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Activity Report

10 - 12 March 2023 (Sendai, Japan hybrid with online)

The Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction 2022 (ACDR2022) was held on 10-12 March 2023 at Sendai International Center, Miyagi Prefecture. This conference was held in a hybrid format to ease the attendance of a broader range of participants from member countries and relative organizations through online participation. As the result, the conference was attended by a total of 205 participants, 84 on-site and 121 online, including representatives from member countries, international organizations, private sectors, and academic/ research institutes.

We will report on the opening session of the conference and special session relating to the "Centenary of the Great Kanto Earthquake."

<Opening Session>

In the opening remarks, Mr TANI Kouichi, Minister of State for Disaster Management, Government of Japan first expressed his condolences for the Great East Japan Earthquake and the massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria. He emphasized the importance of ACDR which has been held annually since 2003. Next, Dr HAMADA Masanori, Chairman of ADRC said that ADRC has been promoting multilateral cooperation and support for disaster risk reduction since its establishment in 1998, and that he strongly believes that member countries can contribute to the creation of a safe and secure society by deepening cooperation and collaboration. Finally, Ms KORI Kazuko, Mayor of Sendai City also expressed her condolences for the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. And she expressed her gratitude for the ACDR2022 being held in Sendai City for the second time since the Great East Japan Earthquake. She also emphasized, base on her experience of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the importance of participants sharing their thoughts and knowledge and connecting with each other in order to appropriate preparedness for risks such as frequent disasters in Asian countries.

Mr SASAHARA Akio, Executive Director of ADRC, read a message on behalf of the Head of the Disaster and Disaster Management Authority (AFAD) under the Ministry of Interioir in Turkey who was unable to participate in ACDR2022.

<Special Session on the Centenary of the Great Kanto Earthquake -What can we learn from past disasters and how can we apply the lessons learned?->

This session comprised three topics of discussions: 1) lessons learned from the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and subsequent countermeasures; 2) new findings and remaining challenges from the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake; and 3) what lessons and technologies from past disasters can be utilized to mitigate future risk in disaster-prone Asia.

Dr ITOH Shigeru, President of ADRC introduced the fact that safe city planning and modern urban design were inspired by the reconstruction of the Great Kanto Earthquake. It was the catalyst for a great leap forward in architecture and urbanism. He noted about the increasing use of concrete in public housings, whereas the apartment buildings with clapboard exteriors made of bare wood were replaced by concrete structures. 

Dr HAMADA Masanori, Chairman of ADRC, said that the Great Kanto Earthquake marked the beginning of earthquake engineering in Japan. He introduced that the Great Kanto Earthquake damaged not only wooden houses, but also modern buildings constructed with technology imported from overseas since the Meiji Restoration, which led to the development of earthquake-resistant design of buildings and structures. 

Dr HASEMI Yuji, Professor Emeritus of Science and Engineering at Waseda University, explained that the rapid increase in population during the First World War led to the expansion of areas densely populated with wooden buildings in urban regions. These areas caused simultaneous fires during the earthquake, and that because of this experience, fire prevention measures were introduced into these areas.

Prof. SHIGEKAWA Kishie, Professor at the Faculty of Social and Environmental Studies, Tokoha University, mentioned the importance of "people's development" by promoting disaster education and improving disaster literacy. Japan has accumulated a variety of experiences and lessons that may be applicable and useful in the Asian region. 

In conclusion, the moderator, Mr YOSHIMURA Hidemi, Former Chief Commentator, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) said that through the discussions of the panelists, it became clear that, since the Great Kanto Earthquake, structural and non-structural disaster prevention measures have been developed, studied and improved to cope with various types of damage, and that Japan has started to promote pre-disaster investment based on the assumption of worst-case scenario. 
(2023/03/21 15:00)

10 - 12 March 2023(Sendai, Japan hybrid with online)

The Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction 2022 (ACDR2022) was held at the Sendai International Center in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, from 10 to 12 March 2023. This event was adapted to a hybrid format, with online participation available to a wide range of member countries and other interested parties.

The basic theme of ACDR2022 was "WHAT IS NEXT? Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future." ACDR2022 highlighted the importance of applying past lessons towards efforts for risk-informed preparedness to further strengthen national-level DRM systems. 

