Allan Lavell wins United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction

Allan Lavell, a key member of the community of the ICSU co-sponsored Integrated Research on Disaster Risk programme (IRDR), has been awarded the prestigious prize that is awarded to individuals or institutions that have taken active efforts in reducing disaster risk in their communities and advocated for disaster risk reduction.

Allan Lavell (center), with the head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, and Yohei Sasakawa, chairman, the Nippon Foundation. Photo: UNISDR

During a ceremony at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, Lavell was announced as winner of the prestigious United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction. ICSU extends its congratulations to Lavell on winning the award, which is an outstanding recognition of his work.

The Head of the Award Jury Prof. Dr. Murat Balamir said: “This personal performance is a perfect example of how grand achievements are possible with individual dedication, despite humble resources and grants. The enduring and most influential individual efforts of Mr. Lavell, in undertaking various roles in a multi-actor environment, make him a leader in the DRM community.”

Mr. Lavell, born in Britain but based in the Americas for much of his career, is a highly respected researcher and practitioner in disaster risk reduction. His work, which spans four decades, adopts a multi-disciplinary and holistic approach. He has authored multiple publications and has had papers presented at conferences in 42 different countries.

Lavell has for years made significant contributions to ICSU’s activities on disaster risk. He was a member of the ICSU Planning Group on Natural and Human-induced Environmental Hazards and Disasters that drafted the science plan for IRDR, a member of its Science Committee, and is currently a member of the ICSU Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ICSU ROLAC) Steering Committee for Disaster Risk Reduction and part of the working group preparing the second version of the IRDR FORIN methodology document.

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