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Activity Report

 12-14 December 2010 (Thimphu, Bhutan)

DSC02094 (2).JPG The International Conference on Disaster Management and Cultural Heritage "Living in Harmony with the Four Elements" was held on 12-14 December 2010 in Thimphu, Bhutan. This was the first large-scale international conference to be held in Bhutan; it attracted 55 international participants from 23 countries, as well as 98 participants from around Bhutan, including His Excellency the Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley, and Ms. Margarita Wahlstrom, the United Nations' Assistant Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Special Representative of the Secretary General for the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action. This conference was organized by the Department of Disaster Management and the Department of Culture, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Bhutan, and was supported by UN/ISDR, UNESCO, UNDP, GFDRR, and the World Bank. During this conference, participants discussed the following five themes. The results are reported in the Thimphu Document. a. Policy and Institutional Framework for Disaster Management b. Technical Aspects of Disaster Management c. Traditional Practices for Disaster Risk Reduction d. Post-Disaster Recovery of Cultural Heritage e. Capacity Building and Networking This document will be reported to the next Global Platform in Geneva on 8-13 May 2011, and the Climate Summit for a Living Himalayas Bhutan 2011. The ADRC dispatched Mr. Masaru Arakida, Senior Researcher, to introduce historical disaster management techniques and community-based early warning systems, and to propose an implementation strategy for Bhutan.

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After the conference, he visited Punakha and paid a courtesy call on the provincial governor, investigated damages caused by flooding in 2009, and visited candidate sites for rain gauges along the upstream areas of the Mo-chu River. ADRC will hold a workshop on disaster education and disaster drills for residents, including students and monks, in the Mo-chu area, and also will hold a class to teach people how to make rain and river gauges that can be managed by the local community.

 (2010/12/15 16:40)

5-10 December 2010 (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia)
12-16 December 2010 (Dhaka and Noakhali, Bangladesh)

Since 2009, ADRC has initiated a pilot project of ADRC 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 Mongolia and Bangladesh were selected as target countries among applications from ADRC member countries. After the submission of country reports by the two target countries, reviewer teams, which consist of two officers from member countries, one expert from Japan and one or two from ADRC per a target country, have visited target countries to conduct interview surveys.

IMG_0104.JPGOn 5-10 December 2010, the ADRC reviewer team, composed of Prof. Masato Motosaka (Earthquake Disaster Research Laboratory, Disaster Control Research Center, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University), Mr. Tshering Kezang (Governor, Dzongkhag Administration, Lhuentse, Bhutan), Mr. Vizesh Rana (Deputy Commandant, Ministry of Home Affairs, India) and two ADRC staff members visited Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. During the four day survey, the team visited various ministries and institutions related to DRR activities, including NEMA: National Emergency Management Agency (ADRC's counterpart in Mongolia), to examine how they have been making the efforts for earthquake disaster education and capacity development by government and non-governmental organizations in Mongolia. Then, the team conducted on-site review of the building condition, and prepared a draft report of the survey result with all findings and recommendations. On the last day of the survey, a workshop was held for getting opinion and comments to finalize the report and attended by about 30 NEMA officials. The representative from Bhutan and India also made presentations on their efforts for earthquake disaster reduction in the workshop. It provided a very good opportunity for exchanging opinions each other.


photo 016.jpgAnother reviewer team composed of Dr. Taiichi Hayashi of Research Center for Fluvial and Coastal Disasters of Disaster Prevention Research Institute of Kyoto University, Mr. San Kung from Myanmar's Relief and Resettlement Department, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Ms. Crispina B. Abat of Philippines' Office of Civil Defense, and Ms. Yumi Shiomi of ADRC visited Bangladesh on 12-16 December 2010 to conduct a survey for learning about their ongoing efforts for Cyclone Preparedness in the country. The survey began with visiting relevant organizations in Dhaka such as Disaster Management and Relief Division of Ministry of Food and Disaster Management (ADRC's counterpart in Bangladesh), its Disaster Management Bureau, Bangladesh Meteorological Department, Bangladesh Water Development Board, Institute of Water Modeling and Bangladesh Red Crescent Society. Then the team moved to cyclone-prone Noakhali District in the coastal region to learn the situations through interviewing local DRM officials, volunteers and residents, and visiting cyclone shelters and embankments. The team members with cyclone expertise and experiences of severe storm countermeasures in their countries actively shared opinions during the survey.

