Indonesian President to focus on urban resilience

President Joko Widodo plans to launch a National Disaster Risk Reduction Movement in October (Photo: Flickr)
 

BOGOR, Indonesia, 1 July, 2015 - The President of Indonesia, Mr. Joko Widodo, plans to launch a National Disaster Risk Reduction Movement in October this year that will include a focus on urban areas of the vast country which is exposed to a wide range of natural and man-made hazards.

The news was announced at the close of three days of high-level training for 30 officials in urban resilience provided by the National Authority for Disaster Management (BNPB) as part of its commitment to implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The trainees, mostly officials working in ministries, universities, NGOs, national and local BNPB offices will now become the trainers of hundreds of other local officials that will help strengthening the capacities of Indonesian cities and communities which are exposed to all kind of hazards.

Indonesia is adjusting its existing Disaster Management Plan to align it with the Sendai Framework, which was adopted at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in March in Sendai, Japan. Over the next four years, the focus will be on making district/city level multi-hazard risk analysis available as well as damage and loss reports to ensure better understanding of disaster risk.

According to a database maintained by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), 190,00 people have died from disasters in Indonesia and 20 million people have been affected over the last 20 years. The Sendai Framework targets are focused on substantially reducing mortality, the numbers of people affected by disasters and economic losses.

“The Indonesia National Authority for Disaster Management attaches great importance to building local capacity for disaster risk reduction, as committed since the 5th Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction that took place in Yogyakarta in 2012,” said Mr. Bapak Wisnu Widjaja, Deputy Chief for Prevention and Mitigation of BNPB.

“The technical support given by UNISDR complements our national efforts and will help BNPB to reach out more than a hundred cities and districts in the year to come. The President of Indonesia plans to launch a National Disaster Risk Reduction Movement in October this year that that will include a focus on resilient cities and communities,” he added.

Indonesia launched a major revamp of its risk governance following the Indian Ocean tsunami which left 130,000 dead and economic losses of estimated at US$4.8 billion. A disaster management law enacted in 2007 authorized the creation of the BNPB which reports directly to the President. The BNPB has a mandate to coordinate all disaster management training and disaster risk reduction activities.

The training which was completed last Friday, provided participants with tools that will help them assessing disaster risks and measuring their resilience, using the Local Government Self-Assessment Tools and the City Resilience Scorecard developed as part of the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient Campaign.

It also provided them with skills to increase the political commitments of local government leaders in managing disaster risk.

“We have been partnering with BNPB to introduce the Local Government Self-Assessment Tools to districts and cities. This training was very helpful. I learned a much more effective way to raise awareness of local government leaders, engage them in assessing their risk and capacity and more importantly, in identifying actions that are based on sound assessments” said Ms. Hepi Rahmawati, a manager of a national NGO Yakum Emergency Unit.

“Building local capacity and promoting urban disaster risk reduction are the priorities of the Indonesia’s roadmap to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction”, said Mr. Wisnu Widjaja. “We are pleased to see the emphasis of the Sendai Framework on these aspects, which provide countries with good directions for actions”.

The Sendai Framework priorities are focused on understanding disaster risk in all its aspects, improved risk governance, investment in disaster risk reduction and better preparedness, including building back better.

This is the latest sign that the Sendai Framework is being taken up with enthusiasm right across the world’s most hazard-prone region. The government of Thailand last week announced details of a new five-year national disaster prevention and mitigation plan which incorporates the priorities for action of the Sendai Framework.

Earlier in June, Indonesia presented a road map for the implementation of the Sendai Framework over the next 15 years to the first ISDR Asia Partnership Meeting held since its adoption. The meeting was attended by representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, East Timor and Vietnam.
 

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