International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (IISEE), Japan

International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (IISEE), Japan

IISEE is a global hub for seismology and earthquake engineering, set up in the early 1960s thanks to the efforts of leading researchers from across Japan, the Japanese government and UN agencies. The move was a response to growing demand for specialists in the fields in question and the need for international cooperation in training. Its overall goal is to secure the safety of buildings through appropriate and properly applied construction codes, and to provide information about tsunamis, as well as safe evacuation routes and places.

IISEE points to data from the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan, where the majority of fatalities were caused by the collapse of the victims’ own dwellings. Earthquake-resistant homes and workplaces are therefore the key to protecting lives and livelihoods. Driven by the perspective that any human loss is unacceptable, IISEE also looks beyond building safety to other areas of concern. For tsunami disasters, the key issue is early evacuation to safe places via safe routes, as shown by the tragedy of the 2011 tsunami along the Pacific Coast of Japan. IISEE implements long term capacity building through human resources development. Over the past five decades, it has fostered trainees to create core groups in government entities of their home countries such as seismic observatories, national research institutes and national universities. Such alumni disseminate the technologies in their own countries, taking into account local circumstances, regulations and people. Particularly successful examples are are found in seismic observatories in Yemen and in Nepal where technology transfer was conducted efficiently and seismological observation and analysis is now carried out by local staff.



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