This project aims at developing the mutual learning process among the ADRC member countries instead of one-way learning. After the survey missions, reviewer teams 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 this year.

(2010/12/21 17:40)

3 December 2010 (Vientiane, Lao)

ADRC collaborated with Ministry of Education in Lao to organize the second coordination meeting for "Promotion of Disaster Education of Schools" project. First, ADRC and the task-team discussed latest situation on disaster education in Lao for conducting a Training of Trainer (TOT) and Pilot Lesson.
Then ADRC and the task-team visited 2 target schools. It was followed by a meeting with Ministry of Education's officials, the principal and teachers of a pilot school in Vientiane. As a result of discussion, ADRC and the task-team decided that a training program for school teachers will be held at the middle of March in 2011.
Note: This project is part of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund Projects and aimed to promote disaster education in ASEAN countries through such means as training of school teachers followed by school lessons facilitated by trained teachers.)

(2011/03/18 18:30)

2 December - 5 December (Colombo, Sri Lanka)

ADRC representative recently visited Sri Lanka to explore the possibility of further strengthening collaboration between Sri Lanka and ADRC, especially focusing on the next Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction (ACDR) to be held in Sri Lanka sometime next year. 2010.12.09 103.JPGSri Lank, similar to many other Asian countries, is susceptible to various types of disasters. The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, already six years ago, killed more than thirty thousand people, injured more than twenty thousand and affected more than 1 million populations in Sri Lanka, the sheer scale of which is second only to Indonesia. Flood and land/mud slides frequently cause extensive human and physical damages in many parts of the country, but one of the most recent ones was the flash flood occurred in the capital Colombo affecting a large number of residents.

During the stay there, we visited several disaster stricken sites. One of the most intriguing sites was the Tsunami Photo Museum located nearby the site of a passenger train washed away by Tsunami killing over a 1,000 people in Galle district, southern part of Sri Lanka. This museum, privately owned, contains precious photos and messages of Tsunami, but in a small hut.

(2010/12/7 13:10)

1-9, 18-22, December, 2010

Through many of natural disasters experiences, Japan has accumulated knowledge of dealing with disasters and developed its expertise together with advanced policies and technologies in the area of disaster risk reduction. This unique experience provides Japan with many valuable knowledge and expertise that it must now endeavor to share effectively with other members of the international community. From this point of view, this project is launched by the Cabinet Office of Japanese Government last year. Mongolia and Indonesia were selected as target countries of the FY2010 project. The ADRC dispatched mission teams to those two countries to discuss the details of the project activities, including determination of the work schedule.

 On 1-9 December 2010, the ADRC team visited Mongolia and conducted preliminary survey for the proposed project activities on earthquake disaster education. The team visited National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), two target schools to conduct disaster drill, and other related organizations. Through discussion, the ADRC and NEMA agreed to have pre-training course in Japan at the end of January 2011, and to have workshop of earthquake disaster education in the middle of February 2011. 

On 19-22 December 2010, the ADRC team visited Indonesia to learn detailed ideas on the promotion of disaster education to mass media, the project theme proposed by Indonesia. They concerns mass media casualties caused by pyroclastic flows of Mt. Merapi eruption, and inadequate Tsunami early warning information distribution. The team visited the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) and The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), and interviewed some mass media. Through the discussion, the ADRC and BNPB agreed to have training course in Japan and workshop in Jakarta in February or March 2011. Also, we agreed to conduct survey on mass media's awareness on natural disaster before the workshop.
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