International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Highlights

2006 - 2005 - 2004

2005
  November
  October
  September
  August
  July
  June
  May
  April
  March
  February
  January
MES - AÑO

Regional Consultative Meeting on Early Warning for the East Coast of Africa A Regional
Consultative Meeting on Early Warning for the East Coast of Africa was organized in Nairobi by ISDR-Africa, on October 17-19 2005. This meeting enabled participants from the region to share good practices and lessons learned on early warning, and to identify early warning gaps. The Platform for the Promotion of Early Warning (PPEW) participated and provided an overview on people-centered early warning, stressing the four components of risk assessment, warning services, communication and knowledge/preparedness. As outcomes from this meeting, experiences from 26 December tsunami, regional gaps in early warning, and gaps in public awareness and education have been identified. Based on the identified gaps, and acknowledging both regional and national needs, delegates agreed to regional priorities for action on early warning and disaster reduction for the east coast of Africa.

Assessment of socio-economic impacts of hydro-meteorological hazards in Southeast Asia
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN/ESCAP) has organized five roundtable workshops in Vietnam, Lao PDR, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines to assess the socio-economic impact of hydro-meteorological hazards in these countries. The exercise in the Philippines also included the development of a standard template to incorporate existing practices of assessment into the conceptual approach of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in order to facilitate rapid assessment of impacts of typhoons and floods. Similar efforts are also being made for assessment of drought using experiences from Pakistan. A regional concluding workshop was held in Bangkok, on October 19-21 2005.
For more information, please contact ti.unescap@un.org

Partnership for Disaster Reduction in Southeast Asia, Phase 3 (PDR-SEA 3), funded by the European Union
Strategic plans for the institutionalization of community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM) in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Timor Leste and Vietnam , have been completed with assistance from UN/ESCAP. A meeting with the four national committees was held at the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center on October 11 2005. A meeting with donors on CBDRM is now planned for November 11 2005 in Bangkok.
For more information, please contact ti.unescap@un.org

Socio-economic Impact Assessment of Typhoon-related Disasters and Risk Management towards Millennium Development Goals Workshop, September 5- 9 2005, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This workshop, organized by the UN/ESCAP, in cooperation with the Department of Irrigation and Drainage of Malaysia, the Typhoon Committee Secretariat (TCS), the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Japan and the Ministry of Construction and Transportation of Republic of Korea, was attended by nearly 60 Typhoon Committee participants , and 25 Malaysian officials. The meeting presented the conclusions of UN/ESCAP-UNDP-UN/ECLAC Project on Assessment of Socio-economic Impacts of Hydro-meteorological Disasters, and recommended the adoption of the ECLAC methodology, aimed at standardizing assessment methodology for typhoon-related disasters. The workshop also included a field investigation to carry out an exercise on sediment hazard mapping.

A workshop on hydrology is being planned for 2006, which will link activities of the Typhoon Committee to the global efforts on disaster reduction, in particular to the Hyogo Framework for Action: 2005-2015.

The 38th session of the Typhoon Committee will be held on November 14-19 2005, in Hanoi, Vietnam.

For more information, please contact: ti.unescap@un.org

International Day for Disaster Reduction Celebrations in Asia and the Pacific Events to highlight the theme of International Day for Disaster Reduction,"Invest in Disasters", were held in many Asian countries, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines , Singapore and Vietnam. In Thailand, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) of the Ministry of Interior hosted a public awareness campaign, and UN/ESCAP organized its Annual Forum on Disaster Reduction, in cooperation with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) and relevant UN Agencies. The UN/ISDR Asia and the Pacific supported the organization of the events, in particular, the annual ceremony to present the United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction, and the panel discussion on "Disaster Risk Management in Asia and the Pacific: Learning from Recent and Innovative Experiences."

For more information, please contact santucci.unescap@un.org and rosec@un.org

Concluding Regional Workshop on Methodologies to Assess Socio Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters, October 19-21 , UNESCAP, Thailand
This regional workshop grouped together representatives from China, Lao PDR, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam and various UN Agencies (UN/ESCAP, UN/ECLAC, UNDP, FAO, ADPC and UN/ISDR) and the World Bank, among others. The discussions focused on a recent assessment of regional trends on disasters impact in selected countries from Asia-Pacific carried out by UN/ESCAP, as well as UN/ECLAC, experiences in the region. The aim of the exercise was to harmonize assessment methods for flood/typhoons and drought, based on the case studies presented during the meeting. A brief presentation was made on the ISDR Asian Partnership on Disaster Reduction's initiatives to assist developing countries in the region in the formulation of their National Strategic Action Plans (SNAP) for the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action.

