Building upon presentations given during the conference on ‘Disaster Risk Reduction for Natural Hazards: Putting Research into Practice’, held at University College London in November 2009, the articles collected in this book examine how natural hazards research is accessed and used by practitioners and decision-makers, and conversely, how policy and practice inform research.

As with the conference, this book successfully brings together views from humanitarian and development agencies, academia, business, government and funding bodies. It is rare to engage such a wide range of sectors in a discussion relating to the issues of disaster risk reduction from a natural hazards perspective, and the book captures this interaction and the resultant exchange of ideas, thus providing an insight into how stakeholders respectively undertake or engage with natural hazards research. Collectively, the articles highlight the need for greater dialogue, understanding and collaboration between all these sectors if research is to be made relevant and generate significant impact on risk reduction policy and practice. There is an urgent requirement to better understand the respective needs, ways of working, project timescales and funding mechanisms for disaster risk reduction, as well as the challenges posed by institutional and organizational structures and functions. These issues must be overcome to ensure that ultimately, and most significantly, discussions turn into positive practical actions so that research on natural hazards is relevant and applicable. The book represents a step in that journey.

This book was published as a special issue of Environmental Hazards.

chapter |5 pages

Conference summary

Disaster risk reduction for natural hazards: Putting research into practice