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The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations (UN). It bridges the academic world and the UN system. Its goal is to develop sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it aims at applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 and is an autonomous organ of the UN General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.

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THE URBAN TRAINING PROGRAMME GOES FRENCH

Seminar Workshop for Francophone African Urban Risk Experts and Policy-Makers at the Training Centre of Valabre near Marseille, 4-15 September 2006 .

In cooperation with its French partner in Marseille – Institut de Prévention et de Géstion des Risques Urbains (IPGR) – UNU-EHS is staging the second Seminar Workshop for Urban Risk Managers and Experts within the framework of the Institute’s Urban Training Programme (UTP) . The venue chosen for this event is the ‘ École d’Application de Sécurité Civile (ECASC) ’ located in the French Provence. The seminar workshop shall span from 4 to 15 September 2006 .

At ECASC, housed in the picturesque Château de Valabre, 14 African French-speaking city managers, decision and policy-makers and risk experts shall exchange knowledge and expertise relating to water and fire risk management and sustainable development, in particular with regard to flood-related hazards and risks and the conservation, decontamination and storage of water reserves, including floods and droughts. The training course aims primarily at developing sustainable policies conducive to the improvement of risk prevention and preparedness as well as early-warning systems. Ultimately, these policies are intended to develop and enhance human coping capacities at regional and local levels to reduce the vulnerability to such risks of the societies and communities potentially exposed to them.

The Directors of UNU-EHS and IPGR, Prof. Dr. Janos J. Bogardi and Mr. Claude Collin respectively, will be delivering their opening speeches and presentations on 4 September. Thereafter, experts and practitioners from the public and private sectors in France and the world shall make their presentations. One of the lecturers will be Dr. Fabrice Renaud , soil physicist and Academic Officer at UNU-EHS.

In addition to class-room training and workshops, trainees shall go on excursions to visit regional and municipal entities, early-warning agencies and meteorological stations, power and gas plants, airport fire-fighting plane units, and other communal risk management institutions.