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Activity Report

25 February 2015 (Manila, Philippines)

"Preparatory Meeting for Resilience Conference on Earthquake", hosted by the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation for Peace and Development, co-hosted by the Zuellig Family Foundation and the Manila Observatory, was held in Manila, Philippines on 25 February 2015.  As a cooperation of this meeting, the ADRC sent one representative from IRP secretariat to attend. The meeting's over 90 participants included government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, managers from private sector and experts from international organizations.

During his presentation titled "Reconstruction, Recovery and Preparedness: Lessons Learned from Japan's Experience--Towards Comprehensive Disaster Management in the Philippines and Japan--", Mr. Shingo Kouchi, ADRC Senior Expert as well as IRP Senior Recovery Expert, highly appreciated every effort made by both public and private sectors toward possible earthquakes in the Metro Manila. Similar to Japan's situation, it has been widely recognized in the Philippines that the Government and local enterprises need to promote the public-private partnership and multi-stakeholder approach towards effective regional disaster mitigation/prevention and reconstruction/recovery. Mr. Kouchi also stressed that  IRP have been working closely with many stakeholders in the Philippines, and ADRC/IRP will seek possibilities of providing technical assistance for the Philippines' preparation efforts towards future earthquakes.

With the concept of "Building Back Better than Before", IRP would like to make continuous efforts for realization of disaster-resilient society and communities in the Metro Manila region, by sharing Japanese technologies, experiences, and lessons learned from the past. For more information, please contact Kouchi (

(2015/2/27 14:50)


9 February 2015 Vienna, Austria
The Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) participated in a Japan-sponsored seminar and reception held at the 52nd Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee on the Peaceful Users of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS), which was held at the United Nations (UN) Office in Vienna, Austria. The seminar was held after the COPUOS session on the morning of 9 February. Presentations focused on the theme of "The Role of Space-based Applications in Disaster Risk Reduction" were given by ADRC and several other organizations (including the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)). These were followed by question and answer sessions. ADRC gave a presentation on the performance of and problems with Sentinel Asia, which uses space-based applications to reduce and prevent natural disaster damage. Presentations were also given on sample hazard maps created for floods and volcanos using satellite images, and proposals for the use of satellite images at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) to be held this March. (2015/02/09 13:50)
5 to 6 February 2015 Vienna, Austria
The Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) participated in the 6th UN Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) Regional Support Offices (RSO) Meeting, which was held in conjunction with the 52nd Session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS). Held from 5 to 6 February, the meeting was attended by more than 30 RSOs from around the world. During the meeting, the following topics were eagerly discussed:
1) Activities conducted in 2014
2) Proposed activities for 2015
3) A booklet and portal site developed by UN-SPIDER 
4) Issues related to strategies for providing technical guidance to developing countries and best uses of satellites
5) Best practices in providing technical guidance to developing countries
6) Activity reports from working groups on tsunamis, droughts, and floods

At this meeting, ADRC gave a presentation on its 2014 activities and accomplishments as well as its plans for 2015, and discussed many ideas with the secretariat and other RSOs. 
(2015/02/05 13:50)

IMG_0013.JPG13-21 December 2014 (Bhutan)

Since 2009, ADRC has been conducting DRR Policy Peer Reviews to help develop the DRR capacity of ADRC-member countries through the promotion of information sharing and the strengthening of relationships among member countries. The target project selected for review this year, the sixth since the Peer Review process was launched, is a project titled "Integrating Cultural Heritage and Disaster Risk Reduction (Disaster Preparedness and Sensitization Training program on Dzong (Fortress) Safety at Dagana)". After the country report was submitted, a reviewer team comprised of the following two individuals visited Bhutan to conduct interviews: Ms. Yuko Nakagawa (Executive Director, NPO SEEDS Asia), and Mr. Junji Moriwaki (ADRC Researcher).

