Mini Special Issue on Disasters and Human Survivability: Preliminary Analysis
Yosuke Alexandre Yamashiki
Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability, Kyoto University
The main goal of the conceptual framework of this mini special issue, which is based on the International Symposium on Human Survivability 2016 (ISHS2016), is to provide a fresh look at the global challenges facing humanity in the areas of energy, water, food, population, disease, etc. The ISHS2016 focused on enhancing resilience to extreme or large-scale disasters that may threaten the well-being of present and future generations. By considering past, present, and future dimensions, we aimed to develop a holistic approach that integrated various research fields.
The symposium brought together scholars from not only the natural and social sciences but also the humanities. The idea behind this was that we need to go beyond the “silo-based” approach, where handling disasters is something left to experts with specialized knowledge. The integration of the knowledge of scholars from different academic fields and backgrounds could provide novel solutions to the problem of how to enhance our resilience to future disasters.
This mini special issue aims to identify key issues in prioritizing several different types of disasters in terms of their time frames and impact frames, with the knowledge that the disasters are of completely different types and that the capacity of each institution and the consciousness of society in terms of each issue are all unequal. From those, we may identify the main characteristics of “low probability and high impact disasters,” as well as the different approaches that are needed. Disasters vary from infectious diseases to space weather, tsunamis, and earthquakes.
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