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Academics take disaster management and flood resilience knowledge overseas

A group of people attending a Disaster Management event group shot

Representatives from the University of Wolverhampton recently took part in a significant event in the Dominican Republic which focused on disaster management and resilience against floods. 

The ‘Disaster Management for Floods and Resilience in Santo Domingo’ event brought together experts, public servants, and concerned citizens with the aim of learning about tackling flood challenges and strengthening the resilience of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. 

During the event, four international researchers and lecturers from the University of Wolverhampton delivered insightful presentations on flood resilience including Professor David Proverbs, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, who gave the keynote speech on Mainstreaming the Uptake of Low-Cost Flood Resilience Measures in UK Homes: Lessons for the Dominican Republic. 

Professor Chaminda Pathirage, Associate Head of the School of Architecture and Built Environment, presented on Community Disaster Resilience: Key Vulnerabilities.  Dr Alaa Hamood, Principal Lecturer and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Dr Julia Zakharova, Professor of Hydraulic Engineering at the University talked about Flood Risk Mitigation from the UK Perspective. 

Attendees had the opportunity to engage in talks, practical workshops, and networking activities to acquire key knowledge for safeguarding Santo Domingo from natural disasters.  

The event took place at the facilities of the Ibero-American University (UNIBE), with the support of the Dominican Embassy in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the University of Wolverhampton and active participation from distinguished academic and governmental institutions. 

Professor David Proverbs, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The event aimed to facilitate dialogue amongst academics, government authorities, and society at large, to foster new and improved solutions and opportunities focused on urban resilience. It also identified areas for collaboration and support among different stakeholders, integrating a risk management and resilience approach to expedite mitigation and adaptation actions to climate change effects in cities and territories.” 

Dr Camilo Vincent of UNIBE spoke about the climate emergency and the pivotal role universities play in this regard. She said: "Firstly, it is our responsibility to educate what is known as a green citizenship, so that our university community possesses the knowledge, values, and capacity to act in favour of the environment. We must train new professionals with the necessary competencies to contribute, from their respective fields, to the promotion of renewable energy, circular economy, sustainable agriculture, and resilience to climate disasters. 

“In relation to research we need to understand our relationship with the environment, the impact of human activity on the environment, and the possible solutions that can be implemented to mitigate our negative impact. 

“The valuable contributions from the University of Wolverhampton academics further enriched the event, providing key insights into flood resilience measures and strategies from the UK perspective, and fostering knowledge exchange among the participants. 

“The event marks an essential step towards creating a more resilient Santo Domingo and addresses the critical importance of collaboration between academia, government institutions, and the public in building a safer and sustainable future for the city and its inhabitants.” 

Attendees included representatives from the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, and Technology (MESCyT); the Ministry of Education (MINERD); the Ministry of Environment (MA); the National District Municipality (ADN); the National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism (CNCCMDL); the Ministry of Public Works and Communications (MOPC). 

Find out more about the University's research in the University’s eZene, Research Matters - showcasing our research successes and news from the sector. 


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