web at

Week 1: 26-30 August
Plenary Session

Opening speeches. Recent conference conclusions on the subject of cities at risk. Lessons learned from recent Internet exchanges on disaster mitigation.

Week 2: 2-6 September
Disaster Management Scenarios

What would happen if a major disaster hit your city? «Risk assessments» and «vulnerability assessments» can help determine the potential impact of disasters. Hut do cities take appropriate actions based on the results? Sometimes results are no' communicated in a way that is clear to local authorities. Disaster management scenarios are away to make these results convincing for local authorities.

Week 3: 9-13 September
Case Studies in Community Involvement

A first look at how community groups are involved in reducing the impact of disasters.

Week 4: 16-20 September
Telecommunications and Early Warning

What is the role of telecommunications in disaster mitigation' What successful examples of early warning for urban areas can be adapted to other cites?

Week 5: 23-27 September

Successes and constraints for city emergency planning issues.

Week 6: 30 Sept-3 October
Design, Engineering, Construction, Maintenance

Making buildings and infrastructures safer including homes schools health facilities and other key community buildings.

Week 7: 7-11 October
The Role of Universities

What are universities doing, about urban disaster mitigation? What should they be doing? How can city authorities donors, and NGOs work optimally with local universities?

Week 8: 14-8 October
More on Community Involvement

Examples from participants about successful examples of community involvement.

Week 9: 21-5 October
Environmental Degradation and Urban Risks

Closing Session. Results of local IDNDR Day activities, moderators, conclusions, participants' comments, and last words from organizers.