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Activity Report

31 August 2023

Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) will host the Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction 2023 (ACDR2023) "Effective Implementation of DRR Measures - Enabling Digital Transformation in DRR" on 20 October 2023 in Dushanbe, the Republic of Tajikistan. The conference will be conducted in a hybrid format (in-person and online).

ACDR2023 will focus on disaster risk in landlocked countries, with sessions on "Innovative Solutions for Resilient Societies: DRR Technologies for Earthquakes and Geological Hazards" and "Adaptation to the Climate Crisis: Innovative Approaches to Monitoring and Responding to Glacial Lake Outburst Floods(GLOFs), Forest Fires and Intensifying Floods."

Details of the conference will be made available on the ACDR2023 website in due course.

(2023/8/31 15:00)
2 August 2023 (Seattle, USA)

The 16th Senior Disaster Management Officials' Forum (SDMOF), chaired by FEMA Administrator Ms Deanne Criswell, was held in Seattle on 2 August 2023. The forum was organized against the backdrop of a series of destructive and costly wildfires, floods, hurricanes, typhoons and earthquakes that compelled APEC member economies to heightened collective actions to respond to the increasingly complex disaster landscape. 

The forum kicked off with a Roundtable on Adaptive Management, in which every Minister or Head of Delegation provided three-minute remarks. In this roundtable, Mr TANI Koichi (Minister of State for Disaster Management) of Japan delivered a video message. His message touched on incorporating the principles of adaptability, flexibility and meaningful change to build strong and resilient communities. All heads of delegations to the forum provided their remarks in person, including from the following economies: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, USA, and Vietnam. 

Emphasizing the significant role of disaster risk managers, the SDMOF tackled four thematic areas to take urgent and decisive action: 

i) Inclusive and Participatory Disaster Risk Reduction: Fostering Whole Community Integration into Decision-Making Processes; 
ii) Climate Impacts to Disaster Housing: Prioritizing Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning in the Asia-Pacific; 
iii) Nature-Based Solutions: Strengthening Infrastructure Resilience; 
iv) Women's Leadership in Crisis Management: Achieving an Equitable Future for the APEC Region. 

During the wrap-up, Mr Gerry Potutan (Senior Researcher at ADRC), who moderated Thematic Session 2, summed up key takeaways from the forum with the following words:

"As you heard from the speakers, the greatest challenge in disaster housing is logistics, e.g., seeking permits for where and when to build disaster housing, adhering to protocols in shipping building materials, and complying with government regulations in transferring funds. These logistical challenges make disaster housing complex and it will take a long time for complete housing reconstruction. The longer it takes, the greater the losses. However, these logistical issues can be addressed now through pre-agreements and pre-disaster recovery planning. So, when disaster strikes, the pre-agreed logistical arrangements will be activated."
(2023/8/9 15:00)

1 August 2023 (Seattle, USA)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hosted the 19th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Emergency Preparedness Working Group (APEC-EPWG) meeting in Seattle, USA on 1 August 2023. ADRC Project Director Mr SUZUKI Koji (Co-chair of EPWG) and Senior Researcher Mr Gerry Potutan (Assistant to the EPWG Co-chair) participated in the meeting. 

In this meeting, the member economies together with representatives from the private sector, academia and industry leaders discussed the impact of complex emergencies and disaster shocks to APEC region's supply chains and explored ways to promote disaster risk reduction in supply chain management.?The meeting also delved into diverse approaches to early warning systems in the APEC region to accelerate the implementation of robust early warning systems that strengthen risk management and advance disaster risk reduction for all. Communications system, including timely and accurate dissemination of warnings that can reach rural communities, was mentioned as the key criterion to an effective early warning system.

EPWG Co-chair SUZUKI, who facilitated the afternoon sessions, announced the following: 

i) Endorsement of the EPWG Work Plan 2023, 
ii) Revision of the APEC DRR Framework, and 
iii) Revision of the Plan of Action on the APEC DRR Framework. 

He also stated that the terms of office of the current EPWG co-chairs will end in 31 December 2023. As such, the Secretariat will be starting the process for nomination of the next co-chairs. 

As part of the APEC-EPWG events, which the FEMA organized as host, participants were given the opportunity to join a "Resilient Communities Field Tour" on 3 August 2023. In this field tour, participants had a chance to engage with local communities in the State of Washington, including a visit to Mount Vernon where the city leveraged local, state and federal investment to build a flood wall that put an end to persistent flooding of the city's downtown. The flood wall forms a part of a long-term plan to increase safety and revitalize the local economy. Participants also visited the Starbucks Headquarters and Seattle Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Starbucks demonstrated how the global corporation prepares its supply chain and operations for possible disasters and also showcased the model of public-private partnership to advance climate resilience. Seattle EOC showed how local emergency management personnel are constantly adapting to prepare the city for a changing disaster landscape.
(2023/8/8 15:00)

24 - 28 July 2023 (Denizli, Turkiye)

Two earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.7 and 7.6 respectively occurred in Turkiye on 6 February 2023, causing great destruction in 10 provinces. Considering this experience, the Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Denizli Governorship decided to conduct a five-day workshop in Denizli titled "Technical Expert Service on Increasing Efficiency of Provincial Disaster Management," with the support of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO). Officials from the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) in Denizli also joined the workshop as key experts. One of the most important objectives of this activity is to identify the problems experienced before and after the earthquake disaster, to discuss concrete interventions for solving those problems, and to develop a coordination system in order to establish a policy for addressing potential future disasters.

Dr IKEDA Makoto from ADRC attended the workshop as a speaker and made several presentations. Professor MURATA Masahiko from Kansai University of International Studies also participated and shared his experiences of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. The participants also engaged actively in discussion with Professor MURATA and Dr IKEDA, and the workshop proved to be useful occasion for considering how to achieve better DRR in Turkiye going forward.
(2023/7/31 15:00)
10 - 21 July 2023 (Kobe, Japan)

ADRC conducted the JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program: Malaysia "LEP2.0 Enhancement of the Disaster Risk Management Capacity of the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA)" Countermeasures against Sediment related Disaster from 10 to 21 July 2023. 

A total of twelve officials from disaster risk management and relevant Malaysian organizations participated in this intensive two-week program to learn about the sediment disaster policies and practices of Japan. They attended lectures by experts in the field, including from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, local government and research institutes, and visited sites in Hiroshima, Nara and Osaka where sediment disaster countermeasures have been installed. At the end of the program, the participants presented their action plan based on their findings over the two weeks. 

ADRC would like to express its sincerest gratitude to all the organizations and universities that contributed to the success of the program. 
(2023/7/28 15:00)

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