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Activity Report

19 March 2014 (Perth, Australia)

International Seminar titled "Crisis Response: Restoring public services in the immediate aftermath of a disaster", organized by the Institute of Public Administration Australia WA, was held in Perth, Western Australia on 19 March 2014. As a cooperation of this forum, the ADRC sent one representative from IRP secretariat to attend. The seminar's over 150 participants included experts from government officials and academic experts across the Western Australia.
During the presentation, Mr. Shingo Kouchi, ADRC Senior Expert as well as IRP Senior Recovery Expert, valued the Government and people of Australia's high ability to promote preparedness, recovery and reconstruction efforts towards crisis and natural disasters. Mr. Kouchi also noted that ADRC and IRP have long been in help to many developing countries' efforts to utilize Japanese technologies, experiences, and lessons related to earthquake disaster risk reduction.
Mr. Kouchi also emphasized the importance of everyday preparedness by citizens, in addition to the government efforts, when a massive disaster strikes. In this connection, some weather-related disasters which occurred in Japan since 1960's showed the evidence of progress of disaster reduction and preparedness.
The ADRC, together with the IRP, would like to continue to support efforts to strengthen the disaster reduction capabilities of affected communities in Asia and the Pacific.

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(2013/04/01 14:50)

23 February-1 March 2014 (ARMENIA)

IMG_7483.JPGSince 2009, ADRC has initiated a pilot project of DRR Policy Peer Review with the aim of developing DRR capacity of the ADRC member countries by sharing information and strengthening the relationship among member countries.

This year, Improving the earthquake safety of nursing homes and orphanages in Armenia was selected as one of the target projects of the fifth year. After the submission of country report, reviewer team composed of Ph.D. Aiko Sakurai (Associate Professor, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University, Japan), Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr (Director, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Philippines) and Mr. Junji Moriwaki (Researcher of ADRC) had visited Armenia to conduct interview surveys.

The team visited National Survey for Seismic Protection Agency, involving in DRR activities to examine how they have been making efforts of developing DRR in Armenia. Then, the team conducted inspection of nursing homes and orphanages for checking current situations, and prepared a draft report of the survey result with all findings and recommendations. Also the workshop was held for getting opinion and comments to finalize the report as well as introducing good practices for DRR activities in Japan and Philippines. It provided a very good opportunity for exchanging opinions each other.

This project aims at developing the mutual learning process among the ADRC member countries instead of one-way learning. After the survey missions, reviewer team will compile survey reports and send them to target countries and then to the ADRC member countries to enhance cross-fertilization.

ADRC would like to express its sincerest gratitude to all of those who have made precious contribution to this project.

(2014/2/23 19:40)

19-21 February 2014 (Cebu City, Philippines)

Cebu_group photo.jpg

The International Recovery Platform (IRP) and Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) had facilitated a Workshop on Disaster Recovery Planning, 19-21 February 2014 at Crown Regency Hotel in Cebu City, Philippines. The main objective of the workshop was to provide technical assistance in formulating the recovery plans of local governments impacted by super typhoon Haiyan. With its experts in Cebu City, IRP/ADRC shared a collection of global experiences and lessons on disaster recovery, which served as reference in establishing a temporal link between preparedness, recovery, and sustainable development. The workshop was also aimed at strengthening the local capacities for integrating disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) in disaster recovery planning and long-term development programming.

Over 50 local government officials from the Provincial Government of Cebu, Provincial Government Leyte, Provincial Government of Samar, City Government of Tacloban, Municipal Government of Palo (Leyte), and Municipal Government of Basey (Samar) participated in the workshop to explore strategies and actions on recovery and reconstruction from the super typhoon. Additionally, partners from UNISDR-GETI (South Korea), Office of Civil Defense (Philippines), and GIZ-Philippines also participated to further contribute in the discussions and make sure that partners' knowledge and experiences are shared with the impacted local governments. The acting administrator of OCD General Romeo F. Fajardo along with the administrator of the Province of Cebu Atty. Mark Tolentino and OCD-Region 7 director Ms. Dina Morante were present at the opening to grace occasion and inspire the participants to work collaboratively and effectively. During this event, the participants were exposed to various options to "build back better" after a disaster. A wide array of strategies and actions from the Guidance Notes on Recovery served as options in which the local governments can adopt, if suited to their respective contexts. The lessons on recovery, as compiled by IRP/ADRC from various experiences around the globe, provided an additional input to build on the existing initiatives of local governments. At the end of the workshop, each local government came up with an outline of Recovery Plan, including a list of strategies, actions, and responsible offices/organizations to implement the proposed actions.

As way forward, the local governments intend to further refine the recovery plans together with local stakeholders, specifically the community. They will form working groups to fine-tune the output from the workshop. The revised draft will then be shared to other departments for comments and suggestions. After gathering the comments, the working group of each local government will incorporate them in the draft. The final version of the recovery plan will be submitted to the local council for discussion and adoption by the local government. Once adopted, the plans will be submitted and discussed with the Philippine Reconstruction Czar General Panfilo Lacson, who is the Presidential Assistant for Reconstruction from Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) for further amendments and funding. 


