ISDR Informs The Americas

The Second International Seminar on Risks Brings International Attention to Falcón
Organized by the University of Falcón

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Photo: ©Fredddy Reyes

More than 300 participants representing universities, government organizations, and civic groups from all over Venezuela attended the Second International Seminar to Involve the Community in Risk Reduction Programs. The seminar was held in Coro and hosted by the University of Falcón (UDEFA) through its Risk Research Center. The activity is part of a series of events related to the work done by the United Nations in the field of risk management.

The Rector of the University of Falcón, Dr. Solano Calles Paz, welcomed the conference participants and presenters. He highlighted the importance of the event as one that brought together the efforts of a broad spectrum of organizations responsible for responding to disasters in Venezuela and the world, and he emphasized the particular work done by the Risk Research Center at this university.

Mr. Juan Murria, Director of the Risk Research Center (CIR- UDEFA), gave a brief summary of how the Center began its operations a little over three years ago and emphasized the importance of disaster risk reduction management. He also mentioned the UN Kobe Declaration (2005) as one of the international instruments that highlight this issue.

This outstanding conference was led by Mr. Tony Gibbs, a laureate of the 2007 UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction for his work in the field of risk reduction. In particular, Gibbs’ presentation focused on “Participation of the Caribbean Community in Natural Disaster Preparedness,” a topic on which Gibbs has developed extensive experience.

Dr. Gustavo Malavé, President of the Foundation for Seismological Research (FUNVISS), also participated as a special guest. He gave a presentation related to tsunamis and the possibility that one could hit the Venezuelan coasts. His presentation also included interesting simulations of earthquakes and other triggering events.

In attendance were various international participants, including María Asunción Avendaño and María del Rayo Campos from Mexico, both with interesting experiences with communities. Their presentations were titled “Reflections on a Risk Area: The Case of the Tornado Corridor in Mexico” and “La Junta de Arroyo Zarco, Puebla: The Configuration of a Disaster,” respectively. In addition, Jorge Luis Chang from Cuba gave two presentations on “Geological Risks in the Communities” and “Geophysical Studies in the Multi-factor Analysis of the Geological Risk of Landslides.”

Alfredo Cilento Sarli, from the Experimental Institute of Construction (IDEC), was among the Venezuelan specialists, as were Alejandro Linazo, Director of the Mérida Risk Management Research Center; Mercedes Marrero, Coordinator of the Commission for Risk Mitigation of the Central University of Venezuela (COMIR); Armando Lares, Deacon of UNEFA’s Post-graduate Programs; and Luzmila Gómez, President of the Chacao Municipal Autonomous Institute for Civil Protection, among others.

The participation of youth from all over the country, especially those who are students of the Disaster Management degree program of the National University of the Armed Forces (UNEFA), was particularly notable in this international seminar organized by the University of Falcón.

In the closing ceremony, the chair of the organizing committee, Mr. Raul Amor, thanked the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and all of the sponsoring institutions and businesses for their support.


For more information please contact:
Freddy Reyes
University of Falcó