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Activity Report

Mashhad, Iran (March 9-11, 2017)

Convening over 100 officials from the local governments of Mashhad and Shiraz in Iran, a representative from ADRC/IRP served as co-facilitator along with UNISDR's Global Education and Training Institute (GETI) in the Workshop on Local Implementation of the Sendai Framework, 9-11 March 2017 In Mashhad, Iran. The workshop was organized by the Mashhad Disaster Management Department to help ensure that the municipality is resilient to disasters.

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Mashhad is not only the second important city of Iran (after Tehran) in terms of population, economy, and industry, but it is also the second most exposed city to disaster risks. The municipality is mainly exposed to earthquakes and floods, recognizing the need to put in place necessary measures to reduce disaster risk. The municipality is actively working on key policies and legislation to promote disaster risk reduction and management towards achieving sustainable development of the town. It promotes efforts of integrating DRR in its urban development processes, and mitigating risks in reasonable level with the view of preparing to build back better in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. In addition, the municipality is an active participant of the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient (MCR) campaign. This campaign supports the capacity building activities of local experts and officials with a focus on developing and implementing a City Resilience Action Plans based on the MCR Campaign 10 Essentials to make their cities resilient to disasters. ADRC/IRP representative shared global experiences and best practices along the 10 Essentials for making cities resilient.
As way forward, the municipality of Mashhad, being one of the pioneering local governments in the region to receive the workshop, committed to pursue two key activities. Firstly, a team will be created to continue to facilitate the discussions and planning so that within the next six to eight months, a complete draft of the Resilient City Action Plan will be ready for adoption and implementation. Secondly, the Mashhad Disaster Management Department will facilitate coordination to realize the plan of making Mashhad, the Center for Education and Training on urban risk reduction in Iran.

   (2017/03/17 14:40)

Mashhad, Iran (March 6-8, 2017)

In response to the invitation extended by the Mashhad Disaster Management Department, ADRC/IRP sent representative to the 8th Asian Safe Community Conference, 6-8 March 2017 in Mashhad, Iran. The representative imparted the message that "recovery is an opportunity to strengthen safe community agenda". Injuries and deaths are commonly exacerbated in times of disaster, especially if infrastructures like housing, buildings, roads, and offices are weak or vulnerable to hazards. To help build a safer community, past mistakes and failures can be corrected and mitigated during the recovery phase. Several case studies from around the globe were shared at the conference to illustrate the concept of build back better and to strengthen safer community programs. 
  WS000011.JPGSafe Community is a movement aimed at promoting safety and preventing injuries, and efforts depend largely on local engagement and regional networking, including academic centers and universities. In 1989 certification of safe communities has been started based on seven criteria developed by the Safe Community Network in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Based on agreed criteria, safe communities are those that have the following features: (i) an infrastructure based on partnership and collaboration, governed by a cross-sectional group that is responsible for safety promotion in their community; (ii) long-term, sustainable programs covering gender and all ages, environments, and situations; (iii) programs that target high-risk groups and environments, and programs that promote safety for vulnerable groups; (iv) programs that are based on all available evidence; (v) programs that document the frequency and causes of injuries; (vi) evaluation measures to assess the programs' processes and the effects of change; and (vii) ongoing participation in national and international Safe Communities networks. Since 1991, annual conferences on Safe Communities were organized in the regions to facilitate knowledge exchange.

   (2017/03/16 14:40)

