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Forum on "Sustaining Water Cycle for Disaster Risk Reduction" October 10, 2007, Japan

The forum, a commemorative public forum on the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Japanese Association of Hydrological Sciences (JAHS) and international day for Disaster Reduction 2007, organized by the United Nations University (UNU), the Japanese Association of Hydrological Sciences (JAHS), the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), was held at the United Nations University, Tokyo on October 10, 2007 with around 100 participants.

In this forum, the topic of sustaining the water cycle to reduce the risks of disasters was eagerly discussed from different viewpoints, including restoration and sustainability of the urban water cycle, groundwater problems in greater Tokyo, integrated water quality management and the role cycle in sustainability, to arrive at new paradigms for sustaining the water cycle to reduce risks of disasters.

As the conclusions of the forum,

Even in Japan, it is still not sufficiently recognized just how important sustaining the water cycle is for reducing the risks of disasters.
We, therefore, actively intend to emphasize its importance to parties such as officials and development designers to make this issue sufficiently understood.

We, as Japanese, have experienced many disasters that have occurred because of urbanization or the reduction of farmland, and we have an obligation to convey those experiences to the developing Asian countries.

Prof. Akihisa Yoshikoshi of Ritsumeikan University is also president of the Japanese Association of Hydrological Sciences. He gave his impression as follows:

"When discussing water-related disasters, we are apt to discuss reducing the water volume through measures such as the construction of dams, embankments and drainage canals.
However, when we think about such disasters while considering the flow areas, we think that a proper water cycle including ground water will surely contribute to the reduction of water-related disasters on a scale that considers water quality as well as water volume."

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