|Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Reduction 12th session, Geneva, Switzerland, 22-23 November
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Reduction met for its 12th session, from the 22-23 November, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Jan Egeland, chaired the meeting.
The objectives of the 12th session were to:
Panel on "Transforming disaster experiences into opportunities: What recent disasters are telling us" (with panelists from Switzerland, Indonesia, Pakistan, India and the World Bank), identified key issues and recommendations for the ISDR system. The panelists examined root causes of disasters that should be addressed to avoid future losses resulting from natural hazards. They also discussed the performance of current national strategies, plans and investments, and their underlying vulnerabilities.
- Learn from major disasters over the past year, to see
how the Hyogo Framework implementation and promotion
could help to address the gaps; and,
and agree on modalities for the enhanced ISDR system,
to become functional in 2006.
In 2006, the Inter-Agency Task Force will evolve into a broader
forum, which will include active government participation,
to be called the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.
A smaller group of the Task Force will work with the ISDR secretariat
in preparing the basis for an integrated work programme for
the ISDR system and members, based on key areas and gaps identified
in the Hyogo Framework. The Oversight Management Board for
the ISDR system will be constituted in January 2006.
Topics for public awareness raising campaigns were also discussed
at the meeting. It was recommended that no more than three
key topics should be addressed over the next five years. In
2006-2007 the theme of the public awareness campaign will be "Prevention Starts at School", followed by themes focusing on safer infrastructure and buildings, including homes and safer cities.
Several side events took place in the margins of the Task Force
meeting; for example, events were held on information, a practical
implementation guide for the Hyogo Framework, and the international
Documents from the IATF/DR-12 session are available on the
World Conference on Disaster Reduction, Focus on Role and Responsibility of the Corporate Sector, Mumbai, India, 16-18 November
ISDR co-sponsored and participated in the World Conference
on Disaster Reduction meeting, Focus on Role and Responsibility
of the Corporate Sector, held in Mumbai, India 16-18 November.
The India-based Global Forum jointly organized the meeting
for Disaster Reduction, New Media, and CMP Asia. OCHA, UNDP,
and the Asian Disaster Reduction Center in Kobe also participated
in the programme that was hosted by the Government of Maharashtra,
and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. The meeting
brought together disaster management and risk reduction actors
from governments, business, technical and scientific institutions
and civil society. More than 350 participants, representing
22 countries attended the event. A new "Platform for Public-Private Partnership" was launched, along with practical tools, including a checklist and guidelines for Chief Executive Officers, a diary of standard operating procedures on disaster preparedness and response, a reference manual on disaster management for the corporate sector, and a corporate-community interface handbook on disaster and environmental management.
Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union General Assembly, Special Session on Natural disasters and Crisis Situations: The Roles and Responsibilities of Broadcasters, Hanoi, Vietnam, 27 November
More than 300 broadcast executives from across the Asia-Pacific gathered for
the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union General Assembly. The ISDR secretariat Director
delivered a presentation on the Hyogo Framework for Action, and the media's role in the disaster risk reduction, which was well received. The event had broad media coverage in Asia, in particular, in Japan, Pakistan and Vietnam. Discussions were held with ABU and UNICEF regarding a collaborative effort to develop tool kits for journalists in 2006.
International Workshop on Strengthening the Resilience of Local Communities in Coastal Areas to Water Related Natural Disasters, Copenhagen, Denmark, 16 to 18 November
The Danish Government, in collaboration with the United Nations/ISDR secretariat,
organized an International Workshop on Strengthening the Resilience of Local
Communities in Coastal Areas to Water Related Natural Disasters, from 16-18 November.
The purpose of the workshop was to support the implementation of the Hyogo Framework
for Action, including the recovery and reconstruction activities after the December
2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
The outcomes of the workshop are available on the workshop website at: http://www.dhi.dk/resilience/ and
on the ISDR website. Initial findings were presented during the IATF/DR-12, Geneva,
and 22-24 November 2005.
Update on Third International Conference on Early Warning
Over the past month, consultations regarding the Third International Conference
on Early Warning have taken place in Tokyo, Brussels, Bonn, Berlin and Potsdam,
and through a meeting of the Consultative Committee in Geneva. Support for the
conference is growing from both governments and organizations. Over 120 projects
have been submitted for the conference Priorities and Projects Forum, and over
140 abstracts have been received for the Scientific and Technical Symposium.
All proposals are being reviewed, and it is expected that a first draft of the
programme might be ready early in January 2006.
Registration of participants started on-line on 1 November, and is proceeding
smoothly. A communications plan is being developed, and products will include
a series of video clips and articles, as well as a comprehensive press kit.
Work on draft outcome documents will start in December, guided by PPEW and the
EWC III secretariat. Logistical arrangements are underway, led mainly by German
Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV), with the assistance of the Geneva-based
EWC III secretariat.
For the latest information on the conference, please consult:
The ISDR secretariat and OCHA are continuing the implementation of a yearly fellowship
programme. The goal of the Programme is to facilitate the participation of professionals
from developing countries in short-term training courses addressing disaster
risk reduction issues. This year, more than 50 professionals from Africa, Asia,
Latin America and the Caribbean have been trained in the following international
Second Regional Workshop for Asia-Pacific on Worldwide Technologies and Tools, Kathmandu, Nepal, 14-15 November
- CERG - Centre d'Etudes des Risques Géologiques, Université de Genève,
Switzerland, Study and Management of Geological Risks;
- The Geoforschungszentrum of Potsdam, Germany, Seismology, Seismic Data Analysis,
Hazard Assessment and Risk Mitigation;
- CIMNE - Centro Internacional de Métodos Numéricos en Ingeniería de la Universidad de Cataluña,
On-line course on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management;
- The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Bangkok Thailand, The 33rd Regional
Training Course on Disaster Management DMC-33; and,
- University of Cape Town, South Africa - Disaster and Development: Reducing
Risk, Protecting Livelihoods.