The team visited the Ministry of Home & Culture Affairs Department of Disaster Management (DDM) and so on, which is involved in DRR activities, to examine its DRR development efforts in Bhutan. The team also conducted inspections of Dagana District, where is a place of DRR drills were carried out, after which it prepared a draft report of its survey results highlighting its specific findings (e.g., "5 days training increased the awareness and knowledge on fire safety and DRR to monks and administrative officers in Dagana Dzong which was not there.", "Good coordination among relevant agencies such as  DDM, fire division, and district administration made smooth implementation." and "Well understanding of the Governor and Disaster Focal person of the district office for the need of DRR and willingness for their continuous efforts.") and recommendations (e.g., "Fire is not the only hazard in Dagana. Training and raising awareness on multi hazard, especially on earthquake should be sought." and "Collaboration between school and community on DRR drills can be sought."). A workshop was also held to gather opinions and comments used in finalizing the report as well as to introduce the importance of community involvements and education in schools for enhancing the DRR, with local participants. This proved to be a very good opportunity for participants to share information and ideas with one another.

After its survey mission ends, the reviewer team compiles a survey report, which it sends to the countries examined as well as to other ADRC member countries, so as to enhance cross-fertilization.

ADRC would like to express its sincerest gratitude to all of those who have made such important contributions to this project.

(2014/12/22 19:40)

9-10 December 2014 (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

photo_Bangladesh.jpgConsidering that "disasters are inevitable in Bangladesh due to its high vulnerability index", the Government, specifically the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), recognized the need for strategic options to further reduce the impacts of disaster. The principle of "build back better" is one particular option that the Government wants to promote by seizing the opportunity to correct the limitations and failures of previous practices, policies, and programs during the recovery phase. It further recognized that recovery offers opportunity to make infrastructures, communities, and livelihoods resilient.

In view of this, the MoDMR, in cooperation with the Institute of Strategic Recovery Studies for Disaster Resilience and Research (ISRSDRR) and the Interational Recovery Platform/Asian Disaster Reduction Center (IRP/ADRC), had jointly organized a Stakeholders Consultation Workshop on Disaster Recovery Planning, 9-10 December 2014 at CIRDAP Auditorium in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The workshop was supported by local partners, namely: UNDP, Australian Aid, Islamic Relief, and Christian Aid.

Participated by over 50 stakeholder representatives, the consultation was generally aimed at creating the foundation for promoting resilient recovery and paving the way for sustainable development in Bangladesh. Specifically, the consultation was expected to achieve the following: (i) introduced recovery agenda to key stakeholders, (ii) prepared the ground works for establishing a National Recovery Platform, and (iii) discussed and endorsed a Roadmap for Disaster Recovery Planning.

At the opening, IRP/ADRC delivered the keynote speech which introduced the key principles of disaster recovery, including knowledge products, case studies, tools, and guidance. After the keynote, the following key officials from the Government delivered their respective speeches:  Mr. Mohammed Abdul Wazed, Director-General of the Department of Disaster Management; Dr. Mesbah ul Alam, Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief; Hon. Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya Bir Bikram, Minister of Disaster Management and Relief; and Mr. Dhirendra Debnath Shambhuh, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction. The key message of all the speeches was that recovery is gap in disaster risk reduction  (DRR) that Bangladesh needs to address.

At the end of the workshop, the stakeholders identified the following key recommendations: (i) institutionalization of recovery functions at the national and local governments; (ii) establishment of predictable funding for recovery at the government agencies; (iii) adoption of mechanisms for cooperation in areas of recovery; and (iv) formulation of disaster recovery framework for readiness and capacity. As way forward, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief laid the ground works for establishing the National Recovery Platform with further consultations with key stakeholders, including UNDP, Islamic Relief, Christian, ISRSDRR, and IRP/ADRC.

(2014/12/17 14:40)

2-4 December 2014 (Bangkok, Thailand)

ADRC joined the 2nd ISDR Asia Partnership (IAP) meeting which was held on 2 - 4 December 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. The IAP aimed at discussing the way forward from the 6th Asia Ministerial Conference, preparation towards the 3 WCDRR and preparing the Post 2015 framework adoption and implementation.
Some 90 participants from national governments, international/regional organizations, UN organizations, CSOs, media etc attended the meeting. 

