2021 May., Norway

Name/Title INTERPRAEVENT International Symposium 2021 in Norway
Venue: Country,City Norway
Date May 31 to June 2, 2021
Detail Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the International Research Society INTERPRAEVENT had decided to postpone the congress, which was to be held in Europe following the 2018 congress in Toyama. The congress was initially scheduled to be held in Bergen, Norway in 2020, but it was held online based in the studio in Oslo this year (https://www.interpraevent2020.no/).

Web page of INTERPRAEVENT 2021 Norway

The theme of the congress was “Natural hazards in a changing world” and it was held for three days from May 31 to June 2, 2021. According to the organizer’s announcement, the total number of participants was 487. The participation fee was 375 NOK, which was relatively inexpensive. The overall program is shown in Table 1. The congress began with an amazing video of the recent landslide disaster caused by quick clay in Norway, followed by an address by the Chairman, Mr. Kurt Rohner, an opening speech by the organizer, NVE (the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate), and a keynote speech by a researcher from the host country.

Screen shot of Opening ceremony

There were 39 oral presentations including 4 sessions of “Risk Governance & Policies”, “Data Acquisition & Modelling”, “Hazard & Risk Assessment” and “Hazard & Risk Mitigation”, and students’ presentations. In total, 42 persons gave presentations at the congress. In terms of the breakdown by country of the presenters, in addition to the local Norway, there were oral presentations from European countries such as Switzerland, Austria, France, Italy, Denmark, Germany and Ireland, as well as Canada and Japan. As the oral presentations were given in the order of 10 minutes pre-recorded video, followed by online question-and-answer session, they proceeded relatively smoothly and on time. Furthermore, 115 extended abstracts and 43 proceedings were prepared in total, and 91 poster presentations were exhibited. Instead of the site visits that are normally held during the congress, 11 virtual tours called “Stories” using ArcGIS were provided online this time (Table 2).

For the past Interpraevent congresses, there were a certain number of participants and presentations from Japan, because the headquarters meetings and administrative officers’ meetings were always held with the congress. But this year, there was only one oral presentation by Dr. Shoki Takayama of Ritsumeikan University (currently of Shizuoka Univ.) in the student presentation session. On the other hand, about 20% of the entries in the poster session were from Japan, including exhibitions by construction consultants, research institutes, Sabo-related corporations, MLIT (the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), and various universities. In addition, Toyama Prefecture, the previous host city of Interpraevent, presented an exhibition, which gave me a certain impression that we were able to show our presence as a Pacific Rim region in terms of the international nature of Interpraevent.

At the general meeting held prior to the congress, on February 26, the members of the board of directors were re-elected. From Japan, Dr. Hiroyuki Ono was elected as Vice Chairman, Mr. Atsushi Okamoto was elected as a director, and Dr. Taro Uchida was elected as a member of the Scientific Committee. At the closing ceremony of the Norway Congress, the promotional video of Taiwan, where the next Congress is scheduled in October 2022, was shown, bringing the three-day online Congress to a successful end.

Screen shot of Closing ceremony