This workshop came as a direct follow-up to the five roundtable workshops organized by UN/ESCAP in Vietnam , Lao PDR, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, to assess the socio-economic impact of hydro-meteorological disasters in these countries. Standard templates for floods/typhoon and drought were developed to incorporate existing disaster impact assessments into UN/ECLAC's conceptual approach.

For more information, please contact: ti.unescap@un.org

Government of Thailand Contributes Ten Million USD for New Multi-donor Voluntary Trust Fund on Tsunami Early Warning Arrangements in the Indian Ocean
An agreement was signed on September 26 2005 between H.E. Dr. Kantathi Suphamongkhon, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and Dr. Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary of UN/ESCAP, to create a regional trust fund to support tsunami early warning arrangements in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia . The Government of Thailand has contributed ten million USD to support this fund. The fund will be managed by UN/ESCAP, and will contribute to the broader United Nations response to the tsunami by supporting the development of a regional early warning system, through a network of national and regional centres. The fund will assist these centers in building technological and organizational capacity and expertise. Thailand is cooperating with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) in developing a regional center for Southeast Asia. This fund will complement the current fund released through the UN Flash Appeal for the development and strengthening of an Early Warning System for the Indian Ocean, which is currently being managed by the UNESCO/IOC, with support from WMO and the UN/ISDR.

The Prime Minister of Thailand, H.E. Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra, had announced Thailand's pledge to the Trust Fund at the Ministerial Meeting on Tsunami Early Warning Arrangements, held earlier this year in Phuket. He called on other nations to match this contribution and to support this joint effort in protecting the lives of peoples living along the coastline, as well as of the millions of tourists visiting the region every year.

For further information, please contact Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, at (66) 0-2643-5000 ext. 2544 or 2299 or UN/ESCAP at (66) 0-2288-1935

UN/ESCAP Receives One Million USD from the Republic of Korea for Technical Cooperation on Disaster Preparedness
The Government of the Republic of Korea has provided UN/ESCAP with a one million USD contribution for technical cooperation in tsunami affected countries. On September 9 2005, Mr. Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary of UN/ESCAP, and His Excellency Mr. Yoon Jee-Joon, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Thailand presided over a ceremony at UN/ESCAP Headquarters in Bangkok, to recognize this important contribution to support the tsunami affected countries. UN/ESCAP will use this contribution to implement regional projects as part of the UN's response to the Indian Ocean tsunami. The projects will focus on improving the coordination and effectiveness of regional practices and policies, and integrating regional disaster preparedness and management into public policy and national systems in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, UN/ESCAP will facilitate the exchange of experiences and good practices within the region in areas such as education and awareness raising, as well as mitigation strategies and pilot programmes for populations affected by the tsunami.
For further information please contact unisbkk.unescap@un.org

Inamura-no-hi Publication of Tsunami Awareness Booklets in Asia The Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), in cooperation with the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN*), has recently developed tsunami awareness booklets in nine languages for eight countries in Asia (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore and Sri Lanka).

The booklets include an old Japanese tsunami educational story called "Inamura-no-hi", which has been adapted for the different countries, as well as tsunami evacuation information. The "Inamura-no-hi" story was created for elementary school children to learn from the tsunami that occurred on December 24, 1854 in Japan. It reflects the importance of understanding and remembering the lessons learned from past disasters and the need for quick judgment and action in the case of a disaster.

ADRRN will distribute the booklets through their programs for tsunami response, recovery, or disaster reduction at the community level, in cooperation with ADRC. The document, in pdf form, can be downloaded from:
http://www.adrc.or.jp/publications/inamura/list.html. For more information, please contact tsunozaki@adrc.org

*The ADRRN is a a network, whose aim is to promoting coordination and collaboration among NGOs in Asian countries involved in disaster reduction & response. It was established in 2002 with the support of UN/OCHA Kobe and ADRC.

