Thematic session
Cluster 2:
Risk identification, assessment, monitoring and early warning
Lead Agencies:
- World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- United Nations University (UNU)
- European Commission Joint Research Centre (EC/JRC)
Closing statements
Discussion paper
Panel Report
Date: 19 January 2005
Time: 17h00-19h00
Venue: Kairaku room
Chair: Ms. Helen WOOD, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA
Rapporteur: Marcus MOENCH, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Nepal
“Actionable” Early Warning: One of the key ingredients of Preparedness Systems
Mr. Loy REGO, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, Thailand
Risk and Early Warning
Mr. Erich PLATE, University of Karlsruhe, Germany
Mr. Laban OGALLO, Drought Monitoring Centre, Kenya
Early Warning
Mr. Kenzo HIROKI, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation, Japan
Ms. Barbara CARBY, Office for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Jamaica
Session 2.1
Integrated flood risk management through appropriate knowledge sharing and capacity building systems
Session Report
Date: 20 January 2005
Time: 17h15-18h15
Venue: Nunobiki room
Organizer: - Government of Japan (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Japan Meteorological Agency, Fire and Disaster Management Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries)
- Government of Australia (Bureau of Meteorology)
- World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Partners: ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee; Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); South Pacific Applied Geosciences Commission (SOPAC); United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

The risk of flood is increasing, because of climate changes and dense concentration of population and property in urban areas. It is therefore essential to appropriately mitigate, prepare for, and respond to water induced disasters such as floods and landslides for global sustainable development and poverty reduction. To realize disaster-resistant community, in this session, importance of,

  • Raising awareness of hazards before disaster strikes, and enhancing the early-warning system to ensure it works effectively in case of disaster
  • Building capacity through the technical, legal and institutional means in order to make communities more disaster resilient
Promotion of international cooperation to create or enhance the network among the meteorological community, hydrological community and disaster prevention community, etc., is discussed.

Opening address by the co-chairs

  • Mr. Bruce Stewart (BoM, Australia)
  • Mr. Akira Terakawa (PWRI, Japan)

Presentations on knowledge sharing

  • Importance of integrating meteorological and hydrological data/information
    (Mr. Atu Kaloumaira, Community Risk Programme, SOPAC,)
  • Importance of early warning for flash-flood and sediment-related in mountainous regions
    (Mr. Bobby Prabowo, Directorate General of Water Resources, Ministry of Public Works, Indonesia/JICA Integrated Sediment-related Disaster Management Project for Volcanic Areas)
  • Importance of interagency activities for mitigating against, responding to, recovering from water-induced disasters
    (Prof. Slobodan Simonovic, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, University of Western Ontario/ UNESCO)

Presentations on capacity building

  • Desirable legal framework to support integrated approach to flood management
    (Mr. Joachim Saalmüller, Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM), WMO )
  • Effectiveness of flood hazard maps for emergency response and necessity of capacity building on flood hazard maps
    (Mr. Andreas Haiduk, Water Resources Authority, Jamaica/JICA Caribbean Disaster Management Project, and Dr. Il-pyo Hong, KICT, Korea/ Hydrology Working Group, Typhoon Committee )
  • Helping communities establish community-based flood management mechanisms
    (Dr. Q. K. Ahmad, Bangladesh / APFM, WMO)

Conclusions to be addressed by the co-chairs

Desirable legal framework to support an integrated approach to flood management
Joachim Saalmüller
Project Officer
WMO/GWP Associated Programme on Flood Management
Australian Government
The Community Flood Management Programme (CFMP) in South Asia: Pilot Phase
(Bangladesh, India, Nepal)
Bobby Prabowo
Directorate General of Water Resources
Ministry of Public Works of Republic of Indonesia
The Capacity Building on Flood Hazard Maps
(The Activities of Typhoon Committee HC)
Integrated Flood Risk Management through Approach Knowledge Sharing and Capacity Building Systems
Korea Institute of Construction Technology Korea Institute of Construction Technology
Integrated flood risk management through appropriate knowledge sharing
and capacity building systems
Adviser – Community Risk Programme SOPAC SECRETARIAT, SUVA FIJI
Importance of Interagency Activities in Effective Flood Management: Red River Basin
Case Study
Slobodan P. Simonovic
Professor and Research Chair
The University of Western Ontario
London, Canada
Flood Forecasting and Hazard
Mapping in Jamaica

