International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

2006 - 2005 - 2004
February - 2006
Nigeria held a National Summit on Disaster Management & Emergency Preparedness on 24-25 January in Abudja. The summit was attended by over 250 participants and targeted at policy makers, legislators, administrators, disaster/emergency managers and other stakeholders. The summit objectives were to: (1) Appraise Nigeria’s disaster and emergency preparedness and capabilities (2) Draw up a disaster and emergency management policy and institutional framework, (3) Develop a new disaster management legislative framework for a uniform approach to disaster management and (4) Provide input into the “Proposed Nigeria Disaster and Emergency Management Act”. For more information on the outcomes documents, please contact: Dr. Olusegun Ojo on tel. + 234 9 413 1953 or at

Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) organized a two-day workshop from 26-27 January in Abuja to consider the Draft National Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction. The national plan of action is based on the key priorities of the Hyogo Framework. In order to ensure the greatest local community leader participation, NEMA will conduct similar workshops in two other regions before finalizing the national plan of action on disaster risk reduction in Nigeria. For more information, please contact: Dr. Olusegun Ojo on tel. + 234 9 413 1953 or e-mail:

Madagascar’s National Council of Emergency (Conseil National de Secours – CNS) has carried out training courses on disaster risk and management for local community leaders. The CNS conducted training courses in 13 of the most disaster vulnerable regions in Madagascar’s during 2005. Using a participative approach, the training programme focused on different types of hazards in the country such as cyclone, floods, fire, drought, tsunami and landslides. The training courses helped local community leaders to carry out vulnerability assessments and develop evacuation maps and helped safely resettle local populations. Thus far, no deaths have been reported and only minimum damage to building occurred during the passage of the tropical depression in the West coasts of the country. For more information, please contact: Mr. Jacky Randimbiarison, Executive Secretary, CNS tel. + 261 20 22 594 50 or on e-mail:

Burundi is set to launch a national platform on disaster risk reduction in April 2006. In November 2005, the Government of Burundi with the assistance of UNDP Country Office carried out a national assessment on the disaster situation in Burundi and wrote a proposal on disaster risk reduction activities. Part of the Proposal was to carry out a pilot project on disaster risk reduction in Burundi. During the First African Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, an initial meeting was held in Addis Ababa between the Burundi Delegation, UNDP and ISDR in launching a national platform on disaster reduction in Burundi. As a follow up of the meeting, the National Government and PNUD organized a meeting on 30 December 2005, to analyze the document on the pilot project and the launching of the national platform on disaster risk reduction with all stakeholders in Burundi. The establishment of the national platform on disas ter reduction was unanimously approved with the full support of Burundi’s political leaders. For more information, please contact: Colonel Anicet NIBARUTA,, Mobile Tel: +257 980 118/257 743 929, Office Tel: +257 23 62 25

Asia & Pacific

The “Roadmap for a Safer Sri Lanka” was launched on 30 December 2005 by Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC), the Ministry of Disaster Management, in collaboration with UNDP Sri Lanka. The document is a ten-year plan of action to help Sri Lanka lower risks and better manage future disasters. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, welcomed the document as a useful tool “to lead to a more efficient and coordinated approach to disaster risk management”. The Roadmap includes plans to develop a vulnerability atlas for Sri Lanka to enable development planning that is sensitive to multiple hazards and associated risks. Other components include multi-hazard early warning systems, preparedness and response plans, integrating DRM into development, community-based disaster management and public awareness, education and training. A supplement to the road map with detailed project proposals will be ready by March 2006 and will include references to the Hyogo Framework for Action. For more information, please contact

A Public Symposium on Post Disaster Recovery Lessons Learned was held on 19 January in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan, co-organized by the International Recovery Platform (IRP) Secretariat, the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), Cabinet Office of Japan, Hyogo Prefectural Government, UNDP and OCHA. More than 180 participants from 21 countries throughout the Asian-Pacific region attended the symposium to share their past post disaster experiences and to identify the challenges faced in the recovery process of more recent major disasters, in particular strategies to reduce potential risk and reconstruct safer and better. The video of the symposium is available on IRP website ( For more information on the Symposium and IRP, please contact Mr. Murata (

The Regional Implementation Meeting for Asia and the Pacific for the Fourteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), on 19-20 January, reviewed progress made and identified key challenges and opportunities towards implementation of the Johannesburg Plan of the Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). The areas of focus were (a) Energy for sustainable development; (b). Industrial development; (c) Air pollution/atmosphere; and (d) Climate change. An extract from the climate change paragraph states that " stresses from climate and climate-related events and phenomena that could be exacerbated by future climate change are already being felt by most countries through extreme weather and natural disasters in the region". The text of the outcome of the meeting was still being debated and will be submitted to Geneva for their record.

