International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

2005 - 2004
October - 2005

Mr. Chimeddorj Batchulluun, Mongolia is the 2005 Sasakawa laureate

Mr. Chimeddorj Batchulluun of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of the Government of Mongolia is the 2005 Sasakawa Laureate. The UN Sasakawa Award Jury awarded him the prize for his efforts in raising awareness about the impact of the Dzud on pastoral livestock. Two certificates of Distinction were also awarded to Mr. Claude de Ville de Goyet, former Director of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Coordination Programme in the Pan American Heath Organization (PAHO), and to Mr. Jaime Parejo Garcia, Chief of the Rescue Dog Unit of the Fire Brigade in Seville, Spain. Claude de Ville de Goyet received the Certificate of Distinction for his valuable efforts to minimize the number of victims and material losses in hospitals before natural hazards occur. Jaime Parejo Garcia developed an innovative method that improved the efficiency of dog rescue in the searching of survivors buried during disasters caused by natural hazards. A Certificate of Merit was awarded to the Simeulue Community for the regular and diverse activities of community leaders to sustain an acute degree of awareness and preparedness for disaster reduction. Mr. Chimeddorj Batchulluun is the eighteenth laureate of the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction. He will be awarded the crystal trophy and $40,000 during a ceremony on 12 October at the new ISDR office in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction, 27-29 September 2005, Beijing, China
The Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction (ACDR) was convened in Beijing, China on 27-29 September 2005 at the invitation of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. A total of 385 participants attended the conference, which included delegations from 42 Asian and Pacific countries, of which 33 were represented at the ministerial level, and 13 UN agencies and international organisations. The conference provided a platform for Asian countries to share and exchange best practices and lessons learned in disaster risk reduction and elaborate priorities for action that may be considered by individual countries for implementation in Asia as identified under the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). The “Beijing Action for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia” was adopted as the main outcome document of the conference, calling for enhanced regional cooperation to implement the Hyogo Framework for Action. The next ACDR will be held in New Delhi, India in 2007.
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Tsunami Memorial design competition, Bangkok, 21 September 2005
In response to the 2004 December tragedy and related economic losses for Thailand, the Thai Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, set up a committee to restore the tourism industry in tsunami-affected areas. Under this committee, a Sub-Committee has been set up to create a memorial for tsunami victims in Thailand. An international design competition has been launched at UNESCAP, Bangkok, on 21 September, in cooperation with the Office of Contemporary Arts and Culture of the Ministry of Culture and the Council of Architects, a body representing the architectural profession which controls the architectural licensing system in Thailand.

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International day for Disaster Reduction
On the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, to be held on 12 October 2005, and to mark the UN International Year for Micro Credit, the secretariat of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction plans to launch activities worldwide to foster debate on how micro finance can contribute to reduce the impact of disasters on vulnerable communities. A number of roundtables and discussions will be held in Asia and Europe to explore the potential of this financial tool for disaster reduction. The Indian Home Minister will inaugurate a two-day workshop on micro finance in New Delhi, India on 14-15 October (see below). Other events on micro finance will also take place in Geneva, Switzerland, Bangkok, Thailand, and Dushanbe, Tajikistan. For more information about the different activities that are taking place during the Day please consult our special International Day page.

Two day- workshop on “ Micro credit on tsunami recovery and disaster mitigation” in New Delhi, India
The National Institute of Disaster Management of the Government of India, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) and ISDR are planning a two-day workshop on micro finance in New Delhi, India on 14-15 October. More than 80 financial experts, disaster managers and UN specialists from India and other countries affected by the tsunami last December will participate to the workshop on “Micro credit on tsunami recovery and disaster mitigation”. M. Shivnaj Patil, Union Home Minister of the Government of India, will inaugurate the workshop. The ISDR secretariat, together with AIDMI, will prepare a publication based on the discussions of this workshop and on further micro finance field case studies carried out in India and Sri Lanka. The publication will be issued by the end of the year for wide dissemination. For more information about the programme of the workshop, please consult our special page on the International Day for Disaster Reduction:

Third Early Warning Conference
The EWC III conference secretariat issued a call for project proposals to be submitted to the conference. A briefing for all Permanent Missions in Geneva took place on 23 September 2005 following the first meeting, on 14 September, of the Consultative Committee, set up by the secretariat to support the Conference organizers in the preparatory work. The Committee, co-chaired by the secretariat and the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO), is made up of agencies and governments drawn from the extended ISDR Support Group. The secretariat and the German FFO undertook joint missions to London, Brussels and Washington to promote the EWC III process with relevant governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.

Regional workshop on “Risk analysis and public investment”, Peru, 12-14 September
ISDR helped organisee the regional workshop on ‘Risk Analysis and Public Investment,’ held from 12-14 September in Lima (Peru), and prepared an interactive information resources CD on risk analysis and public investment. The product can be seen at and was widely distributed during the event. The CD contains over 60 technical full text documents, presentations, contacts and website-related information, all easily accessible through various means (lists, search and links).

Update on the Central American Disaster Information center
A mid-term review with ECHO and PAHO representatives was held in order to monitor progress of the ECHO-financed project ‘Central American Disaster Information Network’ (CANDHI). ISDR plays an important role as one of the main coordinating partners of the CRID-implemented and ECHO-financed (through PAHO/WHO) project. Results of the mid-term monitoring exercise were positive as most objectives were attained and some even exceeded.

University of Pittsburgh Supercourse Lecture on the “Public Health Consequences of Disasters: Challenges for Public Health Action”, 29 September
This Web cast Supercourse lecture was conducted by Dr. Eric Noji, chief of the Epidemiology, Surveillance and Emergency Response Branch at the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It was broadcast to educators, students, researchers and others interested in disasters through 150 colleges and universities all over the world. ISDR participated in this event and also joined the Task Force Group to brainstorm how Supercourse modalities can be used in the future to reach even broader groups, as well as raise awareness on topics related to disasters. The proposal to have a Supercourse on the ISDR and Hyogo Framework to coincide with the WCDR anniversary (January 2006) was well received by the group. For more information, please see:

Commemoration of 1985 Mexico earthquake
The ISDR secretariat participated in events that commemorated the 20-year anniversary of the earthquake that struck Mexico City in September 1985. During the ceremony, led by the Mexican President Vicente Fox Quesada, the Director of UN/ISDR highlighted Mexico's achievements in disaster risk reduction in the past two decades and called for even stronger national leadership as well as increased regional and international cooperation.

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