(2014/03/03 14:40)

 

17-18 February 2014 (Ningbo, CHINA)

APEC is the premier Asia-Pacific economic forum whose primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, championing free and open trade and investment, promoting and accelerating regional economic integration, encouraging economic and technical cooperation, enhancing human security, and facilitating a favorable and sustainable business environment.

The EPWG was first established as APEC's Task Force for Emergency Preparedness (TFEP) by APEC Senior Officials in 2005 and mandated to coordinate and facilitate emergency and disaster preparedness within APEC. In 2009 APEC Leaders reaffirmed the importance of enhancing human security and reducing the threat of disruptions to business and trade in the Asia-Pacific region. Recognizing the importance of its work, in 2010 the TFEP was upgraded in status to a working group. Now the EPWG continues to play a constructive role in enabling the region to better prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters by helping to reduce the risk of disasters and building business and community resilience. By sharing expertise and collaborating on emergency preparedness issues, APEC members strengthen their capacity to mitigate emergencies and disasters. In recent years, the global economic damage caused by the Great East-Japan Earthquake and Thai flood in 2011 urged APEC EPWG to disseminate the business continuity plan (BCP) especially among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The 6th EPWG was held on 17 - 18 Feb in Ningbo, and the Executive Director of ADRC participated in the meeting.

Funded by APEC, The ADRC has researched the BCPs among small and middle-sized enterprises and edited the guidebook on BCP considering the rapid economic growth in Asia region.

At the beginning of the meeting, considering past contribution to our activities to APEC EPWG, Executive Director of the ADRC was elected as co-chairman of EPWG. Then the co-chair and member economies reported the activities in 2013 and proposed the work plan of 2014, which encourages to continue the dissemination of BCM among SMEs and to enhance the resilience of supply-chain, and to launch the new project titled "The Workshop of a Space-and-ICT based disaster management system to enhance supply-chain resilience and BCP" by the Government of Japan.

(2014/02/25 13:00)
13-14 February 2014 (Vienna, Austria)

United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) has designated 16 institutions, including ADRC to activity centers around the world as "Regional Support Office (RSO)", and has held regular meetings. The 51th Session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS) were held at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. At this sub-session, the 5th UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices (RSO) Meeting was organized, and ADRC took part in this meeting. From 13 to 14 February, the meeting was attended by more than 30 delegates from worldwide RSOs. During the meeting, the following topics were eagerly discussed: 
  1. Reports on activities in 2013, plans for 2014-2015
  2. The stakeholder consultation initiative and the role of RSOs
  3. Review of ongoing activities
  4. UN-SPIDER 2014 plan of activities
  5. Booklets and recommended practices
  6. The RSO network and technical advisory support activities (Group discussion)
  7. Geovisualization

At the UN-SPIDER RSO Meeting, ADRC presented its activities and accomplishments as RSO as well as its future plans. The meeting provided an opportunity to exchange opinions, and explore measures of enhancing future activities of UN-SPIDER RSO. Especially, ADRC appealed to encourage the importance of space technology from space agencies toward the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai-city (March 2015).

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(2014/2/18 13:40)

10-13 February 2014 (Bangkok, Thailand)

IMG_7425.JPGThe Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), participated in the 46th Session of the Typhoon Committee which was jointly organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Typhoon Committee Secretariat, Thai Meteorological Department in Bangkok on 10-13 February 2014.

The more than 70 participants who attended the meeting included representatives from China, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, US, Viet Nam, and the Hong Kong/Macao Special Administrative Regions, as well as representatives of the organizing institutions.

The participants discussed action plan of this committee's three working groups on meteorology, hydrology and disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the next year as well as their activities in the last year.

And the progress of SSOP (Synergized Standard Operating Procedures for Coastal Multi-Hazards Early Warning System) project with which ADRC involves also reported in this session.

Furthermore, regarding the Typhoon Haiyan which raged in the last year, the delegates of Philippines gave a presentation of the damage and the recovery states, and WMO etc reported the assistance for them such as the provision of the typhoon information.

As a result, we had a fruitful discussion such as the enhancement of cooperation among member countries.

For more information, visit
http://www.typhooncommittee.org/46th/index.html

 (2014/2/10 19:40)

18-21 December 2013 (Leyte, Philippines)

IMG_0507.JPGIn December 2013, a team of researchers and experts from ADRC/IRP visited some areas in the provinces of Leyte and Samar that were impacted by typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) in the Philippines. The objective was to draw information on preparedness, response, and plans for recovery in order to provide greater understanding of the disaster, including what gaps and challenges need to be addressed.

The team found that essential preparations were made in anticipation of the super typhoon, such that preemptive evacuations to schools, churches, stadiums, and public buildings were made. Additionally, relief goods and services were ready in most command centers. However, the preparations did not match the magnitude of the unexpected super typhoon which caused massive storm surge that destroyed the evacuation and command centers, specifically those located near the coast. Among of the immediate impacts were high casualties, relief goods washed away, and command centers became dysfunctional. Subsequently, the response effort had no choice but to be delayed. As island provinces, there were challenges in the operational capacities of airports and seaports as well as communication/coordination because most infrastructures were damaged. In fact, most relief goods and services were stranded in some islands before reaching the impacted areas.