UNESCO's Primer on Natural Disaster Preparedness and Coping Mechanisms
A "Primer on Natural Disaster Preparedness and Coping Mechanisms" was produced by the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, in cooperation with the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development. This document focuses on earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis, and provides basic educational information to prevent the above natural hazards from becoming economic and social disasters . This material includes criteria for integrating natural disaster preparedness into educational curricula.

For more information, please contact Bangkok@unescobkk.org

News from the Indonesian Society for Disaster Management
The Indonesian Society for Disaster Management (MPBI) conducted series of activities for the International Day for Disaster Reduction. In collaboration with the Provincial Government of Jakarta Capital Region, MPBI conducted a workshop for community leaders on local disaster risk mapping, an exhibition and parade, and a drill exercise. A workshop on the Exploration of Microfinance in Reducing Disaster Vulnerability was also held.
For more information, please contact pujiono@aseansec.org

UN/ESCAP Receives One Million USD from the Republic of Korea for Technical Cooperation on Disaster Preparedness
The Government of the Republic of Korea has provided UN/ESCAP with a one million USD contribution for technical cooperation in tsunami affected countries. On 9 September 2005, Mr. Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary of UN/ESCAP, and His Excellency Mr. Yoon Jee-Joon, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Thailand presided over a ceremony at UN/ESCAP Headquarters in Bangkok, to recognize this important contribution to support the tsunami affected countries. UN/ESCAP will use this contribution to implement regional projects as part of the UN's response to the Indian Ocean tsunami. The projects will focus on improving the co-ordination and effectiveness of regional practices and policies, and integrating regional disaster preparedness and management into public policy and national systems in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, UN/ESCAP will facilitate the exchange of experiences and good practices within the region in areas such as education and awareness raising, as well as mitigation strategies and pilot programmes for populations affected by the tsunami.
For further information please contact unisbkk.unescap@un.org


International Day for Disaster Reduction in Latin America
The UN/ISDR LAC Unit took part in several events that were organized in both Costa Rica and Panama for the International Day for Disaster Reduction. In Costa Rica, the LAC Unit participated in the celebration activities that were organized on a national scale, and interviews were given to media including television, radio, local and regional newspapers. Many of the questions interviewers posed were related to the catastrophic events in the region over the last weeks. In addition, the LAC Unit posted information kits to many of the region's countries in order to help local authorities organize the celebration for the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

New CD-ROM on Disaster Risk Management in Municipalities
ISDR and CRID have produced a new CD-ROM that contains information resources on disaster risk management in municipalities. This information product is one of ISDR's contributions to the regional conference, Integrated Risk Management at the Municipal Level, to be held in Nicaragua in November 2005. The CD-ROM contains 89 full text documents on early warning, community-based risk management, risk maps, governance, community planning and education. It also includes 20 website references and contact information for 114 institutions and/or experts.
The CD-Rom can be viewed at:
http://www.crid.or.cr/crid/CD_GERIMU06/index.html

UNICEF/TACRO Regional training workshop
The UN/ISDR LAC Unit recently participated in a regional training workshop organized by UNICEF-TACRO (the Americas and the Caribbean Regional Office).
The workshop targeted UNICEF emergency focal points and senior managers from country offices in the region. ISDR was invited to coordinate a session on education and risk reduction. Follow-up activities on the issue of national platforms and wider dissemination of 'RiskLand' were also discussed with UNICEF Bolivia, Nicaragua and Panama offices.

Strengthening Municipal Capacities Throughout Latin America and the Caribbean
The International Development Research Center (IDRC) has approved a project entitled "Management of Municipal Disaster Prevention Information for Latin America and the Caribbean", which was developed by the UN/ISDR LAC Unit and CRID. The one-year pilot project, to be implemented mainly through CRID, provides an opportunity to link ISDR, PAHO, UN-Habitat and regional organizations such as CEPREDENAC and CAPRADE (which are interested in municipal information management for risk reduction) in a common effort.

The overall objective of this project is to create or strengthen the municipal capacities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean in the management of disaster prevention related information. Improved access to information will enhance decision-making at the municipal level as it relates to disaster prevention and risk reduction throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, while serving as a model for inter-municipal coordination and communication for other regions.

IDRC is a Canadian public corporation that works in close collaboration with researchers from the developing world in their search for the means to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous societies.


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