Three sessions were held for ACDR2022: (1) Large-Scale Disasters and Countermeasures, (2) Broaden Our Horizons for Disaster Data Linkage in SFDRR Implementation: Application of GLIDE (GLobal IDEntifier Number), and (3) The Provision of Information via Satellite for Disasters and Crisis Management. ACDR2022 also included a special session related to the "100th Anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake" for the discussion of these issues. In this special session, speakers reported on the process of recovery from the Great Kanto Earthquake in the metropolitan area of Japan and made recommendations for better DRR activities in Asian countries. Also, participants attended the Japan International Public-Private Association for Disaster Risk Reduction (JIPAD) seminar hosted by the Cabinet Office of Japan and a JICA-sponsored session at the World BOSAI Forum. On the last day of ACDR2022, participants visited the Yuriage area of Natori City in order to learn about recovery efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
(2023/03/20 15:00)
6 - 10 March 2023 (Kobe, Japan)

From 6 to 10 March 2023, ADRC conducted the JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP) "LEP2.0 Enhancement of the Disaster Risk Management Capacity of Malaysia's National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA)" aimed at the realization of disaster-resilient society in Malaysia by improving the technology and coordination capacity of NADMA, Malaysian National Disaster Management Agency. A total of 15 people from NADMA and related organizations participated in the first training of this program which ADRC has been cooperating with.

The first day of the training consisted of training orientation, presentations by the participants from each organization to introduce about their country and point out their current issues, and discussions to confirm the training objectives and points to see at each site they will be visiting. From the second day onwards, they energetically visited several flood and sediment affected sites to see their disaster countermeasures. The participants enthusiastically observed the countermeasures put in actual use, and exchanged opinions. On the final day, the course was concluded with the reports on what they learned in the training.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the related organizations who gave lectures and allowed us to visit them during this training. We appreciate your continued support and cooperation.
(2023/03/17 15:00)
2-3 February 2023 (online)

Addressing the challenges in spatial planning due to increasing natural disasters and climate change was the overarching theme of the 5th Spatial Planning Platform (SPP) meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal on 2-3 February 2023. ADRC participated in this year's event online. 

Since spatial planning is an essential tool in countering unplanned development and rapid urban growth, this planning practice faces inherent challenges such as the growing demand for more space as well as the increasing spatial needs for transportation, infrastructure, housing, landscape, and recreation. In the context of the changing climate, the 5th SPP tackled how to formulate and implement spatial plans that ensure the prudent use of land and natural resources. 

The session "Spatial Planning and Territorial Approach for Climate Change Adaptation," showcased experiences from Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Uganda. In the Philippines, where natural disasters are common, the government adopted an overall framework for spatial planning that contributes to: (1) inclusive growth through improved connectivity and better access to economic opportunities and social services across regions; (2) decongestion of the national capital region (NCR) and efforts to direct growth to key centers in the country; (3) vulnerability reduction strategies to mitigate or reduce impacts of disasters; and (4) the alignment of sectoral plans, regional and local development plans, and local governments' land use plans with the national framework to ensure coherence. 

Details of the meeting can be accessed online: 
(2023/02/09 15:00)
31 January 2023

As announced last month, ADRC will hold the Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction 2022 (ACDR2022) in a hybrid format (in-person and online) this year, after having conducted it in an online format only for the past two years. The ACDR is held annually in Japan or another ADRC member country and aims to provide a forum for discussing challenges in promoting DRR in Asian countries among stakeholders from member countries and DRR-related organizations. ACDR2022 is scheduled to be held in Sendai, Japan with a focus on the theme: "WHAT IS NEXT? - Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future."

An outline of the conference is as follows.

(Date and time)
10-12 March 2023
The meeting on 10 March is for member countries only. The event will be open to public starting on 11 March.

Sendai International Centre

(Draft Programme)
11 March (Saturday)
Special Session on the Centennial Commemoration of the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923
Session 1: Large-Scale Disasters and Countermeasures

12 March (Sunday)
Session 2: Broaden Our Horizons for Disaster Data Linkage in SFDRR Implementation: Application of GLIDE (GLobal IDEntifier Number)
Session 3: The Provision of Information via Satellite for Disaster and Crisis Management

Those wishing to participate in this conference in person and online can register on the ACDR2022 website: 

Any conference updates will be provided on that website and in the next issue of this newsletter. We look forward to your participation.

(2023/01/31 15:00)

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