Andreas Haiduk
Water Resources Authority Jamaica
Session 2.2
A Seamless Approach to the Global Problem of Drought
Session Report
Date: 21 January 2005
Time: 12h15-14h15
Venue: Ikuta room
Organizer: NOAA in collaboration with WMO
Cooperating UN agencies: ISDR, UNCCD, UNEP and FAO

Drought affects many parts of the world and international cooperation is vital in dealing with this phenomena so as to save lives and eradicate poverty and to ensure sustained food security. Drought is a complex and wide-spread natural hazard, affecting more people in the United States than any other natural hazard. Annual losses associated with drought are estimated at $6 to $8 billion alone in the US.

This is an essential theme in which WMO is extremely involved in assisting its Member countries, particularly those in Africa, through the establishment and operations of Drought Monitoring Centres (DMCs) and Regional Specialized Centres such as the AGRHYMET Centre for the Sahelian countries. Jointly, other Member countries, such as the US is equally interested in drought, particularly in developing the early drought warning system and building sustainable capability in developing nations. Drought is recognized as one of the eight grand challenges in the White House Subcommittee for Disaster Reduction.

WMO in this connection is working closely with the DMCs and the CILSS (Inter-state Committee on Drought prevention in the Sahel countries), regional and subregional bodies as well as International organizations concerned. The other main partners are the UNCCD Secretariat, UNEP and other UN Agencies.

This session will focus on the current efforts being made to address drought mainly in Africa, and how far researchers and institutions are involved.

Basically, this session will aim to strengthen and enhance the international cooperation needed and to propose strategies and policy guidance in this field.

The proposed format for the session is a panel discussion focusing on developing a seamless approach to looking at global drought problems, from understanding what is happening in both developed and developing countries, to how can we work together through capacity building and sustainability to better prepare ourselves in drought years.

Each panel member will give a 15 minute presentation. There will be 45 minutes to an hour of open floor discussion after the presentations. We will have a rappertuour for the session.

The session will be held in English. The session will be translated to Spanish and French. Points of contact for this proposal are Mr. Alioune Ndiaye and Dr. Pai-Yei Whung. Mr. Ndiaye and Dr. Whung can be reached at +41(0)22 73-8249 and at +01(301)252-8588, respecitvely. You can also contact Donna Lee at the U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva at or +41(0)22 749-4618.

A Seamless Approach to the Global Program of Drought
Dr. Pai-Yei Whung, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA
Drought Impacts on Agriculture and Water Management in China
Prof. Mei Xurong
DG, Institute of Environment & Sustainable Development. in Agri., CAAS
DDG, Center for Water Resources & Conservation Technologies, CAA DDG, Center for Water Resources & Conservation Technologies, CAAS
DDG, China DDG, China-Japan R&D Center for Agricultural Technologies, CAAS Japan R&D Center for Agricultural Technologies, CAAS
Drought monitoring and early warning in the Sahel : The AGRHYMET experience
Dr Seydou B. TRAORE
Monitoring, Assessment, Prediction and Meteorological service of Agricultural
Drought in China
Wang Shili
China Meteorological Administration
Laban Ogallo
IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) Formerly known as Drought
Monitoring Centre - Nairobi (DMCN)
Drought Decision Tools, Planning, and Mitigation:
Challenges and Opportunities

Dr. Donald A. Wilhite, Director
National Drought Mitigation Center
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska U.S.A.
  Mr. John Gaynor, Rapporteur
Session 2.3
Reducing Risks Through Effective Early Warnings of Severe Weather Hazards
Session Report
Date: 20 January 2005
Time: 12h15-14h15
Venue: Kikusui room
Organizer: Mr Katsuhiro ABE: World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and
Mr John GAYNOR: National Weather Service (NWS)/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Objectives To stimulate the development and/or strengthening of national, regional and international early warning systems and more effective dissemination of early warnings to reduce the risks due to hazardous severe weather events.
Brief overview of the subjects being addressed: Significant progress has been achieved, and more is expected in the next decade in the area of medium-and extended-range (3-14 days) forecasts of severe weather events. These probabilistic weather forecasts are becoming an essential tool for emergency managers in their risk reduction efforts. This session will review current and future activities in early warning weather forecasting on the one hand, and the effective use of upgraded disaster prevention and preparedness measures for severe weather related disaster mitigation on the other.