The meeting constituted of the following five sessions;
1. Reflections of the 6thAMCDRR,
2. HFA monitoring and updates on 3 WCDRR,
3. Post DRR framework implementation,
4. Delivering the UN Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction and
5. Strengthening IAP to deliver Post 2015 DRR framework.

Active discussions were made at each session and the meeting closed with the expectations to the coming 3 WCDRR and Post 2015 DRR framework.

(2014/12/12 17:40)

18th-21th November 2014 (Yangon, Myanmar)

ADRC participated in the meeting named above, which was organized by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Myanmar Earthquake Committee (MEC), from 18 to 21 November 2014 in Yangon, Myanmar. The meeting was attended by approximately 60 participants including representatives of satellite agencies and academic institutions in Japan, Thailand, and Myanmar. The meeting primarily consisted of the following.

-Overall status of Sentinel Asia 
-Activations of satellite agencies
-Report on the disaster status, and disaster prevention and mitigation measures in Myanmar
-Report on technologies that use satellites and the dissemination of those technologies by international agencies
-Report on projects that use satellite images
-Report on the cultivation of human resources in the use of satellite imagery and introductions to mini-projects
-Working group reports: Earthquakes and Landslides, Floods, Wildfires and GLOF

ADRC gave two presentations, covering the activation of emergency observations and the satisfaction of system users based on a questionnaire survey conducted on Sentinel Asia.
According to the questionnaire findings, a result with the satisfaction is almost provided about the time to data offer from a request and the offered image.

(2014/11/18 13:50)

11-12 November, 2014 (San Salvador, El Salvador)el salvador.JPG

ADRC/IRP, in collaboration Central America's Center for Disaster Prevention (CEPREDENAC), had organized an Intergovernmental Dialogue on Recovery Processes, 11-12 November 2014 at Hilton Princess Hotel in San Salvador, El Salvador. The event was also strongly supported by UNISDR and UNDP. The main objective of the dialogue was to facilitate knowledge exchange so that government organizations and cities can improve their programs based on the sharing of experiences. The discussions dwelt on: How have recovery processes been institutionalized at the country and local levels? What institutional and policy arrangements were commonly adopted? What types of tools were adopted for assessment and framework development? Do governments secure necessary financial, administrative, and political resources for recovery? Are there mechanisms in place to monitor recovery processes? Answers to these questions inform the recommendations for next steps such as galvanizing national efforts on recovery and institutionalizing recovery processes.

Over 40 government officials and heads of development organizations participated in the dialogue. Among those represented included Paraguay, Honduras, Japan, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Panama. The cities of Santa Tecla, Bogota, and Curundu were also represented. Moreover, the World Bank, the Swiss Development Council (SDC), and the Global Education and Training Institute (GETI) of UNISDR had representations. Participants to the dialogue were high-level with El Salvador Vice President Sr. Oscar Ortiz inaugurating the event.

ADRC/IRP shared available tools and guidance on recovery as well as global case studies on recovery processes. The sharing adds value to the ongoing initiatives in Central America by offering wide array of options concerning strategies and actions for 'build back better'. In particular, Mr. Shingo Kochi, senior recovery expert at IRP, shared Japan's experience by highlighting the advances, needs, and requirements for a more effective recovery process.
Several recommended next steps were outlined at the dialogue. These include efforts to further (i) disseminate best practices and lessons on recovery and reconstruction processes implemented in recent years; (ii) share the results of the dialogue processes to other regions and countries; (iii) inform the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction on recovery and reconstruction issues that should be taken into account.

Some specific actions were also mentioned such as the following: (i) recovery frameworks/plans may be prepared, discussed, and approved before the disaster happens; (ii) recovery process shall incorporate DRR and integrated into development; and (iii) evaluation and monitoring mechanisms of recovery projects to be implemented. It was also observed that there is so much recovery experience in Central America that should be documented, analyzed, and shared to other regions and countries.