The first meeting of APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group, EPWG in 2017 was held on 18 and 19, February, at Nha Trang, Vietnam. The meeting was opened by the welcoming remarks by Mr. Tran Quang Hoai, Vice Director, Directorate of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam, and Mr. Le Tan Ban, Director General of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, DARD of Khanh Hoa Province also gave his welcoming remarks.ED of ADRC participated in the meeting as one of the co-chairs and expressed words of thanks for the warm welcome, followed by the speech by another co-chair, Dr. Le Quang Tuan, Vietnam.From Peru, host economy of the year 2016, the Honorable Mr. Alberto Manuel Lozada Frias, Head of National Institute of Civil Defense, INDIECI, gave his message through video, due to a severe flood presently affecting Peru. 
photo.JPGThis year, the host economy proposed to explore "Advanced Science and Technology to live with "New Normal" and Mr. Van Phu Chinh, Director General, Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Directorate of Water resources, MARD, Vietnam moderated the discussion for the agenda item. Dr. Le Quang Tuan gave a brief introduction on the issue and also raised the challenges to enhance resilience to face 'New normal' of coastal deltas by fostering Science Technology innovation. Many other ministries provided inputs and then other economies including Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Philippines, China and Indonesia presented their diverse experiences of using high technology for DRR, followed by the inputs from international organizations and private sector including those from Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, ADPC, Pacific Disaster Center, PDC, JICA , WFP and the Rotary Club of Hong Kong Sunrise.
EPWG then discussed its Work Plan 2017 and the Strategic Plan 2017-2020 that had been discussed intersessionally. The two plans guiding the activities of EPWG were formally endorsed.
Economies then reported the updates of recent natural disasters and major DRR policies including a report by Mexico about the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction scheduled in May in Cancun.
ADRC made the final report on the tsunami workshops organised last year, gave also updates of the Kumamoto earthquakes last year, in particular, regarding ADRC study visits to the affected area organized last December with the participation of officials from DRR ministries from its 23 member countries. ADRC also reported about the implementation of an APEC project, "Enhancing Rural Disaster Resilience through Effective Infrastructure Investment" and invited participants to discuss the concept of Build Back Better. Based on the discussion, ADRC together with Vietnam organised a kick off meeting in Kobe, Japan, 13th-14th March.
The second meeting of EPWG in 2017 will be held in Ho Chi Minh City in August.
(2017/2/18 12:30)


ADRC attended the 2nd meeting of Sentinel Asia Steering Committee held in Bangkok,Thailand,on 19th and 20th January, 2017.
  The meeting was attended by JAXA as the secretariat of Joint Project Team, Sentinel Asia, Space agencies in Asia working as Data Provider Node, DPN, Universities and research organisations as Data Analysis Node, DAN and ADRC representing DRR organisations in Asia.
  Day 1 started with the opening remarks by the two co-chairs of SC, Dr.Lar, AIT and Mr.K. Suzuki, Executive Director,NIED, followed by a briefing by JAXA on Steering Committee Mandate and status and lessons learnt from emergency observation so far. ADRC then reported advantages of earth observation satellite imagery at diverse phases of DRR and challenges of Sentinel Asia operation from the viewpoint of DRR organisations. As a start of discussion, ADRC gave some cases of emergency situations in which satellite imagery could deliver useful information facilitating DRR operation including mega disasters affecting extensive geographical coverage beyond borders or flood affecting remotely located areas difficult to access lasting weeks, volcano eruptions hindering the use of airplanes, and so on to identify the strength of satellite imagery for DRR purposes.
   Space agencies and research organisation reported about the DAN activities. The day 2 focused first on basic idea to discuss the strategic plan after the 10th anniversary, which will be discussed throughout this year towards the APRSAF scheduled in Autumn 2017.The agenda of the 10th anniversary event scheduled in March was also discussed and approved.
(2017/1/19 12:30)
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Iriga City, Philippines (November 28-29, 2016)


WS000010.JPGRecognizing the risks from natural hazards (such as typhoons, floods, and landslides), governors, mayors, and their respective disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) officials of the local government units (LGUs) in the entire Bicol region gathered together in Iriga Convention Center, 28-29 November 2016, Iriga City to further explore local approaches and measures to manage and reduce risk. Bicol is the most typhoon-prone region in the Philippines prompting the LGUs to heighten their efforts in disaster risk reduction by localizing the implementation of the Sendai Framework.

The event was initiated and convened by Iriga City Mayor Madelaine Yorobe Alfelor who was inspired by the outcomes of the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) held in New Delhi, India - particularly on the crucial role of local leaders and mayors in implementing the Sendai Framework. During the event in Iriga City, Mayor Alfelor expressed two main reasons why there is a need to gather all local leaders and mayors in the region. One is to advocate for LGU readiness to face risks brought about by hazards, including typhoons, floods, volcanic eruption, and earthquake. The other is to draw commitment of the local chief executives to promote community resilience by adopting the Ten Essentials advanced by the Making Cities Resilient (MCR) campaign

About 85 mayors and over 120 officials from Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO) of each local government participated in the workshop to learn and adopt the Ten Essentials through a two-day workshop facilitated by UNISDR-GETI and IRP. The Ten Essentials is a tool that local governments can apply to strengthen their DRRM plans. Two of the Ten Essentials (9 and 10) pertain to "build back better", and it is in this context that IRP/ADRC shared the global experiences and case studies. By learning from lessons of past experiences, local governments can identify and address their respective weaknesses in disaster risk management.

To forward the recommendations reached at the workshop, the DRRMO officials of the entire Bicol region plan to organize themselves into a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences. In their forthcoming meeting, the DRRMOs will discuss how to implement the identified priority actions they set forth at the workshop in Iriga City.