(2 hrs total)

1. Introductory Remarks by Chair (Dr Zoltan Toth) (5 minutes)
2. Five presentations (each 15+2 mins for presentation & questions, 85 mins total)

i) Title (tentative): The main components of weather forecast systems
Speaker: Dr Zoltan TOTH (15 minutes)
Synopsis: Briefly describe the main components of numerical weather forecasting: Observations, data assimilation, numerical modelling, and applications. Describe origin and presence of uncertainty in weather forecasts. Explain scientific need for using probabilistic forecast approach.

ii) Title (tentative): Probabilistic weather forecast products
Speaker: Dr. Ken MYLNE (15 minutes)
Synopsis: Describe various forecast formats, with emphasis on probabilistic output. Present examples for early warning of severe weather, including heavy precipitation, strong winds, and extreme temperature. Explain why users need to utilize the probabilistic forecast format.

iii) Title (tentative): Early warnings for hurricanes
Speaker: Dr Jose Maria RUBIERA TORRES (15 minutes)
Synopsis: Briefly describe the process used for tropical storm prediction. Highlight challenges with early warning of tropical cyclones. Provide examples of probabilistic approach applied to tropical storm prediction.

iv) Title (tentative): Tropical Cyclone Disaster Mitigation in Bangladesh
Speaker: Dr M Alimullah MIYAN (Bangladesh) (15 minutes)
Synopsis: Briefly describe level of threat and socio-economic background. Present current tropical storm mitigation practices. Discuss achievements and good practices, and highlight where system can be improved. What are the lessons that can be carried over to other parts of the globe.

v) Title (tentative): The use of weather forecasts in emergency preparedness in Japan.
Speaker: Dr Kenzo HIROKI (Japan) (15 minutes)
Synopsis: Describe the mechanism and procedures for utilizing early weather warnings in emergency management at the federal, regional, and local government level in Japan. Provide examples of how losses have been reduced or avoided by relying on probabilistic weather forecast information. Comment on possibilities for adapting similar procedures in other regions of the globe.

3. Panel discussion based on questions and issues to be raised by the audience/participants (25 minutes): Facilitator: Dr Colin Depradine (Barbados)

Potential Panel Members:
a) Dr Jose Maria RUBIERA TORRES (Cuba) : Vice-Chairman of the WMO RA IV Hurricane Committee
b) Dr M Alimullah MIYAN (Bangladesh): Vice-Chancellor of South Asian Disaster Management Centre
c) Mr Max MAYFIELD (USA): Director, Tropical Prediction Center
d) Mr Ken MYLINE (UK): Ensemble Forecast Research Manager, MetOffice
e) Dr. Kenzo HIROKI (Japan): Principal Research Engineer, UNESCO-PWRI Centre, Japan

Discussion topics/questions:
a) What type of meteorological information do emergency managers need?
b) What is the best way to use weather forecast information? How should it be applied?
c) What priorities should tropical storm forecasts used by emergency
managers reflect? Can we zero in on this question while examining different regions?
d) How can probabilistic information be most effectively used in
emergency management?
e) What institutional or other support should the international
community provide to improve emergency response to tropical
storms in developing countries?
f) How can we share good practices and other meteorological ing that good practices and other information among emergency managers at the local, national, regional and global levels?

4. Wrap-up by Chair (Dr. Zoltan Toth) (5 mins)

Narrative discussion of session

The theme of the session is the use of probabilistic weather forecasts in disaster mitigation. The first talk (Z. Toth, National Weather Service, USA) will give a general, conceptual background on the weather forecast process from observations through the assimilation of data, to numerical modeling using ensembles of forecasts. The focus of this talk will be on sources of uncertainty in the forecast process.

