ADB Seminar, Philippines

Dr Anthony Green, Managing Director of MMA, and Jeremy Benn, Executive Chairman and co-founder of JBA Group, spoke in a 'Blue Bag Seminar' on Wednesday, 22nd January.

Taking place at the Asian Development Bank in Manila, the seminar discussed the essential requirement of fast mapping of flood risk and how we can get it, enabling more detailed, better real-time response and more realism. They also discussed how climate, hydrology and hydrodynamics and be linked to assess real-world impact, and explored a new approach to capacity building.

Conventional studies to generate flood risk maps for large rivers or whole countries can take years in preparation, results are static and printed in reports but are rarely seen by people on the ground. The speakers outlined how this is changing with technology, not only to bring more detail but also to make knowledge available to stakeholders and to incorporate their knowledge bridging the gap between high level technocrats and communities.

Recent extreme weather events have emphasised how difficult it is to predict the changing climate and adaptable systems are needed, including real time simulation systems for use in flood warning and management centres. The seminar drew on experiences in Europe and the USA where JBA Consulting has been a key innovator in providing publicly available mapping. It demonstrated how these innovations could be applied in the Asia Pacific region to produce nationwide mapping in weeks, the mapping of vulnerability, and also real-time flood mapping.