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Session Details

Strengthening Risk Information Governance:

The Role of the BC DRR Hub in Enhancing Use of Risk Information in Disaster and Climate Risk Reduction

20 October 2020

Webinar Format
Interactive Workshop

Information Sharing & Discussion

About Contributors

Sahar Safaie, Founder and Principal Consultant, Sage on Earth Consulting Ltd.

Sahar is the founder and principal consultant of Sage on Earth Consulting Ltd. The niche of her expertise and services is to enhance use of disaster and climate risk information in designing resilience policies, investments and programs. She has more than fifteen years of diverse experiences in BC and internationally including at United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) where she managed the global multi-hazard risk assessment as part of Global Assessment Report (GAR) 2015, convened the global session on risk identification at the Sendai DRR Conference in 2015 and co-authored two of the Sendai Framework implementation guidelines on National Disaster Risk Assessment and on National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies. Her past experiences also include working at Global Earthquake Model (GEM) foundation, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) at The World Bank in D.C., and Risk Management Solutions (RMS) in California. Since 2019, Sahar and her team at Sage Consulting have been working closely with NRCan as the lead contractor for DRR Pathways project. Sahar has a master’s degree in Earthquake Engineering from UBC.

Murray Journeay, Research Scientist, Natural Resources Canada

Murray has spent the last thirty years exploring the geological architecture and evolution of mountain systems in western Canada, and the ways in which communities interact with this landscape in terms of sustainable land use and disaster resilience planning. Research activities with the Geological Survey of Canada have ranged from field-based investigations of regional tectonic processes that drive crustal deformation and related earthquake hazards in Western Canada to computer-based modelling of earthquake risk and risk reduction strategies. Murray currently leads the development of a national earthquake risk model for Canada to inform disaster resilience planning in accordance with policy and technical implementation guidelines established as part of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (United Nations, 2015: SFDRR). The model utilizes integrated risk assessment methods and emerging best practices of risk governance to develop a more holistic and empowering view of earthquake risk in Canada.

Gurdeep Singh, Portfolio Manager Business Innovation and Emergency Management (GIS), GeoBC

Gurdeep has been with the BC Provincial Government for over 20 years in various roles. He has been leading the Emergency Management and Business Innovation Portfolio within GeoBC for last 11 years.

The Emergency Engagement portfolio includes coordination with Emergency Management and Public Safety stakeholders and develop GIS strategies and implementation plans to support all phases of natural hazard and emergency management. It also includes coordination of data, tools, methods and processes to improve situational awareness and common operating picture to support all phases of Natural Resource Hazard and Emergency Management.

He has Masters of Science in Planning from Germany, Advanced Diploma in GIS from British Columbia Institute of Technology and Certificate in Project Management from the University of British Columbia.

Micah Hilt, City of Vancouver Lead Seismic Policy Planner

Micah Hilt is the City of Vancouver’s Lead Seismic Policy Planner within the Green and Resilient Building group of the City’s Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability department. Micah was also part of the City’s resilience team who authored Vancouver’s first resilience strategy, Resilient Vancouver, in 2019. Prior to joining the City, Micah served as the Deputy Resilience Officer for the City of San Francisco, working on San Francisco's 30-year Earthquake Safety Implementation Program. He is also a PhD student in the Geography Department at the University of British Columbia, researching urban resilience, urban theory and queer approaches to the urban.

Trisha Maciejko, Emergency Management Planning Coordinator, IPREM

Trisha is an Emergency Management Professional with over a decade of emergency and operations management experience. With expertise in developing and implementing emergency management plans and coordinating projects, Trisha’s skills are far-reaching and have contributed to the development and enhancement of numerous emergency, safety, and continuity programs. She has collaborated with subject matter experts during the development of emergency plans for local and overseas communities; inclusive of a regional strategic fire management plan and municipal fire management plans associated with the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations, and more recently the Joint Municipal Regional Disaster Debris Management Operational Plan for the Metro Vancouver region. Trisha continues to support regional emergency management planning through the IPREM, a convening body that focuses on emergency management planning in the Metro Vancouver region.



  • Explore the rationale and proposed design concept for the BC DRR Hub

  • Discuss key challenges and barriers in using hazard and risk information in policy and planning in various sectors

  • Identify priority strategies, guidelines, or tools that can support harmonization and accelerate  enhancing the quality and use of multi-hazard and risk information

  • Discuss: what should the BC risk data management strategy be?


Understanding disaster risk with all its dimensions is fundamental for designing effective risk management measures. 

But the production of risk information and risk management processes tend to lack the necessary links and this fragmentation increases the price tag of each new risk assessment, keeps risk assessments within the scientific community and isolated from policy processes, and impedes the use of risk information in policy design, capability development and for shaping investments. A provincial center (notionally called the BC DRR Hub), would collaborate with a wider range of partners to ensure risk information is relevant in context and format, robust in scientific methodologies but also flexible in the approach to effectively meet the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) user needs.

The need for a mechanism to connect science and policy stakeholders to collaborate and co-design risk assessments and methods for use of risk information has been identified and discussed since the 2017 URBC symposium. A design concept has been developed through NRCan's DRR Pathways project which has received positive support from key provincial entities and research partners.  In this webinar, the participants will engage with two key elements of the design concept (Why we need BC DRR Hub? What would it do to support building resilient Communities in BC?)


Many members of the community of practice and past URBC participants have contributed to the concept of the DRR Hub over the years. A theory of change workshop was conducted in July 2019 with project partners of the DRR Pathways project. All of that input and some research on best practices internationally have been used by Sage On Earth Consulting Ltd. to develop the design concept note for the BC DRR Hub.

The session is concerned by Sahar Safaie (Sage On Earth Consulting) with Murray Journeay  (Geological Survey of Canada), Gurdeep Singh (GeoBC), & Micah Hilt (City of Vancouver).

Background Reading

BC DRR Hub Design Concept Note: This document provides high level information on the goals and objectives, value proposition, key components and activities, proposed institutional setup, and the timeline for establishing the Hub.

Click on: BC DRR Hub Design Concept Note (Oct 2020)

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