Mongolian journalists learn disaster risk

News and Press Release
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By Chris Weeks

Ulaanbaatar, 23 April, 2018 - Journalists from Mongolia have shown their commitment to reducing disaster risk through participating in a unique training course, highlighting reporters’ vital role in bolstering community resilience.

The workshop, organised by the Asia Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) in partnership with the UN’s Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), demonstrates how news outlets can raise awareness about threats from hazards like storms, droughts and floods, and report on actions that leaders and communities can take to mitigate and prepare.

It comes as Asia-Pacific governments and representatives of civil society, academia and business are due to gather in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, tomorrow for the ISDR-Asia Partnership (IAP) Forum. The aim of the two-day meeting is to prepare the groundwork for the Asian Ministerial Conference to be held July 3-5 in Mongolia, and to review progress to date on the Asia Regional Plan for implementation of the Sendai Framework.

Loretta Hieber Girardet, UNISDR’s Chief for the Asia-Pacific, said: “Reporting on the aftermath of a disaster is big news and often is the sole focus of the news media. This workshop prepares journalists to tell equally fascinating stories about how communities are building their resilience against disasters here in Mongolia.”

The ISDR-Asia Partnership (IAP) Forum will be attended by 125 delegates, representing over 20 governments, intergovernmental organisations, UN entities and stakeholder groups.

Incorporating advice from grassroots groups representing the voices of gender, disability and youth, attendees will consider key elements of the political declaration and the two-year Action Plan 2019-2020. They will also produce zero-draft outcome documents ahead of the Asian Ministerial Conference.

The most pressing target of the Sendai Framework (known as ‘Target E’) is increasing the number of countries with disaster reduction strategies in place by 2020. This is an essential building block to achieve all of the other goals, and is due to be addressed by delegates at the Forthcoming AMCDRR.

Throughout 2017, the Asia-Pacific region accounted for around half of the total disasters and associated deaths, and over 70 percent of the world’s total affected people. Meanwhile, projections indicate that 40 per cent of global economic losses from disasters will be borne by the region, with small island developing states losing an average 4 per cent of their GDP.