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Understanding Risk Global Forum

With the 30th anniversary of the Great Hanshin Awaji earthquake approaching in 2025, the Understanding Risk Forum 2024 (UR24) will be held in June 2024 in Himeji City, Hyogo prefecture. This forum will bring together Disaster Risk Management (DRM) experts and practitioners worldwide. UR24 will continue the central theme of better understanding risk from natural hazards to enable more effective action in a space to share best practices and foster new knowledge, innovation, and collaboration. In UR24, the best of tradition, history, and culture will blend with innovation, technology, and creativity in a fantastic combination that anticipates a great UR edition.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM) is becoming increasingly important worldwide due to rising exposure to climate change effects and natural hazards like earthquakes, which can severely disrupt economic growth. Japan is particularly exposed to many types of these events, so DRM is a national priority there. In January 1995, Japan’s Hyogo prefecture was struck by the 6.9 magnitude Great Hanshin Awaji earthquake, causing extensive physical and economic damage. This was the first major urban seismic event in modern Japanese history.

Lessons learned from this quake led Japan to further improve its disaster risk management practices across sectors. Recognizing the importance of mainstreaming DRM for resilience, the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) was adopted in 2005 by 168 United Nations member states at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction. After a 10-year implementation period, HFA was succeeded by the Sendai Framework in 2015.

Established in 2010, Understanding Risk (UR) is a global community of more than 20,000 active members in the creation, communication, and use of disaster risk information for resilience. Members from the public sector, NGOs, private sector, academia, and more share knowledge and experience, collaborate and discuss innovations in assessing and reducing risks.

Since the first UR conference at the World Bank headquarters, in Washington, DC, the biennial global forum has been held in different locations around the world, including London, Venice, Mexico City, Singapore, and Florianopolis, Brazil, with focused regional events nearly every year.