   (2016/11/30 14:40)

Makati City, Philippines (November 25, 2016)

WS000009.JPGAs follow-up activity to the Pre-Disaster Recovery Plan (PDRP) developed by the City Government of Makati in October 2013, the International Recovery Platform/Asian Disaster Reduction Center (IRP/ADRC) facilitated a Workshop on Continuity Planning for Local Governments at St. Giles Hotel, 25 November 2016, Makati City, Philippines.

Along with UNISDR-GETI, the IRP/ADRC introduced a continuity planning tool that will help: (i) ensure that local government can perform its essential functions under all conditions; (ii) reduce the loss of life and minimize property damage and loss; (iii) execute a successful order of succession with accompanying authorities in the event a disruption renders that organization's leadership unable, unavailable, or incapable of assuming and performing their authorities and responsibilities of office; (iv) reduce or mitigate disruptions to operations; and (v) ensure that there are facilities from where the city government can perform its essential functions.

About 75 personnel, representing various departments of the city government, participated in the workshop. To complement the continuity planning tool, sharing of business continuity planning (BCP) experiences from various local organizations in the Philippines were presented. The sharing included those from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Nestle Philippines, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), San Juan City Government, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), and Business Continuity Managers Association of the Philippines (BCMAP).

After various inputs, participants identified the key priorities to be covered in the continuity plan for the Makati City Government. This includes setting up remote facility from where the city government's Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO) can operate its essential functions in case the city will be severely impacted by disasters. The participants also gave priority in outlining a definitive procedure for executing a successful order of succession whenever the head is incapable.

To forward the recommendations reached at the workshop, the city's DRRMO officials along with the representatives of all departments of the city government will reconvene sometime in March 2017 to review its progress and to further discuss the finalization of the Makati City Continuity Plan. 

   (2016/11/30 14:40)

16-17 November (Manila, Philippine)
 
The 23rd Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) was held from 15 to 18 November in Manila, Philippine. It was co-organized by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development - Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines (DOST-PCIEERD), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
 
The APRSAF was established in 1993 to enhance space activities in the Asia-Pacific region. Attended by space agencies, governments, and international organizations such as the United Nations as well as companies, universities and research institutes, this Forum is the largest space-related conference in the Asia-Pacific region. Now APRSAF has 4 Working Groups; Space Applications Working Group (SAWG), Space Technology Working Group (STWG), Space Environment Utilization Working Group (SEUWG) and Space Education Working Group (SEWG). The participants of APRSAF share information about their activities and the future plans for their countries and regions in each working group APRSAF also supports international projects designed to find solutions to common issues such as disaster management and environmental protection.
 
ADRC joined Space Applications Working Group (SAWG) and reported activity of Sentinel Asia. The Sentinel Asia initiative is one such activity, and involves the use of space-based information in the form of satellite images for disaster management in the Asia-Pacific region. ADRC has been tasked with the responsibility of receiving emergency observation requests from ADRC member countries and Joint Project Team (JPT) members
 
Sentinel Asia marks 10 years anniversary in 2016. ADRC reported a trend of Emergency Observation Request in the past decade. It was highlighted that the number of EOR is increasing in the recent year. Also ADRC introduced two good practices in Vietnam and in Myanmar. Provided satellite images and product were utilized for DRR activity in both country. However it remains some points to be discussed such as data sharing in each country.

(2016/11/18 18:30)

Manila, Philippines (November 17-18, 2016)


IMG_6653.JPGDuring the "Regional Knowledge Forum on Risk-informed Land Use Planning in the Context of Post-Disaster Recovery", which was organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 17-18 November 2016 in Manila, the IRP Secretariat was invited to send one recovery expert to share global experiences. The forum was attended by over 100 decision-makers and specialists with expertise in land use management, disaster risk management, and post-disaster recovery. The key speakers were from Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Thailand who discussed how disaster risk related issues can be addressed through land use/spatial planning in the context of post-disaster recovery.

The forum recognized that large-scale disasters often result in changing spatial structures due to corresponding large-scale reconstruction activities. Hence, the recovery process that follows provide opportunities to address both the pre-existing spatial development related challenges as well as the new ones. Some actions that may be introduced to address the issues associated with land use and housing in the post-disaster phase, may include: (i) introducing new land use strategies; (ii) regulating and providing incentives to rebuild away from hazard-prone areas; (iii) proposing new spatial growth models that factor in changing hazard patterns; (iv) addressing issues related to land title and rights; (v) adopting participatory approaches towards rebuilding thereby improving social cohesion; and (vi) undertaking a combination of structural and nonstructural investments to manage future disaster risk.

