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International Forum on Natural Disasters and Building and Construction Safety

International Forum on Natural Disasters and Building and Construction Safety

16 - 17 November 2010
Baku Azerbaijan

Baku, Azerbaijan

International Forum on Natural Disasters and Building and Construction Safety
in Baku, Azerbaijan, 16-17 November 2010

Workshop photos (New)

Key Information

Baku, Azerbaijan

16-17 November 2010

Representatives from 56 member States of UNECE are invited to attend the seminar, including:


  • policy makers;
  • emergency authorities;
  • building experts;
  • urban planners;
  • international organizations dealing with natural disasters and building safety;
  • non-governmental organizations;
  • private sector

     ENG     RUS

Session outline  

Across the UNECE region, people and the places where they live, are at risk. Natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes or flooding cause material devastation and human casualties. Human casualties and damage to the housing stock can be avoided if an effective system of disaster prevention is created that includes provisions for building safety. National building codes in the region should conform to the highest standards, but more importantly, be enforced, in order to prevent these disasters.

The UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management has decided to address this problem and organize a workshop on building safety/disaster preparedness in Baku, Azerbaijan. The workshop is planned to take place on 16-17 November 2010.

"The development, implementation and enforcement of adequate building codes in disaster prone areas is crucial to enchance public safety."
Marco Keiner, Director - UNECE Environment, Housing and Land Management Division


Risk for natural disasters is widespread throughout the ECE region. It affects countries in all sub-regions, from North America over Western, Southern and South-Eastern Europe to Central Asia. Specific regional risks vary by geography and geology. Each country must evaluate their situation, studying the potential for disaster and implementing sound land-use planning and building codes accordingly.

Each settlement has its own geological, geographical and cultural specificities. However, there are similarities and solutions that can be evaluated and adjusted for each particular situation. It is important to learn as much as possible from each other, as very few cities or even national governments have experience with more than one 50 or 100-year disaster event.

Sub-regions share important characteristics in building types, income levels, geography and geology. It is important, that national Governments involve their municipal governments in the learning process, or in sharing their experience, as much of the responsibility for implementation and enforcement of policy changes will fall to them. The workshop will look at a number of case studies that highlight the risks involved, and the importance of being proactive in assessing danger, bearing in mind the specificities of each country. In this context, the value of improved building codes, improved land use planning, and programmes to retrofit buildings becomes clear.

Prevention for disasters is a complex process in which building safety and land management play a crucial role. The workshop will address the two dimensions of building safety in relation to natural disasters: prevention and post-disaster reconstruction.


International Forum on Natural Disasters and Building and Construction Safety
in Baku, Azerbaijan, 16-17 November 2010
From left: Ms. Sarah Mack, President, Tierra Resources LLC, USA, Mr. Graham Saunders, Head of Shelter & Settlements Department, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Mr. Serhii Yampolskyi, Secretary to the UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management, Mr. Marco Keiner, Director of the UNECE Environment, Housing and Land Management Division and Mr. Elkhan Asadov, Deputy Head of the Construction Control Agency of Azerbaijan  
  From left: Dr. Pande Lazarevski, the Chair of the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction, Dr. Azer Khanlarov, The Ministry of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan and Mr. Jakob Krupka, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe