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Activity Report

28 October 2022

We are pleased to announce that our annual meeting, the Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction for FY2022 (ACDR2022), will be held as a hybrid (onsite and online) conference on 10-12 March 2023 in Sendai, Japan (programmes on 11-12 March are open to the public) . 
The details will be shared in this newsletter, as well as on the ADRC website.
(2022/10/28 15:00)
22 October 2022 (Kobe,Japan)

ADRC organized a workshop entitled, "Differences in Disaster Risk Management (DRM) between Japan and other countries as seen by foreign residents in Japan: cooperation starts from understanding the differences" on 22 October 2022. The workshop, which was a side event at the BOSAI KOKUTAI 2022, covered a range of issues, including: engagement of foreign residents in disaster prevention activities; risk communication; and ways to bridge the differences in DRM practices among Asian countries. 

In the first presentation, Dr. Khaerunnisa (Head, Master of Architecture Program, University of Atma Jaya Yogyakarta, Indonesia), a former foreign student in Osaka, pointed that Indonesia and Japan have relatively different types of support networks for students in times of disaster. In Japan, foreign students can organize themselves to establish a network of support system. This network of students is often country-based and informal. So, students' access to disaster information and engagement in drills conducted by the Japanese local governments are limited. However, disaster information from mass media, TV, internet, and radio are readily accessible to foreign students. By contrast, in Indonesia, it is the government agency that facilitates the organization of community networks (including student networks) to build a strong support-system in times of disasters. 

Mr. NAGANO Koichi (Director, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Hyogo International Association) provided the second presentation highlighting HIA's activities to support foreign residents during disasters. Among the activities he mentioned, are: 1) "multilingual pointing board", an initiative that shows guidance for preparation and evacuation in times of disaster; 2) "Disaster Preparedness Guide for Children and Parents", a publication disseminated to all residents; and 3) "My Evacuation Card", a card that provides simple instructions for evacuation in nine different languages. Mr. Nagano acknowledged that HIA faces a number of challenges in implementing these activities, such as how to effectively communicate disaster forecasts and warnings to foreigners through SNS and internet with multilingual support. 

Mr. MAMIYA Keita (Risk Management Section Officer, Policy Department, Kusatsu City, Shiga
Prefecture) shared Kusatsu City's pioneering program of organizing "Foreign Firefighters". In this program, the city designates foreign residents who are fluent in both native and Japanese languages (as well as having deep understanding of Japanese lifestyle and culture) to be firefighters. During normal times, foreign firefighters receive training and participate in disaster risk reduction activities, including seminars and lectures. During emergency, foreign firefighters also help in disseminating information via SNS, support safe evacuation, and assist in counselling using their respective native languages. 

Dr. Gerry Potutan (Senior Researcher, ADRC) presented the outcomes of the online survey that looked into the differences in DRM practices between Japan and other countries as perceived by foreign residents. Results showed that foreign residents generally perceived Japan's DRM practices (e.g., hazard maps, disaster drill, evacuation guidance, and early warning) to be "excellent" compared to their respective countries of origin. By rating "excellent", respondents indicated that Japan serves as benchmark to other countries in terms of planning and designing effective DRM programs. In terms of the key challenge in risk communication, most respondents mentioned "language barrier". To address this challenge, respondents suggested the following: use of visual tools (e.g., images, drawings, and signs); reach out to foreign residents early (e.g., during arrival and registration process) for disaster preparedness; and enhance multilingual services (e.g., translations and subtitles in more languages). 

At the closing, MR. ARAKIDA Masaru (Director, Researcher Department, ADRC), who moderated the workshop, acknowledged that since foreign residents in Japan came from diverse culture and background, it is expected that the DRM practices of their respective countries can be different from Japan. This situation can be challenging for most Japanese local governments to communicate disaster risk. The suggestions that came up in this workshop will offer insights on how to address this challenge. He also mentioned that all presentation materials can be accessed on ADRC website: 
(2022/10/27 15:00)
21 October 2022 (Online)

On 21 October 2022, ADRC participated in the annual meeting of the Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction (WGDRR) of the Typhoon Committee. This event, which was held online, enabled discussion of three key items: (1) progress on the implementation of projects for 2022, (2) proposed projects for 2023, and (3) participation in the Integrated Workshops (IWS). 

It was reported that all seven projects for 2022 were implemented, including the "Knowledge Sharing in DRR" event that was held in Guam over the summer. For 2023, WGDRR proposed seven projects:

(1) Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing in DRR, 
(2) Setting-up Early Warning and Alert Systems, 
(3) the WGDRR Annual Meeting, 
(4) Benefit Evaluation of Typhoon DRR, 
(5) DRR Information Sharing, 
(6) a DRR Education Video, and 
(7) a Seminar on Crowd-Sourcing. 

The WGDRR will report on the progress made on the 2022 projects as well as the proposed projects for 2023 at the forthcoming 17th Integrated Workshop of the Typhoon Committee, to be held 29-30 November 2023 via video conference. At the closing, the chair of the WGDRR highlighted that the first project to be implemented in 2023 is the "Knowledge Sharing in DRR Events," which will be held back-to-back in Manila, Philippines and Vientiane, Lao PDR during the first quarter. 
(2022/10/28 15:00)
21-28 October 2022 (Japan)

A delegation from Uzbekistan, an ADRC member since the inception of the organization, visited Japan from 21-28 October 2022 to study Japanese earthquake preparedness. The delegation included Mirzaev Sirojiddin Zaynievich, Vice-President of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, and 11 other government officials from the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and other government agencies, and researchers from the Academy of Sciences and Universities. 

They visited sites such as Nagoya University and the University of Tokyo, as well as government agencies such as the Disaster Management Bureau of the Cabinet Office, the Geographical Survey Institute, the Building Research Institute, and the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Disaster Prevention. They were briefed on Japan's legal system and disaster prevention technologies and had opportunities to see actual observation devices and to visit facilities conducting relevant experiments. They asked many questions during each site visit, and expressed keen interest in the work being done. 

ADRC supported the delegation by offering advice on the development of their agenda and accompanying the delegation to various sites.
(2022/10/28 15:00)
 4 - 6 October 2022 (Dushanbe, Tajikistan)

This Regional Forum co-organized by the Centre for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction (CESDRR) and the Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defence (CoES) of Tajikistan was held on 4-6 October 2022 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The Regional Forum was attended by more than 70 people including heads of emergency authorities in the Central Asian countries and UN officials, donors, and representatives of international and NGOs. 

During the Regional Forum, many topics of international cooperation on DRR were discussed, such as the ongoing implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR, lessons learned from major natural disasters and the recovery process, inclusive approaches to DRR, cross-border cooperation, and DRR investments. CESDRR pointed out that the Technical Working Group will be created for the development of a Regional Early Warning System and Mutual Information Sharing on Threats and Emergencies.

ADRC introduced current activities that contribute to capacity building in the Central Asian countries, such as the visiting researcher program, the Sentinel Asia project, GLIDE, and preparations for a future Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction (ACDR) in Tajikistan.
(2022/1011 15:00)
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