ASEAN calls for new approach on disaster management

Wednesday, 2022-05-04 21:50:10
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Participants in the recent online forum. (Photo: asean.org)
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NDO/VNA - The ASEAN Secretariat has organised a forum entitled Trends and Foresight for ASEAN Disaster Management to discuss adaptive approaches to disaster management in the region.

This is the second event of a series of forums under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Research and Development Platform Programme which brings evidence-based research and insights to support ASEAN sectoral bodies in their activities. The programme is supported by the Japanese government through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund.

Highlighting that ASEAN is among the most disaster-prone regions in the world, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASCC Ekkaphab Phanthavong said the disaster management sector will need to be equipped with strong strategic analysis and tools to be prepared for the changing risk landscape in ASEAN.

Naoki Minamiguchi, the Director of Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund Management Team, noted that the forum aims to assist ASEAN in achieving substantial reduction of disaster losses in lives and assets and to enhance disaster resilience in the region through collaboration and cooperation in disaster management.

He emphasised the importance of actionable policy tools and innovative methodologies to be readily applied to the disaster sector.

The project’s advisor team, Resilience Development Initiative (RDI), highlighted the complex interactions between climate hazards, exposure and vulnerability, and disaster management. To respond to these interactions and come up with viable solutions, they advised that new adaptive approaches to disaster management will be needed.

However, Dr. Mizan Bisri from RDI warned that there are several problems in utilising disaster-related technology while suggesting the digitally mature approach to Disaster Risk Reduction Management as an option for ASEAN to address the existing gaps in disaster management.

Dr. Riyanti Djalante, Head of the Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance Division reiterated that training and capacity buildings programmes will be crucial in utilising application technologies and ICT assets, and participation in ASEAN activities and programmes should be prioritised to support localisation of disaster management.

At the forum, delegates also discussed localisation of disaster risk management in ASEAN, and recommended creating shared understanding and greater dissemination of localisation strategies as well as developing a localisation roadmap at regional and country level.