The forum covered three thematic sessions, where key messages and recommended actions were presented. The first session dealt with recovery policies, wherein policy actions may be focused on addressing the challenges related to the availability of land, risk information, local capacity, finances, and in meeting the speed required to implement activities on the ground. The second session dealt with the horizontal and vertical coordination issues, especially between national and local governments. The suggestion that came up from this session was to revisit and address the underlying causes of disaster risk. Adoption of a system-wide approach (such as focusing on watersheds) and design recovery measures that strengthens vertical and horizontal linkages may help contribute in addressing the issue. The final session dealt with good practices and innovative tools. It is in this session that IRP shared some of the international experiences. The recommendations from IRP included: reviewing past disaster experiences by specifically performing "failure analysis" and "build back better"; selecting from "menu of options" of strategies and actions from global experiences to address recovery issues and challenges - including land use and housing issues; and conducting pre-disaster recovery planning (pre-event research, pre-agreements) to help hasten the effectiveness of land use planning in post-disaster context (i.e. strengthening institutional arrangements, policies, laws, and programs).

   (2016/11/21 14:40)

New Delhi, India (November 4, 2016)


WS000008.JPGThe International Recovery Platform, where ADRC is pioneering member, coordinated a thematic session at the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, 3-5 November 2016 in New Delhi, India. The session was entitled "Strategies and Actions on Build Back Better" held on 4 November 2016, 13:00-14:30, Hall 6 at Vigyan Bhawan. Six high-level speakers of the session shared their respective experiences and lessons relative to: (i) policies and strategies, (ii) institutional arrangements, (iii) financing mechanisms, and (iv) implementation arrangements and recovery management - the key elements relevant to build back better. About 150 individuals participated in the session, where each speaker outlined key strategies and actions for build back better ranging from the areas of governance, gender, pre-investment, social inclusion, and sustainable development.

H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General ASEAN Secretariat, reported that ASEAN is setting forward a regional policy on build back better based on the recovery and reconstruction component of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER). The regional policy sets forth the process and the timeframe for assessment, recovery plan formulation, resource mobilization, coordination, and transition of recovery plan to development plan so that member states are guided. With the AADMER in place, member states are about to improve safer structural and non-structural measures during reconstruction. Other specific examples of regional efforts include Tripartite Core Group partnership in recovery from cyclone Nargis in Myanmar as well as development of guides such as the Recovery Toolbox and the Disaster Recovery Reference Guide.

Mr. Sushil Gyewali, Chief Operating Officer of National Reconstruction Authority of Nepal, shared the key challenges of the Post-Disaster Recovery Framework 2016-2020. In terms of policies, the challenges include managing political interests, community expectations, compliance to build back better principle, and operations of the new National Reconstruction Authority that adopts a new perspective but with old team. In terms of institutional arrangement, the challenges are institution building against the pressure of delivery as well as the capacity to deliver reconstruction that complements national resources with international expertise. In terms of financing mechanism, the challenges include ensuring international commitment, financing, and realistic recovery planning and implementation. In terms of recovery management, a robust and decentralized reconstruction coordination and implementation mechanism was designed and instituted as well as engaging community.

Mr. Austere Panadero, Undersecretary at the Department of the Interior and Local Government of the Philippines, highlighted the key initiatives that help address the gaps in DRR and recovery efforts. In terms of policies, land use plan is the 'mother' of all plans and the basis for 'build back better' at the local/community level. Additionally, hazard-proofing of public investments is advocated through planning-programming-budgeting linkages as well as better DRRM-CCA informed criteria for project development and evaluation. In terms of institutional arrangements, the barangay-level or village-level DRRM-CCA baseline information is being generated locally and communities are strengthened through capacity building activities down to the household levels. In terms of financing mechanisms, initiatives such as Climate Change Expenditure Tagging (CCET) and the Seal of Good Local Governance through disaster preparedness audits are put in place. Finally, in terms of recovery management, a seamlessness of local development plans such as those drawn from Typhoon Haiyan experience in the Visayas and the "whole-of-government" approach under NDRRMC-OCD are among the many examples of tried and tested implementation arrangements.