In terms of recovery, the local governments and communities acknowledged that greater challenges in housing, livelihoods, and infrastructure are expected. Since most areas where flattened, people immediately need shelter. Communities also need alternative livelihoods because assets from original activities such as coconut harvesting, farming, and fishing were gone. Furthermore, the local market, transportation, energy, and communication infrastructure were also urgently needed. The findings from the visit suggest that in terms of preparedness, public awareness on storm surge needs to be strengthened, location of evacuation and command centers need to be reviewed, and policies and activities on preparedness (e.g. early warning systems) need to be reassessed. In terms of response, the capacities of local governments and communities to provide immediate relief goods/services need to be enhanced in anticipation of the delays from external agencies due to logistical challenges. In terms of recovery, it is crucial that communities are actively engaged in planning and implementing the programs and projects.

In view of these suggestions, IRP/ADRC plans to organize a workshop in the Province of Leyte in early 2014 to be participated by local government officials and key stakeholders to re-assess the needs for drills and proper information dissemination, re-evaluate early warning systems, and provide technical assistance for recovery planning at the provincial/city/municipality levels.

(2014/1/28 18:30)

23 - 29 December 2013, Maldives

IMG_6501.JPGSince 2009, ADRC has initiated a pilot project of DRR Policy Peer Review with the aim of developing DRR capacity of ADRC member countries by sharing information and strengthening the relationship among member countries.

This year, "Developing a National Framework on Managing Internally Displaced Populations (IDPs) during emergencies" was selected as one of the target projects of the fifth year. After the submission of country report, reviewer team composed of Ph.D. Anawat Suppasri (Associate Professor, International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University, Japan), Ms. Nwet Yin Aye (Deputy Director, The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Myanmar) and Mr. Junji Moriwaki (Researcher of ADRC) had visited Maldives to conduct interview surveys.

The team visited relevant organizations involving in DRR activities to examine how they have been making efforts of developing DRR in Maldives. Then, the team conducted inspection and interview at 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami affected area, and prepared a draft report of the survey result with all findings and recommendations (such as the development of DRR at community level, through capability and legislation building). Also the workshop was held in Male for getting opinion and comments to finalize the report, as well as introducing good practices for reducing tsunami risk and IDPs management activities in Japan and Myanmar. It provided a very good opportunity for exchanging opinions each other.

This project aims at developing the mutual learning process among ADRC member countries instead of one-way learning. After the survey missions, reviewer team will compile survey reports and send them to target countries and then to ADRC member countries to enhance cross-fertilization.

ADRC would like to express its sincerest gratitude to all of those who have made precious contribution to this project.

(2013/12/23 19:40)

23 November - 2 December 2013 (Chile)

ADRC has involved in a project, named "Enhancement of Technology to Develop Tsunami-resilient Community -Collaboration with Chile to Prevent Future Tsunami Tragedies-" which was started in 2011. ADRC is one of member of Working Group 4 to research disaster education and disaster awareness of residents.
In 2010, large scale of earthquake and tsunami hit Talcahuano where it is a port city and commune in the Biobío Region of Chile. In addition, researchers are apprehensive that a strong earthquake and tsunami might occur in the near future in Chile. ADRC had meeting with counter parsons to discuss specific activity in these cities.

(2013/12/10 18:30)

1-5 December 2013, Macao

IMG_6284.JPGThe Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), participated in the 8th Integrated Workshop in conjunction with the 2nd Training and Research Coordination Group Forum of the Typhoon Committee which was jointly organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Typhoon Committee Secretariat, the Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau in Macao on 2-4 December 2013. The more than 100 participants who attended the meeting included representatives from Cambodia, China, D.P.R. Korea, Japan, Lao, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand, US, Viet Nam, as well as representatives of the organizing institutions. The participants discussed their approaches of"Forecasting, Warning and DRR Strategies in the Mitigation of Tropical Cyclone Impact in a Multi-hazard Environment" which was the main theme of the meeting.
For the Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group, Japan's Cabinet Office gave a presentation on the damage caused by typhoons in 2013 and on ADRC activities such as the Visiting Researcher Program.
Furthermore, regarding the Typhoon Haiyan, the delegates of Philippines and Vietnam gave a presentation of the damage and the current states, and WMO and Japan Meteorological Agency, etc reported the assistance for them such as the provision of the typhoon information. As a result, we had a fruitful discussion such as the enhancement of cooperation among member countries.
The Typhoon Committee has two other working groups on meteorology and hydrology, in addition to the working group on disaster risk reduction. In this time, the three working groups and the Training and Research Coordination Group Forum was held together as an integrated event.
For more information, visit http://www.typhooncommittee.org/8IWS_2TRCG/8IWS_2TRCG.html

(2013/12/6 19:40)

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