‘Culture and Education for Disaster Risk Reduction Seminar’ held at Brac University

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A seminar on “Culture and Education for Disaster Risk Reduction” was held at Brac University, Dhaka, on Thursday (6 July).

It was jointly organised by the Postgraduate Programmes in Disaster Management (PPDM), the School of Architecture and Design of Brac University, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, said a press release.

The seminar aimed to discuss the scope of higher education and advanced research for disaster risk reduction in Bangladesh. State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman attended as the chief guest and  Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General Mami Mizutori and the Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), UN Headquarters, was present as the keynote speaker.

Professor Syed Mahfuzul Aziz, PhD, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Acting Vice-Chancellor of Brac University, Faiyaz Murshid Kazi, Director General (Multilateral Economic Affairs) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, KAM Morshed, Executive Director (Acting) of Brac, Professor Mahboob Rahman, Treasurer, Brac University, David Dowland, Registrar, Brac University, Sue Vize, PhD, Officer-in-Charge of UNESCO, Bangladesh, Gwyn Lewis, Resident Coordinator of United Nations Bangladesh, and Dr Imon Chowdhooree, Assistant Director, PPDM of Brac University, were the other speakers at the event.

The guests were welcomed by Professor Fuad Hassan Mallick, Dean, School of Architecture and Design, Brac University. Brac University students, Deans, members of faculty, high officials from different diplomatic missions, government agencies, the UN, INGO, NGO and academia were present at the event.

The state minister highlighted the success of Bangladesh in disaster management and humanitarian assistance. The ministry is working in line with the UNDRR’s Sendai Framework which focuses on the adoption of measures addressing three dimensions of disaster risks, said State Minister Dr. Md. Enamur Rahman.

“Let us understand risks better, let us ensure risk-informed decisions, let us bring together all disciplines through inclusivity and do not let disasters put Bangladesh back from its country status graduation to a developing country in 2026,” said Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and the Head of UNDRR.

In his speech, Professor Syed Mahfuzul Aziz, PhD, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Acting Vice-Chancellor of Brac University, shared the importance of academic programs and research activities at Brac University in managing disaster risks in the national and global arenas. “Brac University has developed a specialized academic program to accommodate the current disaster-related issues and their diversity, to match the contemporary concepts of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Mainstreaming Disaster Mitigation,” he said.

Dr Imon Chowdhooree, Assistant Director, PPDM of Brac University, expressed his expectation to collaborate with UNDRR to widen the scope of education for disaster risk reduction not only at Brac University but also in other institutes in Bangladesh.

We have also been able to trace how if action is not taken, millions more could suffer as a result by 2050. Therefore, this seminar has been both informative and a call for action. Our speakers have also navigated us throughout the process of change and resilience in Bangladesh as well as ambitions. The importance of knowledge and experience mobilization is pivotal, no doubt,” said by Muhammad Ferdaus, Coordinator, Postgraduate Programs in Disaster Management (PPDM), Brac University.

The PPDM at Brac University offers master’s degrees in diversified fields of disaster management. It allows contributing to the nationally and internationally significant practice-oriented field of disaster management. It offers master’s, diploma, and certificate degrees.

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