The second talk, by Dr. Ken Mylne (MetOffice, UK), will focus on probabilistic weather forecast products that are necessary to convey the forecast information to the users. This presentation will also motivate the use of probabilistic information from the users' point of view, using a simple economic cost-loss model.

After these two, fairly general presentations, the third talk, by Dr. Jose Maria Rubiera Torres (Forecast Office, Cuba), will provide an illustration of the forecast process, including the role of the human forecaster as a link between weather forecasting and the users, for the case of tropical storm prediction. Examples of early warnings of a probabilistic nature will be provided, offering a link to the fourth presentation.

The fourth talk, by Dr. Alimullah Miyan (IUBAT, Bangladesh), through some examples, will describe user procedures for the use of tropical storm predictions. The emphasis will be on linking the weather forecast information with the emergency decision making and preparation processes on the ground, from the emergency management point of view.

The last presentation, by Kenzo Hiroki (UNESCO-PWRI Centre, Japan), will provide further examples, from another part of the world, on the use of probabilistic weather forecast information in emergency decision making, using additional examples of high impact weather events. Emphasis will be on good emergency management practices regarding the use of probabilistic early warning products that could be generalized and considered for application in other areas and countries as well.

The presentations will be followed by a 25-min panel discussion, led by Dr. Colin Depradine (Barbados). The Speakers and other experts will field additional questions from the audience. The discussion will provide a venue for direct dialog between the providers (meteorologists) and users (emergency managers) of weather forecasts for high impact weather. The discussion will be aimed at outlining basic procedures that can be used to enhance the effectiveness of weather dependent emergency management operations. Forecasters will receive input as to the requirements of the users, while the emergency managers will learn about new ways of using probabilistic information from early warning systems for high impact weather events.

Early warnings for hurricanes
National Forecasting Center
Instituto de Meteorología, Cuba
E-mail:; Tel No. + 53 7 867 0708; Fax No. + 53 7 866 8010
Probabilistic weather forecast products
Mr Kenneth MYLNE, MetOffice, UK
E-mail:; Tel No. + 44 1392 886070; Fax No. + 44 1392 885681
The main components of weather forecast systems
Dr Zoltan TOTH, National Weather Service, USA
E-mail:; Tel No. + 1 301 763 8000 ext. 7596; Fax No. + 1 301 763 8545

Integrated use of weather forecasts and other disaster information for effective emergency response and preparedness in Japan
Mr Kenzo HIROKI, UNESCO-PWFRI Centre, Japan
E-mail:; Tel No. + 81 3 5212 1645)

Tropical cyclone disaster mitigation in Bangladesh
Dr M Alimullah MIYAN
South Asian Disaster Management Center (SADMC)
IUBAT —International University of Business Agriculture and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh
E-mail:; Tel No. + 880 2 891 8412
Session 2.4
Coping with multiple hazards in urban settings
Date: 21 January 2005
Time: 10h00-12h00
Venue: Ikuta room
Organizer: - ADPC in collaboration with WMO/ILCR,
- European Commission Joint Research Centre (EC/JRC),
- United Nations University (UNU).
Outline and objectives
  1. Creating conducive legal frameworks and institutional arrangements for Multi-hazard risk reduction: experiences and lessons learned from AUDMP,
  2. Approaches for Earthquake Vulnerability reduction in urban areas: Experiences from Asia,
  3. Floods in Urban Areas,
  4. Transforming ‘victims’ to a resource: Participatory actions for flood risk reduction in secondary cities in Asia,
  5. Climate change and increasing risks in urban areas: Presentation will focus on the general threats to urban areas due to a changing climate, increasing vulnerability and mitigation actions can made that rely on providing predictions of weather events on a day-to-day basis, seasonal and longer term forecasts as input to urban planning.
  6. Mainstreaming lessons learnt from “natech” events into risk management,
  7. Threats from climate change to coastal megacities: Focus on the specific role of tropical - extra-tropical storms, typhoons, storm surges coupled with sea level rise, leading to more threats to mega cities in the coastal zone,
  8. Impact of climate change on public health in urban areas: Focus on the coupling of climate change, more stagnant days, hot days – heat stress and air quality putting the health of city dwellers at risk. Heat Health Warning Systems for Cities and heat stress, including something
    brief on the European heat wave of 2003.

