Harnessing digital technology to reduce natural disaster damage

Fujitsu's global joint project to mitigate major natural disaster damage

Natural disasters which are exacerbated by climate change, not only devastate key infrastructure but also ruin lives and perpetuate poverty. This was the motivation behind a partnership with Fujitsu, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Tohoku University, Japan, to harness digital technology aimed at reducing damage caused by natural disasters around the world.

The focus is currently on developing countries, and Governments in Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Nepal, the Philippines and Cambodia are also part of the partnership to help shape and gain value from the solution. All natural disasters are covered, whether its a result of adverse weather or seismic activity.

Historical and current natural disaster information is built into the solution, to build capacity and refine results. This data is stored on the Global Database and analysed using advanced digital processing. The outputs and recommendations are then provided to the UNDP, who make decisions on new policies and disaster mitigation processes or make refinements to their existing approaches in dealing with natural disasters.

It also supports the analysis for building appropriate protections against disasters such as flooding, through modelling prediction analysis. This knowledge can then provide recommendations on where embankments or flood protections could be installed to protect society and key infrastructure.

Moving the initiative forward
It is a continuing dynamic process, as more data gives more ability for refinement of key UNDP process and actions plans. The next steps will be to expand the scope to involve more countries who are at risk of issues relating to natural disaster, in turn benefitting millions of people in disaster risk areas.