International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Highlights
2006 - 2005 - 2004
2006
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  February
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April - 2006
NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS:

The UN/ISDR Highlights Bulletin will now be issued on a quarterly basis in January, April, July and October. We are revamping the Bulletin and in July 2006, we hope to present you with a new version that will include photos and a calendar of events.


Africa


The establishment of a National Platform in the Republic of Gabon has led to the creation of a Ministry for Disaster Reduction and Management in March 2006. The Government is now implementing the national strategy for disaster risk reduction (DRR). The Government is also spearheading the establishment of a sub-regional center for DRR for 16 countries in Central Africa. For more information please contact: Jean-Pierre Mintsa Mi Ndong, Permanent Secretary, Tel: +24106241102, Email: idarachelm@yahoo.fr.

The National Platform for DRR in the Republic of Kenya has completed the National Policies for Fire Management and Arid Lands Development. The Government has enhanced the implementation of DRR into development programs by allocating two billion KSH (USD $30 Million) in support of drought mitigation initiatives. For more information please contact: Deputy Secretary Micho Mwaluma, Email: michomwaluma@aridland.go.ke

The National Platform for DRR in the Republic of Uganda has established a secretariat for coordinating the implementation of the DRR provisions of the national PRSP. The secretariat is composed of representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister, UNDP and the German development cooperation, GTZ. For more information please contact: Permanent Secretary Martin Odwedo, Email: sps@opm.go.ug.

The Africa Union Commission will host a meeting of the Africa Working Group on DRR in May to draw strategies for the implementation of the recommendations from the first Ministerial meeting for DRR held in Addis Ababa in December 2005. For more information please contact: Head of Environmental Division of AU, Foday Bojang, Email: bojangF@africa-union.org.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is organizing the second two-week training on Disaster Risk Reduction for Disaster Managers in the IGAD sub-region to be held in Nairobi at ICPAC headquarters from 8-9 May 2006. For more information please contact: Keflemariam.Sebhatu@igad.org

Asia & Pacific

The Council of Regional Organizations in the Pacific (CROP) and Developing Partners Planning held a workshop on “Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Pacific Island Countries” on 9-10 February 2006 to contribute to the development of a strategy to implement the HFA in the region. The participants agreed to establish a partnership network comprising of CROP agencies, national agencies, international organizations, development / donor partners for disaster risk reduction and interested parties to develop the document. For more information, please contact alan@sopac.org or chung2@un.org.

The USAID-funded Post-Tsunami Sustainable Coastal Livelihoods Project, in conjunction with the US Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS) Program, jointly sponsored a “Workshop on Lessons Learned in Recovery: Post-Tsunami Relief and Rehabilitation for Sustainable Coastal Development” on 15-17 February 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand, to share lessons from the affected post-tsunami countries on how to support sustainable coastal management in the wake of the tsunami disaster. The workshop agenda and supporting materials can be found at www.iotws.org/ under workshops and trainings. For more information, please contact Orestes Anastasia at oanastasia@usaid.gov

On 20-23 February 2006, an International workshop on “Post-Disaster Assessment and Monitoring of Changes in Coastal, Ocean and Human Systems in the Indian Ocean and Asian Waters” grouped together 200 natural and social scientists and educators, policy makers, marine protected area managers, and students in the southwestern island of Phuket in Thailand. The discussions focused on sharing lessons and experiences of post-disaster human and ecological rehabilitation and how to develop better approaches to coastal management. A publication issued synthesizing and evaluating the impacts of disasters and climate change on coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangroves, their associated biodiversity, fisheries, coasts and beaches and on livelihoods dependent upon these ecosystems and communities will be issued soon. For more information on the workshop and its proceedings, visit http://westpac.unescobkk.org or contact m.fortes@unescobkk.org.