Introduction of session and ground rules: 5 minutes

Part I: Reducing disaster risks in urban areas: Experiences and Lessons Learned (50minutes),
Part II: Future challenges and how we address them ( 50 minutes ),
Part III: Finalisation and Plenary Presentation of Proposed Session Recommendations to IGP
(15 minutes).

Panel Discussion Part 1: All four speakers of part 1 remain on podium and respond to questions from the floor written on question slips. (10 minutes)
Panel Discussion Part 2: All four speakers of part 2 remain on podium and respond to questions from the floor written on question slips. (10 minutes)
Panel Discussion Part 3: Comments from floor (5 minutes)

Approaches and Strategies for Urban Risk Reduction: Experience from Asia
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center
Conference for Disaster Reduction Building
Partnerships for Mainstreaming Urban Disaster Risk Reduction
Drawing on lessons learned from Asian
Urban Disaster Mitigation Program

Loy Rego, NMSI Arambepola, Supriya
Prabhu, Dave Hollister and Erika Lund
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center
Urban Floods – Challenges
Mr. Dang Quang Tinh, Director
Department of Dike Management and Flood and Storm Control, Viet Nam
Srikantha Herath
Environment and Sustainable Development
United Nations University
Mainstreaming Lessons Learnt from Natechs into Risk Management
Practice Practice
Ana Maria Cruz, Ph.D.
DPRI, Kyoto University
University of North Texas, USA
Climate Change and Increasing Risks in Urban Areas
Gordon McBean, Ph.D., FRSC
Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction
The University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, CANADA
  1. All titles are tentative and will be revised based upon receiving final confirmation from the partner organizations and presenters.
  2. A pre meeting of Session coordinators and rapporteurs and speakers be held on the 17th to review and finalise preparations for the session, collect all power point presentations and load onto one computer. The pre meeting will also review the draft recommendations (see process below).
  3. Panel discussions : Question slips will be available in the hall and participants are asked to fill them up and submit written questions to speakers. The question slip will contain a) name of person raising question, institutional affiliation and email b) name of speaker to whom question is addressed c) Question d) Comment if any. The purpose is to limit participants from the floor turning their questions into lengthy comments.
  4. During the panel, each speaker will respond to one or two questions of their choice only. Also other questioners can receive written or verbal answers from speakers later.
  5. Proposal on Recommendations to IGP If we as organisers are serious about getting our recommendations to the Intergovernmental Process through the cluster 2 panel chair, it will be better to do some homework in advance and prepare a series of draft recommendations from the session, which can be finalized during part 3 of the session. We propose this may be done in two parts related to the parts of the session, part 1 recommendations coordinated by ADPC and part 2 recommendations coordinated by WMO / ILCR. ADPC will designate a part 1 Rapporteur and WMO/ILCR will designate a part 2 Rapporteur. The Rapporteurs will coordinate the following process and also be responsible for the plenary
  6. Each speaker is asked to prepare upto 2 recommendations related to theme of her/his presentation for incorporation into Thematic Cluster 2 issues. This is submitted to the
    Part 1 or part 2 Rapporteur by email in advance, preferably latest by 11th January.
  7. Based on the inputs from the speakers, A draft series of 8 recommendations is prepared by each Rapporteur for their part. A total of 16 draft recommendations is ready by 17th January and can be reviewed by the persons present at the pre meeting.
  8. The draft recommendations will be available in printed form in the hall for all participants to review and even submit written comments on.
  9. The final recommendations to IGP will be based on the the draft , modified by the comments received in the session. Finalisation will be doen by the two rapporteurs and session coordinators.
Session 2.5
Visions of risk and vulnerability: patterns, trends and indicators
Session Report
Date: 18 January 2005
Time: 13h00-15h00
Venue: Kitano room
Organizer: - Joint Research Centre
- UN Development Programme
- UN University, Institute for Environment and Human Security

The objectives of this session are:

  • To share new knowledge and information on global risk and vulnerability patterns and trends as well as existing applications (i.e. existing indicators and indexing at the global and regional level).
  • To raise awareness of the systemic approach to risk shifting the mindset to address the changing risk landscape, to ensure that institutions are able to keep pace with changing vulnerabilities.
  • To identify and discuss various ways and gaps of risk and vulnerability assessment.

