In the past decades, geo-disasters triggered by typhoon, landslide, debris flow, earthquake, tsunami, and volcanic eruption frequently occurred in Asia. These disasters caused huge damage of infrastructures and great loss of human life and property. As disasters are serious threats to the human society, the reduction of geo-disasters has become urgent and critical issues for life safety and economy development.
Before the official establishment of the ICGdR, the core members have conducted preparatory activities for 10 years. In 2003 the first symposium was held at Kanazawa University, Japan for the mitigation of geo-disasters in the areas around Japan Sea. This pioneering event drew attention of researchers and engineers from China, Korea and Japan. The second, third and fourth symposia were also held at Kanazawa University. Then, the fifth and sixth symposia were held in Xi’an and Kunming in China respectively. In 2009 the symposium was renamed as “The International Symposium on Mitigation of Geo-disasters in Asia” to include more countries and cover larger area, and the seventh event was held in Harbin, China. The Eighth and Ninth symposia were held in Vladivostok, Russia in 2010, and Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2011, respectively. Gradually, the event became from regional to international. In 2012, Shimane University, Japan organized the Tenth event of the symposium, and about 100 participants attended this event. During the symposium, a field trip from Sendai, via Hotaka and Kyoto, to Matsue was made to investigate the disasters caused by earthquake, tsunami, volcano, and landslide. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the continuous event, the core members collaborated to publish “The Progress of Geo-disaster Mitigation Technology in Asia” with Springer to show the progress of geo-disaster mitigation technologies in Asia. According to a regional initiative from Asia, the participants, most of them are experts on geo-disaster reductions, had an intent to establish an international consortium on geo-disaster reduction. In May 2013 the organizing meeting of the International Consortium on Geo-disaster Reduction (ICGdR) was held in China Institute of Disaster Prevention, Beijing, China. The legal registration was completed in August 2013 in Matsue, Japan.
In 2013 the 11th symposium was successfully held in Kathmandu, Nepal. According to the importance of geo-disaster reduction for the Nepalese society, the Nepalese prime minister attended this event and positively gave great concern to its contribution. As the success of the last ten symposia, the core members of ICGdR reached a consensus on opening the symposium from Asia to the whole world. So the symposium was officially renamed as “International Symposium on Geo-disaster Reduction”, and the next event will be held in Fullerton, California, USA in late 2014. Besides, the first training course was organized by National Taiwan University in Taiwan in August 2013. The course focused on advanced technology of hazard assessment and mitigation of landslide and debris flow with lectures and practices. The participants, of total 35 persons from 16 countries, expressed strong praise of this course and great intention for further course. Therefore, the training courses is scheduled to hold in every summer in the future.
With firm foundation from past preparatory activities, the ICGdR are devoted to reduction of geo-disasters in human living environment and looking forward to benefiting the human society in the coming future.