A Community Participation in Disaster Risk Reduction Workshop was held on 23-24 February 2006 in Jakarta at the initiative of the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Executing Agency for Aceh and Nyas, UNDP Indonesia and USAID. Concrete recommendations and proposals were made to ensure that the to-be-established National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) would fill coordination and implementation role for disaster management and disaster risk reduction. For more information, please contact rosec@un.org

The Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) in partnership with Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) established an emergency telecommunications response mission in Leyte, Philippines to provide communication service mainly to local and international NGOs, local and provincial government officials, and coordination with UNDAC personnel. The mission offered support and provided people affected by the disaster with a link to the outside world. The mission also aimed to coordinate and strengthen emergency relief efforts in the worst affected zones through its satellite communications equipment. For more information, please visit: http://www.adpc.net/general/Landslide_Philippines_Main.html

The new edition of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC)’s quarterly Newsletter “Asian Disaster Management News” has just been issued. The theme of this edition is "Health Emergency Initiatives in Asia-Pacific". The newsletter is being sent by mail to all of our subscribers and is also accessible on ADPC's website directly through the following link: http://www.adpc.net/general/Newsletter_Oct-Dec.pdf

The International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIES) is holding its Fifth International Conference on Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (SEE5) in Tehran, Iran from 14-16 May 2007. The conference will provide a forum for discussion on the use of the existing know-how on earthquakes and its integration into development programs. It also compels the scientific and engineering community to provide more socio-economic-cultural compatible solutions to national needs. For more information please visit: http://www.iiees.ac.ir/SEE5


Europe and the CIS

The Third International Conference on Early Warning (EWC III) took place in Bonn, Germany from 26 to 29 March 2006. An initiative of the German government under the auspices of the United Nations, this event was an opportunity to gather governments, international organizations, NGOs, scientists, and individual experts to discuss recent developments in early warning. The conference was attended by the USG for Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland, and the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, President Clinton. In two parallel streams, a plenary forum and a scientific symposium, about 1,000 participants exchanged views on aspects of early warning in all categories of hazards. The plenary focused on action, through projects that illustrated good practice in early warning. A Checklist of early warning activities and a Compendium of early warning projects were produced before and during the conference. For more information please visit: http://www.ewc3.org/ or contact hoerkensj@un.org

A seminar on safer building strategies and landslides will be held in Kyrgyzstan on10-11 April 2006. Universities professors from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will be participating in the panel of experts. The aim of the seminar is to transfer knowledge of safer building strategies of natural disasters to the practitioners. For more information, please contact: Marziya Baidullova, marziya.baidulloeva@undp.org

Latin Anerica & the carribean

The International Workshop on Flash Flood Forecasting, held in Costa Rica, on 13-17 March 2006 brought together leading scientists and practitioners in meteorology and hydrology with an aim to provide information on the types of flash flood prediction capabilities available for application in vulnerable countries worldwide. A range of solutions was covered, from simple inexpensive tools and applications, to more sophisticated centralized forecasting systems. The Workshop showcased successful end-to-end warning and response systems and effective flash flood forecasting operations while also identifying steps that could be taken to promote science and technology in developing countries. For more information, please contact: Wolfgang Grabs, WMO, Chief, Water Resources Division, Hydrology and Water Resources Department at wmo@wmo.int

OCHA and CEPREDENAC organized two events in Guatemala: a ‘High Level Meeting on Disaster Response and Preparedness in Central America’; and a ‘Workshop on Forecasting and Possible Lines of Action in Central America for the 2006 Hurricane Season’. During the high-level meeting, a note of intention was signed between USG Jan Egeland, Aníbal Ernesto Quiñónez, Secretary-General of the Central American Integration System (SICA), and David Smith, Executive Secretary of the Natural Disaster Prevention Coordination Centre for Central America, (CEPREDENAC) to establish the basis of a future regional Cooperation Agreement on Preparedness and Response to Natural Disasters. For more information, please contact: David Smith, Executive Secretary, CEPREDENAC, at dsmith@cepredenac.org

The twelfth edition of the ‘ISDR Informs’ Magazine has been issued and hard copies will be mailed in the coming weeks. For the on-line version of the magazine please visit: http://www.eird.org/esp/revista/no_12_2006/index_no12eps.htm.




ISDR Highlights is a monthly email update on current news in disaster reduction published by the Inter-Agency Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR).
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