D. Brief overview of the subjects being addressed:

  • Latest research results on quantification of risk and vulnerability by means of indicators and indices
  • Risk and vulnerability and the difficulties to define them
  • Integrated approaches to risk and vulnerability
  • Are indicators meaningful and useful for policymakers?

Session Chair: Irmgard Schwätzer, DKKV

Session Rapporteurs: Ana Lisa Vetere Arellano, EC/JRC and Katharina Thywissen, UNU-EHS

I.Introduction: Session Chair   5 min

II. Presentations :

1.Results of global and regional scale risk indicator/indexing projects of ISDR working group 3

"UNDP/UNEP Disaster Risk Index" 15 min
Andrew Maskrey
"ProVention/World Bank Hotspots Project" 15 min
Maxx Dilley
IRI Colombia University
"Interamerican Development Bank Indicators for the Americas Project" 15min
Omar Cardona,
National University of Colombia
"A Systemic Approach to Risk" 10min
Reza Lahidji
"Coping Capacity: overcoming the black hole" 10 min
Peter Billing

III.Panel Discussion: 45 min

- Moderator: Hans van Ginkel, UNU
- Panelists: Joanne Linnerooth-Bayer, IIASA
- Gerald Vollmer, EC/Joint Research Center
- Mark Pelling, Kings College London
- Jochen Zschau, GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam

IV. Closing remarks and wrap up: 5 min

Session 2.6
Disaster reduction through efficient risk communication
Session Report
Date: 20 January 2005
Time: 10h00-12h00
Venue: Kikusui room
Organizer: - European Commission/Joint Research Centre (EC/JRC)
- United Nations University (UNU)
- Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC)

Proper recognition of risks and active participation by the public in disaster risk management are imperative aspects for reducing the negative impact of natural disasters. Risk communication is an effective measure for promoting public awareness and action. However, the effective risk communication is still under development and has not become a common practice. The session will examine the current situation and problems in the world and discussing future development of successful risk communication.

A Brief Overview of the Subjects Being Addressed:

- Understanding of the views and roles of all stakeholders to achieve effective risk communication
- Identifying the fundamental requirements of successful risk communication
- Reviewing practical methods of and approaches to risk communication
- Promoting effective risk communication for facilitating consensus building among stakeholders


Chair: Mr. Gerald Vollmer, European Commission/Joint Research Centre (EC/JRC)

1. Introduction to the session (by the Chair) (10 mins)

2. Presentations: Introduction of the Best Practices - Tools for effective risk communication – (30 mins)

Dissemination and communication of environmental information for Rural and remote community development
Mr. Kelly Sponberg, RANET
“Town Watching for Disaster Reduction” for effective and successful risk communication
Prof. Dr. Yujiro OGAWA, Visiting Researcher, Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC)
Professor, Fuji-Tokoha University
Learning from Experiences in Communicating Risk
Manu Gupta, Program Director, Sustainable Environment & Ecological Development Society (SEEDS)

3. Panel Discussion: Toward effective risk communication (70 mins)

Risk Communication
An Australian Government Perspective
Dr Linda Anderson-Berry, Manager, Disaster Mitigation Planning Services, Bureau of Meteorology, Australia
A Model for Risk Communication in Sustainable Floodplain Management
Slobodan P. Simonovic, Professor and Research Chair
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the University of Western Ontario, Canada

South African
Hazard and Vulnerability
Dr. Dusan Sakulski, the coordinator of the development of a South African hazard and vulnerability atlas which is applicable for early warnings
UNU-EHS, Bonn, Germany

  Dr. Colin Depradine, Principal, Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, Bridgetown, Barbados
Effective and successful risk communication
Mr. Muhammad Saidur Rahman, Director, Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre (BDPC), Dhaka, Bangladesh

4. Session wrap-up, conclusions and recommendations (10 mins)

Partners: Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Government of Japan, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN/ESCAP), United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), RANET, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), The General Insurance Association of Japan

Session 2.7
People-centered early warning systems
Session Report
Date: 21 January 2005
Time: 16h45-18h45
Venue: Ikuta room
Organizer: - ISDR Platform for the Promotion of Early Warning (PPEW)
- EWC II partners
Objectives Aim: Outline, illustrate and communicate key lessons for implementing effective people-centered early warning systems, as identified at the Second International Conference on Early Warning (EWC-II).

