The 3rd Japan-Switzerland Sediment Disaster Risk Management Technology Conference
The 3rd Japan-Switzerland Sediment Disaster Risk Management Technology Conference was held for two days of June 15 and 18, 2021.
This conference was originally scheduled to be held in Switzerland in May 2020. However, due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, it was postponed for 1 year and held this year in the form of a WEB conference. Participating organizations from Japan were the Sabo (Erosion and Sediment Control) Department of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the Sabo Department of National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management of MLIT, the Erosion and Sediment Control Research Group of Public Works Research Institute, the University of Tsukuba and Mie University, and those from Switzerland were Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Swiss Federal Institute for Forestry, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) and the University of Geneva.
In the keynote speech, Mr. Imai, Director-General of the Sabo Department of MLIT explained preparations for intensifying sediment disasters due to climate change, maintenance and management of erosion and sediment control facilities, and various initiatives based on the Sediment Disasters Prevention Act. Mr. Josef EBERLI, Head of Hazard Prevention Division of FOEN explained that they are taking comprehensive measures against disasters due to climate change, including not only sediment disasters but also floods, inundation and forest fires, and raised issues about the assumption of scenarios for giving shape to measures against climate change and how to consider uncertainty.
Following the keynote speech, the participants reported their latest efforts for the individual themes common to the two countries: “driftwood countermeasures”, “maintenance and management of erosion and sediment control facilities”, “debris flow detection systems using artificial intelligence”, “bed load observation”, and “sediment disaster countermeasures based on the impacts of climate change”, and subsequently exchanged opinions.
Dr. Dieter RICKENMANN of the WSL, who served as a moderator, commented, as a summary of the conference, that “natural disasters caused by climate change are a global common issue, and we were able to exchange important opinions in this conference,” and “maintenance and management of erosion and sediment control facilities is a common issue for both countries, and we were able to share the importance of financial and efficient maintenance.” The two countries agreed that “both countries will continue discussions on public administration, researches and technologies related to sediment disaster prevention” and that “Switzerland will hold the next conference in 2024.”
Opening address by Mr. EBERLI, Head of Hazard Prevention Division
Keynote speech by Mr. Imai, Director-General of Sabo Department
Dr. Dieter RICKENMANN, WSL
Group photo taken with Swiss participants after signing MoM