(2014/11/25 14:40)

3-5 November 2014 (Manila, Philippines)

group photo_Philippines_BGC.jpg

Upon the request of the Bonifacio Estate Services Corporation (BESC), ADRC/IRP and UNISDR-GETI have jointly facilitated the initial development of the Disaster Risk Reduction Action Plan (DRR-AP) for the Bonifacio Global City (BGC). During the three-day workshop ? held on November 3-5, 2014 at the Globe Tower, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, Philippines ? existing tools, guidance, and lessons on DRR and recovery were shared and explained.

Over 70 participants from six districts of BGC, representing the estates and establishments, shared their experiences and opinion on how to organize response and recovery operations in case of a disaster. At the end of the workshop all suggestions were put together to form the strategies and actions of the BGC DRR-AP. The essential next steps were also identified, namely:

The Bonifacio Estate Services Corporation (BESC) will take forward the initial outputs of the workshop by conducting further consultations/workshops with other stakeholders/experts, including: utility experts; medical experts; first-aid experts; local government officials (barangay and city); law enforcement agencies (e.g. police and armed forces); and other relevant agencies of the government. The objective of further consultation is to address sectors that might be overlooked (e.g. psychosocial, gender, and livelihoods). It was recommended that a drafting committee or consultant will assist in putting together proposed action points.

In entire process of formulating the BGC DRR Action Plan, ensure that it is integrated or linked with existing DRR & development plans/mechanisms in the barangay, city, BGC developers, MMDA, and NDRRMC framework. In this, the draft may be reviewed along with existing plans or share draft to proper authorities for comments and further guidance.

The BESC will seek endorsement of DRR Action Plan from the BGC Board of Directors. As regards participants to the workshop, the essential next step for them is to serve as focal points, inform their principals about direction of DRR AP formulation, and cascade the information down to the residents.

Within BESC, a formal structure may be created to coordinate and implement the DRR Action Plan. This structure may also perform the following functions: conduct proper risk assessments; dissemination of DRR information; simulation of action plan (e.g. drills); conduct security surveys, initiate pre-agreements with LGUs/agencies/private sector/NGOs; and adopt protocols for organizing emergency response and recovery.

To sustain the Action Plan the following are recommended: continuous monitoring and evaluation; conduct drills on regular basis; gather support from residents; pilot the DRR Action Plan; and conduct annual risk reduction summit.

   (2014/11/07 14:40)

Taipei, Taiwan (October 27-31, 2014)

photo_Taiwan.jpgADRC had actively supported the 2014 International Training Workshop (ITW) which was organized by the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR), 27-31 October 2014 at the NCDR Training Center, Taipei, Taiwan. The workshop was aimed at sharing experiences and lessons on post-disaster recovery, especially from countries that experienced mega-disasters. 

Along with speakers from various organizations and countries, ADRC had shared experiences on post-disaster recovery. In particular, ADRC Executive Director Mr. Kiyoshi Natori presented the "Recovery and Lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011" highlighting the challenges on post-disaster recovery and how these challenges were addressed, including applying the lessons from past disasters as well as integrating the emerging lessons from current disasters such as considering the "wisdom of local community" in disaster risk reduction.  Additionally, a researcher at ADRC also shared some of the existing "Tools and Guidance in Building Back Better" emphasizing ADRC's experience in disseminating knowledge on recovery.

ADRC's presentations had contributed in achieving one of the key objectives of the workshop, which is to collect, analyze, and apply trans-boundary knowledge and lessons on recovery. Based on the presentations from countries in Asia and the Pacific as well as Latin America, the elements for organizing effective recovery were identified - especially in the areas of infrastructure/housing reconstruction, livelihood revitalization, and psychosocial wellness. The sharing of knowledge and experiences was reinforced with a one-day field visit to the Chi‐Chi Earthquake Museum (9.21 Museum) and Nantou County, which showcased the recovery efforts from the 1999 earthquake and the recovery of Sacred Wood Community from the 2009 Typhoon Morakot, respectively.

The 2014 ITW was an opportunity to forward collaboration and interdisciplinary discussions on post-disaster recovery. It explored actions that promote further investment in DRR and emergency preparedness through development of new technology and upgrading of infrastructures to make them more resilient.

(2014/11/7 14:40)

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