Outcome sought: Audience recognizes that early warning and preparedness can substantially reduce disaster impacts, that good early warning systems integrate the contribution of a chain of many different actors, reaching right out to those at risk, and that improvements to early warning systems are needed and readily achievable.

Following a welcome and introduction, the two-hour session will be conducted in three parts: Chair, Reid Basher, UN-ISDR, PPEW (3 minutes)

“People-centered early warning systems”
The lessons of EWC-II

The EWC-II process in the context of disaster prevention and reduction, and its call for more concerted international action to improve early warning systems, through an International Early Warning Programme, and supporting Platform for the Promotion of Early Warning.
Norberto Fernandez, UNEP, past Chair of IATF/DR Working Group on Early Warning, (12 minutes)
  Case examples: A set of six informative cases that illustrate the key lessons for implementing effective people-centered early warning systems, drawn mainly from examples and participants at EWC-II.
Community Operated Early Warning Systems in Central America, Current Trends.
Juan Carlos Villagran de Leon, UNU-IEHS
, (10 minutes)
Early Warning within the ISDR Global Wildland Fire
Network: Building of Community-Based Capacities
Johann G. Goldammer, GFMC , (10 minutes)
  Tsunami warning and response. Charles McCreery, NOAA. ( (10 minutes)
Erich Plate, University of Karlsruhe, (10 minutes)
Eruption and lahar warnings at Pinatubo Volcano: a comparison
Chris Newhall, USGS/University of Washington, (10 minutes)
People-Centered Early Warning
Rural communities against desert locusts
Henri Josserand, GIEWS, FAO . ( (10 minutes)
Tsunami Preparedness in Communities
(Roles and Responsibilities)
George Crawford, Washington Emergency Management Division

(Additional minutes allowed for speakers to change over.)

  • Open discussion: This will be a forward-looking discussion. It will aim to strengthen understanding and motivation toward achieving effective people-centered early warning systems, and to identify the important elements for future action. It will provide guidance for what the new International Early Warning Programme should achieve. The session will conclude with a wrap-up by the Chair. (Total of 30 minutes).
Rapporteur will be Yuichi Ono, PPEW.
Session 2.8
Data for evidence-based policy making
Session Report
Date: 20 January 2005
Time: 15h00-17h00
Venue: Kikusui room
Organizer: - UNDP
- the ISDR Working Group 3 partners (ADRC, OCHA Relief Web, CRED, GDIN, Munich Re)

The objectives of this session are:

  • Exchange of practices and lessons learned in improvement of ongoing efforts of risk identification and assessment at both the national and global levels
  • Presentation of the Disaster Data Consortium

Brief overview of the subjects being addressed:

Since its inception in 2000, the ISDR Working Group 3 has brought together participants from different institutions in order to address issues related to the quality, coverage and accuracy of disaster databases. A Sub-working group focusing on these issues was created in 2001 under the Chairmanship of Maxx Dilley of the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) at Columbia University.

Activities in this area have included:

  • support to the linking of disaster and related data from different sources through a common unique identifying number (GLIDE) that would be assigned to each event.
  • a review of existing national level disaster datasets that is being carried out with support from the ISDR Secretariat.
  • investigation into historical disaster databases as to how disaster-related losses are captured at the local, national and global levels.
  • identification of data collection and assessment methodologies to improve the coverage and quality of disaster loss data.
In its report to the ISDR Interagency Task Force in October 2002, Working Group outlined the need and rationale for a multi-tiered system of disaster reporting that would consist of the aggregation of local and national disaster data into global datasets linked using a common unique identifying number. The development of such a system would contribute to the improvement of ongoing efforts of risk identification and assessment at both the national and global levels as well as for almost all disaster risk management applications

Session Chair: Craig Duncan, Relief Web

I.Introduction: (5 minutes)

Opening remarks and introduction to the session objectives (Chair Relief Web - 5 minutes)

II. Presentations: (70 minutes)

2.1- Presentation of national disaster databases : Kamal Kishore, UNDP and Amod Mani Dixit ,NSET- case of Nepal. Global disaster databases: Debarati Guha Sapir, CRED and Thomas Loster, Munich Reinsurance (total time 40 minutes).

