According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), in addition to human casualties, the economic damage due to future disasters will annually amount to about 314 billion. At the last two world conferences organized by UNISDR, (in Kyoto 2005) and (Sendai, 2015), two documents entitled: (1) Hyogo Framework for Action and (2) Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction were adopted. These documents outlined the guidelines for the reduction of the consequences of natural and man-made disasters.
Having in mind the fact that neither in the Republic of N. Macedonia nor in the Balkans, there is no a scientific institute that simultaneously studies a number of natural hazards and develops engineering tools to reduce the risk pertaining to these hazards, an International Institute for Hazards and Engineering was established in order to examine the most common hazards for this region and give solutions for reducing the risk pertaining to these hazards by use of engineering methods and skills.
Within the IBU, IIH&E is an integrated, multidisciplinary institute composed of several centers and laboratories aimed at providing an understanding of the hazards and offering solutions for reducing the risk related to these hazards from the engineering point of view.
The institute is the only one of its kind worldwide since it simultaneously studies the hazards that appear around the Globe and, at the same time, provides solutions for dealing with the hazards by the use of engineering knowledge. As “all in one institute”, the structure of the International Institute of Hazards and Engineering (IIH & E) consists of seven centers:
- Seismology and Earthquake Engineering Center (SEEC)
- Floods and Landslides Center (FLC)
- Industrial Safety Center (ISC)
- Center for Cyber Security (CCS)
- Center for Civil Disorder (CCD)
- Center for Climate Change and Pollution (CCCP)
- Center for Disaster Management (CDM)
Climate change has a significant impact on the frequency of certain natural hazards. Therefore, besides the centers for managing natural and man-made disasters, a center for dealing with climate change and pollution of the human environment has been established.
Although slightly different from other centers in the institute, another unique center, Center for Civil Disorder is functioning within the ICH&E. A center for the investigation of human unrest has been formed since human unrest can cause disasters from the aspect of disruption of the functioning of the country.
Later on, the Institute will improve the infrastructure by setting up laboratories that will further contribute to solving problems by engineering skills using the experimental data provided by laboratories. The core of the experimental research will be the Laboratory forHealth Monitoring (HM) and Early Warning Systems (EWS). In addition to developing Early Warning Systems (EWS), this laboratory will monitor regions, locations, and structures that can be exposed to different types of hazards.
Since its establishment, the Institute has studied the hazard phenomena using analytical solutions and experimental techniques. Numerical techniques are applied by the use of the existing software. New software for different hazards is also being developed at IIH&E.
The Institute primarily collaborates with international institutions such as the UNISDR in order to contribute to the achievement of the goals set in the Sendai Framework and cooperate within the EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement, a platform for cooperation between members of the European Council in the field of natural and environmental hazards. The Institute works together with the AFAD, Turkish Agency for Disaster Prevention and Reduction of Hazards.
IIH&E participates in global international and national platforms for disaster reduction. The Institute cooperates with universities and other institutes dealing with hazards abroad and participates in calls for international projects together with them.
Soon, the Institute plans to open a master study for the degree in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Control. Most of the Ph.D. students from different faculties of IBU are doing their research in the individual centers of the International Institute for Hazards and Engineering.