Prof. Vinod Menon, Senior Advisor Caritas India, pointed that community-centered policies are essential. He introduced the "Community-Centered Risk Management" Framework for build back better, emphasizing inclusive recovery with special attention to the weak and marginalized groups. The framework was presented to be one of the solutions to address existing policy gaps as it facilitates: (i) coherence and convergence of policies relative to DRR, CCA, and SDGs; (ii) inclusion of the weaker sections of society as the hallmark of all recovery strategies; and (iii) support for resilience building of communities affected by ethnic conflicts, atrocities against vulnerable sections, violence and complex emergencies.

Mr. Achyut Luitel, Director of Practical Action Nepal, introduced the South Asian Disaster Report 2016, which outlines 12 recommendations for build back better in Nepal, namely: (1) promote multi-tier, multi-stakeholder policy directions; (2) harmonization and standardization of policy, legislative, and regulatory instruments; (3) ensure institutional demarcation for phase-out planning and implementation; (4) holding institutions accountable for addressing DRR in development interventions; (5) focus on vulnerable within vulnerable; (6) enable the potential and capacity of women as decision-makers; (7) make housing reconstruction owner-driven; (8) make schools safe for children; (9) building on local solutions; (10) move from cash transfer to risk transfer; (11) rebuilding micro and small enterprises; and (12) building disaster risk-informed development for resilience.

Ms. Shaila Shahid, Team Leader Gender and Water Alliance Bangladesh,  highlighted two policy actions, namely: (i) inclusion/awareness raising, where in the case of Bangladesh, actions such as participation of women in disaster management councils and local government, volunteerism, and representation in the management bodies are promoted; and (ii) capacity building focusing on understanding gender, identifying social relations between men and women, and how these relationships are socially constructed to encourage leadership role.

After active discussions, Mr. Stefan Kohler of UNOPS and chair of the session offered the summary. First, recovery phase is an opportunity to build back better, which is essential to reduce vulnerability and make the development gains more sustainable. It can be more successful of done with inclusion of the weak and marginalized. Second, pre-investment is an important element for build back better to ensure development continuity, such as promoting risk-informed land use planning. Third, awareness, knowledge, and capacity such as in reference to gender and marginalized groups are essential in facilitating effective preparation to build back better in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction Finally, build back better in recovery is a large-scale institutional and technical effort, which requires all the stakeholders--government, civil societies, and private sector --to collaborate and work together such as the whole-of-government approach of the Philippines.

   (2016/11/04 14:40)


  ADRC participated in AMCDRR held in Delhi during November 3-5th and the pre-conference held on 2nd Nov. The Conference was opened by the Prime Minister Modi,India and attended by almost 60 countries
  ADRC co-organised a thematic event "Partnerships and Innovations for improving Disaster Loss Accounting" . Mr. S. Jegillos, Senior Advisor, UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub made an opening remark on the purpose of the event, and Professor Yuichi Ono,Tohoku University reported first about the Global Centre for Disaster Statistics, followed by a presentation on the use of drone for DRR by Ms. C. Briggert, Head of Stakeholder Relations, DJI, a report on innovation regarding DRR by the government of Maldives, and a presentation on disaster losses estimation focusing on that of private sector by Mr. A. Perwaiz, Head, Disaster Risk Management Systems, Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC).
IMG_0784.JPG  ADRC contributed to the event by the presentation titled "GLIDE, GLobal unique disaster IDEntifier number to Support Evidence Based Disaster Reduction Strategy at National & Local Levels -A Simple but Innovative Tool for Effective Disaster Information Sharing-",delivered by  Dr.S. Nishikawa, former Executive Director of ADRC. Mr.Nishikawa raised the extensive potential contribution of GLIDE as basic tool to facilitate disaster information sharing at national and sub-national DRR organisations towards upgrading DRR activities including those against mega disasters beyond national borders. Many questions on the use of GLIDE were raised from the floor and after the event. In addition to the useful comments on GLIDE, AMCDRR provided us throughout the Conference period diverse opportunities of exchange with our counterparts from ADRC member countries, which has facilitated us reshaping GLIDE and redefining other activities more adapted to the future needs of Asia.                                     
  As the outcome of the AMCDRR, the New Delhi DeclIMG_0784.JPGaration was endorsed, and an "Asia Regional Plan for Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030"s was agreed as one of the main outcome documents. Prior to AMCDRR, a Special Session dedicated to the tsunami DRR was organised by UNISDR, while a commemoration event of the World Tsunami Awareness Day took place on 5th November at the Closing Ceremony. During the special session, many speakers referred to the good practices of Inamurano-hi, on which ADRC published brochures in more than 10 languages. (http://www.adrc.asia/publications/inamura/top.html)

(2016/11/3, 12:30)


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