2.2- Presentation of GLIDE number enabling the linking of national and global databases: Masaru Arakida, ADRC (10 minutes)

2.3- Presentation of results of ISDR Working Group 3 study on coverage of Disaster data: Maxx Dilley, IRI, Columbia University (10 minutes)

2.4 - Presentation of proposed Risk Management Information Platform: Andrew Maskrey, UNDP (10 minutes)

III. Commentary: (10 minutes)

Larry W. Roeder, GDIN.

IV. Discussion and wrap up: (35 minutes)

Chair Relief Web

Data for evidence based planning
EM-DAT and its application
D. Guha-Sapir, Professor
School of Public Health, UCL
Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium
DesInventar: Databases and Aplications
Latin America and Caribe.

Prof. Andrés Velásquez
Global Disaster Information Marketplace: A Concept
Albert J. Simard
GLobal unique disaster IDEntifier number (GLIDE)
Masaru Arakida
Asian Disaster Reduction Center
Investigating the International Disaster Database
Maxx Dilley
Disaster and Risk Management
International Research Institute for Climate Prediction
The Munich Re NatCatSERVICE
National Disaster Databases
A regional perspective

Sujit Mohanty
Manager – Disaster Information Systems
UNDP, India
(South Asia)
Session 2.9
Reducing risk through effective use of earth observations
Session Report
Date: 21 January 2005
Time: 14h30-16h30
Venue: Ikuta room
Organizer: - JAXA/Japan (Yukio Haruyama)
- UNITAR (Francesco Pisano)
- NOAA/USA (Helen M. Wood)

Earth observations provide critical information to inform planning and decision making at all levels (local to international) and through all stages (mitigation through preparedness, response and recovery) of disaster management. Advances in Earth observation technologies (both in situ and remote sensing), along with developments in computing and data communications, have yielded highly sophisticated tools to identify, monitor, assess, and model hazards that may lead to disasters. The purpose of this session is to provide practical guidance to governments worldwide on how to enhance their risk reduction and disaster management efforts through more effective use of Earth observations.

This session will review lessons learned from user and data provider perspectives and identify recommendations for future improvement. Topics addressed will include findings from regional workshops; collaborative efforts to improve the use of space based Earth observations in disaster reduction; and UN-based and ad hoc intergovernmental programs to provide comprehensive, coordinated and sustained Earth observations for disaster reduction and other high priority, socio-economic benefit areas.

GEOSS: Intergovernmental Planning to Provide Earth Observations to Benefit Society
Tetsuhisa SHIRAKAWA, Deputy Minister
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)

Lessons Learned from Building an Integrated Earth Observation System
Kenneth Davidson, WMO World Climate Program, Director,retired
United Nations facilitating global access to Earth Observations for local disaster risk reduction
From rapid mapping to Capacity Building
Alain Retiere (UNOSAT) Co-author: Jerome Bequignon (ESA)
Making Space based Technologies Available to Developing Countries for Improved Risk Reduction and Disaster Management
Sergio Camacho, Director, UN Office for Outer Space Affairs,
Co-authors: Harald Mehl (DLR/Germany), Jean-Luc Bessis (CNES/France)
The Contribution of Earth Observation to Disaster Risk Reduction
Findings from Current Activities

Phillippe Bally (ESA) Co-author: Marc Paganini (ESA, IGOS GEO hazards)
  Risk Reduction at the Local Level: User Perspectives on the Use of EO
Sadrach Zeledon (Major, Matagalpa, Nicaragua)
Improving Asia Regional Network for Disaster Management
Yoji Furuhama, JAXA/Japan