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Forum Feb. 1 to explore world response to tsunami disaster

Jeff Unger, News Bureau


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — How the world has responded to the Dec. 26 tsunami will be the topic of a 90-minute forum beginning at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The free, public forum, sponsored by the U. of I. Center for Global Studies, will take place in Illini Rooms A and B of the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana.

Speakers will explore the implications of the ongoing relief effort for future cooperation needed to address mounting and pending natural catastrophes of global proportions. Expert panelists will identify the dimensions of other natural disasters and propose strategies and solutions to these problems. Audience participation will be encouraged.

The topics and speakers:

“Relief Efforts for the Tsunami: A Critique and Evaluation”; Christopher Silver, professor and head of the U. of I. department of urban and regional planning. A former USAID urban development adviser to Indonesia, he was in Jakarta shortly after the tsunami.

“Ecological Disasters and Planning: A Multiple Choice Examination”; Val Beasley, professor of veterinary biosciences and the director of the Envirovet Program in Wildlife and Ecosystem Health, and the chairperson of the Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

“Food Security and Famine: Preparation and Responses”; Robert L. Thompson, Gardner Chair in Agricultural Policy. Formerly director for rural development at the World Bank, Thompson is the chairman of the International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council.

“Disease Outbreaks: We All Share the Same Backyard”; Uriel Kitron, professor of epidemiology and co-director of the Center for Zoonoses Research in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Kitron is an expert on the epidemiology and ecology of infectious disease and conducts research on West Nile virus and Lyme disease in the United States, malaria and schistosomiasis in Kenya, Chagas disease in Argentina and dengue in Trinidad.

For more information, call Steven Witt, associate director of the Center for Global Studies, 265-7518.