The Second Regional Workshop for Asia-Pacific on Worldwide
Technologies, Tools and Effective Practices for Disaster Risk
Reduction was held in Kathmandu, Nepal
on 14-15 November, co-organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports,
Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan, the National Research Institute for Earth
Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) of Japan, the ISDR secretariat (both ISDR-GVA
and ISDR-BKK), Kyoto University and the National Society for Earthquake Technology
(NSET) of Nepal. The meeting gathered experts and practitioners from the Asian-Pacific
region, including from China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Iran, Nepal,
Bangladesh and India, as well as representatives of UN/OCHA and UNDP. The participants
discussed criteria for the selection of technologies and tools; user profiles
and needs, illustration with specific examples, a framework of regional cooperation
for a "Disaster Reduction Hyperbase", and identification of potential resources for follow-up. Discussions were constructive and common directions were agreed among participants. The third regional workshop for the Americas (North America and Latin America) will be held in San Jose, Costa Rica, 10-11 January 2006. The final international workshop will take place in Tsukuba, Japan on 27-28 February 2006, in order to implement an appropriate mechanism and collaboration for the development of the cited database.
Internationally Renowned Aerial Photographer, Yann Arthus Bertrand, Joins Forces with the ISDR to Promote Disaster Risk Reduction
In collaboration with renowned aerial photographer, Yann Arthus Bertrand,
the ISDR secretariat has prepared a calendar on showing human vulnerability to
disasters. The calendar was launched in November 2005. Yann Arthus Bertrand will
continue to collaborate with ISDR on communications initiatives, promoting disaster
risk reduction at the international level. The calendar was produced in partnership
with the private entity ENTICO, who sought sponsorship from public and private
sources for the project.
British Schoolgirl Hero, Tilly Smith, Meets President Clinton to Promote Disaster Risk Reduction Education
Tilly Smith, the British schoolgirl who was on holiday in Thailand with
her family when the tsunami hit last 26 December, met with President Clinton
in November to promote disaster risk reduction education. Because Tilly had learned
about tsunamis in school, she recognized the signs of the approaching wave, and
warned her parents, which led to hotel guests being rapidly cleared from the
beach in Thailand. The recorded dialogue between Tilly and President Clinton
will be used in a number of ISDR public awareness activities to promote the importance
of education for disaster risk reduction globally. This event was organized by
the ISDR secretariat, in collaboration with the Office of the Special Envoy for
Tsunami Recovery. Tilly has accepted to act as an ISDR ambassador to promote
the importance of education, and will participate in a number of activities next
year linked to the ISDR campaign on education.
Canadian Risks and Hazards Network (CRHNet)
The ISDR secretariat participated in a first preliminary Canadian national
platform meeting and attended the Canadian Risks and Hazards Network (CRHNet),
Second Annual Conference, Toronto, 17-19 November 2005 together with around 150
participants. One of the main goals of the event was to further discuss and plan
the establishment of an ISDR Canadian National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction,
which is expected to happen in 2006.
Planning Meeting of the Regional Inter-agency Group (RED-LAC) at the OCHA Regional Office in Panama.
This is a coordination interagency group that has functioned for some
time under led by OCHA in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The group met,
including OCHA, UNICEF, UNDP/BCPR WFP, PAHO, IFRC and the ISDR/LAC regional unit,
in November during 2 days and agreed to focus on coordination in the following
thematic areas: (a) disaster risk management; (b) recovery; and (c) response.
The ISDR secretariat/LAC unit would coordinate the thematic group on disaster
risk management, which will include the participation UNDP/BCPR, UNICEF, PAHO
and IFRC. Concrete activities, to be developed during 2006, were identified under
four priority areas: promotion of national platforms for DRR; mainstreaming disaster
risk reduction in CCA-UNDAF processes; education; and vulnerability in hospitals
and schools. The envisaged inter-agency activities are expected to contribute
substantially to sub-regional, national and local efforts to implement the HF
in the region. The thematic group on recovery will be led by UNDP/BCPR, while
the already consolidated thematic group on response will continue under OCHA
New CD-Rom on disaster risk management
The ISDR secretariat/LAC unit, together with CRID, has produced a CD-Rom
with information resources on disaster risk management in municipalities. This
information product was one of several ISDR contributions to the regional conference
on Integrated Risk Management at the Municipal Level, held in Nicaragua, in November.
It contains 89 full text documents on early warning, local risk management, risk
maps, governance, community planning and education. It also includes 20 website
references and contact information for 114 institutions and/or experts. Its simple
set-up allows access by thematic area or search. The CD can be viewed at:
Integrated Risk Management at the Municipal Level, Nicaragua
The regional conference on Integrated Risk Management at the Municipal
Level, organized by Swiss Development Cooperation, brought together a wide variety
of stakeholders from the region. The conference aimed to provide specific action
areas that will make it possible to prioritize capacity building activities for
the coming years. A series of feasible lines of work for the future were identified
and agreed upon by the participants. The ISDR secretariat supported the organization
and provided thematic and policy assistance. During a side event, several important
Central American universities signed a letter of intent stressing their will
to strengthen their role in academic training and research on disaster reduction.
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