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Meeting of the disaster observatory at Tecnun
Experts from the Aon Foundation, the Basque Government, the Basque Centre for Climate Change and San Sebastian City Council meet to discuss environmental crises
The School of Engineering of the University of Navarra hosted a round table with the aim of putting climate change on the agenda and reflecting together with experts in this field. Leire Labaka, professor at the School of Engineering and moderator of the colloquium, began by announcing the new line of research of Tecnun on the catastrophic consequences of pandemics and epidemics.
"In 2020, we will focus on the health aspect and its prevention measures. We will define the factors that facilitate the spread of the virus, as well as the indicators that measure the impact of the crisis", explained Labaka. Specifically, as he explained, the Industrial Organisation department at Tecnun will start the study on the Coronavirus.
The colloquium was attended by the President of the Disaster Observatory and General Director of the Aon Foundation Spain, Pedro Tomey; Josu Benaito, Director of Health and Environment of San Sebastian City Council; Marta Olazabal, researcher at BC3, the Basque Centre for Climate Change and Mari Luz Gómez, technician and head of various projects at IHOBE-Basque Government, and part of the Climate Action team driving the 2050 Climate Change Strategy of the Basque Country.
The round table is part of the Catastrophes Chair that the Aon Foundation holds with Tecnun and the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas. The Chair is a pioneering initiative in Europe that aims to systematically structure and develop research and the study of disasters. Pedro Tomey underlined this, referring to it as "a great step forward in the interest of promoting research on disasters, systematising and disseminating knowledge and contributing to the creation of a network of highly qualified and experienced professionals who can contribute their knowledge to the prevention, response and mobilisation in crisis situations caused by natural or environmental phenomena that are difficult to control".
"The Basque Government has a strategy, a route that we will have to keep updating, but what is certain is that we are going to need the commitment of the whole of society", explained Mari Luz Gómez. For her part, Marta Olazabal, who is also head of the research group on Adaptation to Climate Change, stressed the need to integrate climate change into all activities. "We have to have a climate criterion to start the transformation, because we have a deadline and we cannot wait", she stressed.
The Director of Health and Environment of San Sebastian City Council, Josu Benaito, added that also at local level they have to focus on mobility and energy: "Let's get moving and help with legislation for green energy efficiency".
The event was attended by various members of public entities such as the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and Naturklima, companies such as Goiener, Laia, Ados and social entities including Emaus, the Red Cross and the Cristina Enea Foundation.