Asian countries to tackle natural disasters in collaboration
Thirteen Asian nations have agreed to closely collaborate in tackling the increasing risks caused by natural hazards, many of them triggered by the changing climate.
The Asian countries gathered at the 12th Meeting of the Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) on Disaster Management on 16–18 June in Thimphu, Bhutan. RCC member countries that participated in the meeting include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam as well as development partners and international organizations. As part of cross-continental experience sharing and learning, government officials from Peru and Germany also participated and shared best practices on disaster risk reduction.
The discussions revolved around the implementation of the actions outlined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) that was adopted by the international community at the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March in Japan.
The global framework that succeeds the Hyogo Framework for Action of 2005–2015 highlights the importance of understanding disaster risk, strengthening disaster risk governance, increasing investments in disaster risk reduction, and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and ‘building back better’ in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
The meeting participants agreed that the RCC would provide its member countries with technical solutions in the implementation of the SFDRR, and facilitate collaboration through knowledge exchange among the member countries.
The countries agreed that the RCC mechanism would focus on generating risk information to national governments and other stakeholders for risk-informed development planning, while also incorporating risk knowledge in education.
The RCC mechanism will have a strong focus on increasing business resilience against disasters and protecting livelihoods and productive assets by safeguarding supply chains. Another priority area will be the development of multi-hazard forecasting and early warning systems for disasters.
The member countries will also continue to develop strategies to manage disasters at the community level, and also ensure that gender perspectives, child protection, and the needs of vulnerable groups are fully integrated into the national disaster risk reduction action plans.
“The RCC mechanism will assist the member countries in facilitating the technical mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction initiatives into development plans and policies in addition to implementing other key actions prioritized by countries during the 12th Meeting,” said Shane Wright, Executive Director at Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) that is also the secretariat for the RCC.
The three-day annual meeting was hosted by the Department of Disaster Management of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs of Bhutan and ADPC, with support from the Government of Germany through GIZ.
Background of the RCC:
Established in 2000 as one of the first regional dialogue platforms to promote consultation and cooperation on reducing disaster risk, the Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) on Disaster Management encourages peer advocacy and the exchange of experiences in disaster risk reduction. Its secretariat, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, initiated the committee to bring countries in the Asian region together to achieve common goals in disaster risk reduction, explore ways to transform policies into practice, and promote regional cooperation. The committee comprises of members who are working in key government positions in the national disaster management systems of 26 countries in Asia. For more information, visit www.adpc.net/rcc12 or www.rccdm.net.