24-25 February 2018 (Port Moresby, PNG)
Papua New Guinea (PNG) has officially kicked off its APEC year 2018 and the First Senior Officials Meeting (SOM1), which took place from 24 February to 9 March. At the beginning, the 13th Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) Meeting was held at Laguna Hotel in Port Moresby. Mr. Ruel Yamina, Managing Director of Climate Change and Development Authority, Papua New Guinea, officially opened the meeting. Remarks were then given by the new co-chair, Dr. Wei-Sen Li, Chinese Taipei. Japan, as the former co-chair, expressed gratitude to the host economy and congratulated Chinese Taipei on its appointment to the position of EPWG co-chair.
At the first meeting of 2018, PNG, as the host economy, presented the themes and priorities for 2018: Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future. PNG then gave an update on preparations for the 12th Senior Disaster Management Officials Forum, SDMOF, scheduled for 25-26 September in Kokopo, East New Britain Island, and proposed
"Advancing multi-hazard early warning systems for emergency preparedness and DRM,"
as the main theme for SDMOF. This is intended to cover effective data collection and analysis for warnings, the communication and delivery of warning messages, and the localization of warnings based on lessons learned from the major natural disasters that have hit the economy including the Volcanic eruptions in Rabaul (1994), the Aitape tsunami (1998), Cyclone Guba (2007), the El Nino droughts of 1997-1998 and 2015-2016, and the disaster experiences in other economies. PNG proposed that outcomes might include policy statements and recommendations to ensure that early warning systems facilitate the monitoring of multiple hazards, and the sharing of best practices in the use of digital technology to collect, store, and analyze monitoring and warning data.
Dr. Li, co-chair, then presented the EPWG 2018 Workplan, followed by updates and reports on the progress of EPWG projects. Chile started by reporting on the workshop on Tsunami Threat Assessment for Tsunami Warning Centers of APEC Economies held last December. ADRC reported on the APEC project "Enhancing Rural Disaster Resilience through Effective Infrastructure Investment", which was co-sponsored by Viet Nam, Japan, and other economies, and also the workshop held in Vinh City last September. The essence of the draft casebook was shared with by member economies for discussion. ADRC also informed member economies about the 2017 project "Identifying Economic Impacts by Mega Disasters Affecting Asia Pacific Economies" and announced that a workshop is scheduled to be held in autumn in Awaji, Japan, back to back with ACDR2018.
In the afternoon of Day1, participants shared with recent experiences of natural disasters including the cyclones and heatwaves in Australia, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria in the USA, the Pohan Earthquake in November 2017 in Korea, the El Nino and Mount Kadovar eruption in PNG, and the Hualien Earthquake in February in Chinese Taipei. From Japan, ADRC briefed about the heavy rainfall in Kyushu last summer, the recent eruption of mount Kusatsu-Shirane and also the heavy snowfalls this winter, in Japan.
Day 2 started with a report by China on preparations for the 10th anniversary of the Sichuan Earthquake, followed by a video message on recent inundations by INDECI in Peru, and another remote participation by ADPC. In the discussion on DRR policy priorities and the APEC DRR Framework implementation, ADRC presented information about GLIDE and its role as a basic tool for DRR information. This was intended to facilitate implementation of the APEC DRR Framework and encourage member economies to use GLIDE. As an outreaching collaboration, ADRC also reported about the discussion with ADRC members on future DRR priorities after its 20th anniversary.
Despite the recent floods and volcanic eruption, PNG successfully organized the first meeting of EPWG, thanks to the efforts of CCDA and NDC. The second EPWG meeting will be held in August in Port Moresby.
Photo：PNG delegation at EPWG
Photo: Video message from INDECI, Peru