The UNICEF East Asia Pacific Regional Office launched a report entitled “Children and Young People Responding to the Tsunami”. The report highlights innovative activities and ideas from children’s involvement in post disaster situations. As an example, the Thai NGO “Plan Thailand” is helping children identify the issues affecting their lives and environment. In northern and eastern Thailand, children can learn about forest conservation, household sanitation and silk weaving as part of the local school curricula and have suggested mangrove conservation, natural resources management and indigenous cultures as part of the subjects in which they want to learn more. For more information, please contact: Joachim Theis at

The 6th ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management took place on 27 January in Jakarta, Indonesia. The discussions built on the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response that urges Member States to give priority to disaster risk reduction and cooperate closely to mainstream disaster risk reduction efforts into sustainable development policies planning and programming at all levels. An area of immediate cooperation will be the contribution of ACDM Member Countries to the biennial campaign on disaster risk reduction. Participants were asked to provide contributions to the 2006-2007 campaign, “Disaster Reduction Begins at School” and to organize a joint celebration of the ASEAN Day for Disaster Management and International Day for Disaster Reduction next 11 October 2006 in Asia. However, as some tsunami-affected countries like Thailand and Malaysia have approved 26 December as their National Disaster Day, the y may instead seek to celebrate the ASEAN Day on 11 October. Discussions will be held at the next ASEAN Ministerial Meeting to explore the possibility of changing ASEAN Day from the second Wednesday in October to 26 December. For more information, please contact

The Second US Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS) Program Coordination Workshop on 30-31 January focused on “national and local level” donor coordination and more strategic implementation of IOTWS-related issues in support of the broader IOC/IOTWS process. Specific discussions focused on: (i). National warning center and DM capacity building; (ii). National and local warning communications systems; (iii). Coastal community resilience and hazard analysis; (iv). Coastal disaster mitigation policies and practices. The $16.6 million US IOTWS Program managed by USAID provides regional support on development of the IOTWS, and works in five focus countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Maldives. The outcome of the workshop will be made available at For more information, please contact Orestes Anastasia at

The Provention Consortium Forum was held on 2-3 February in Bangkok, Thailand. The central theme of the Forum was “Incentives for Reducing Risk”, looking at the political, economic, social, and environmental incentives needed for a more proactive and preventive approach to dealing with disaster risk and vulnerability. The Forum held various sessions covering a broad spectrum of disaster management aspects; from state responsibility and community action in disaster risk reduction to risk transfer solutions and the role of private sector in disaster risk reduction. A comprehensive report on the discussions will be available at

The UN Country Team for Thailand produced a first draft of its UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), which has been renamed the “United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF)”. The document provides a comprehensive, collective and integrated UN System response to the national priorities and needs identified for Thailand within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Amongst them, disaster risk reduction was recognized as one of the priority areas. The UNPAF Thailand is a good illustration of the integration of disaster risk reduction within national development planning. The proposed document will be submitted for the Royal Thai Government’s final approval. For more information, please contact or

The Islamic Republic of Iran has requested support to develop a specialized regional collaborative center for disaster risk reduction. The Hyogo Framework for Action calls for the establishment of such centers, to support regional research, training, education and capacity building. A report on relevant existing capacities and needs in the region is being drafted in consultation with UN partners to determine the potential scope and nature of such a centre. For more information, please contact Mr. Mostafa Mohaghegh (


UNESCO and ISDR are calling on primary and secondary pupils and teachers worldwide, to join an on-line competition to find a slogan that will deliver the following message: “Disaster reduction begins at school”. The message will serve as the official slogan of the Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School Campaign that aims to make disaster awareness education and safer school facilities key priorities for countries vulnerable to natural hazards. UNESCO and ISDR will launch this biennial campaign in June 2006. The on-line competition to find a slogan can be found at and is open to all pupils from the age of six to 18. Children can send their suggestions to: until the competition deadline on 31 March 2006. The winner of the competition will win a box of disaster prevention games and his or her school will receive an information kit on natural hazar ds. For more information about the campaign, please contact Brigitte Leoni, ISDR Communication Officer

The second and final announcement of the Third International Conference on Early Warning (EWC III) can be accessed at As the focus of the EWC III will be on the presentation and promotion of concrete early warning projects, a call for project proposals was issued in August 2005. With the help of over 30 international experts, all the submitted projects have now been thoroughly reviewed and a catalogue of selected projects is due to be shared with donors and other interested parties at the beginning of March, in advance of the conference. Out of that catalogue, 12-15 particularly valuable and illustrative projects will be selected for presentation at the conference plenary. For more information please contact Ulrike Hellmann,

Latin Anerica & the carribean

A set of country profiles for Latin America and the Caribbean is now available on-line at These profiles have been updated with additional data and analysis. Each country now has an analysis profile that provides an overview of the local situation and institutional setting. The country profiles are also available on CD-Rom. For more information please contact

The Third Core Member Meeting on developing a disaster reduction hyper-base was held in San Jose, Costa Rica on 10-11 January. The meeting was organized by MEXT/NIED, ISDR and Regional Disaster Information Center (CRID) and was attended by 50 participants from the Americas and Japan. During the meeting, ISDR was suggested as one of the main international coordinators for future projects related to the set-up of the disaster reduction hyperbase. On the regional scale for the Americas, it was suggested that CRID be the main focal point.

The ISDR Regional Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean has moved to Panama. The new office contact details are:
United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR)
Edificio 843 A y B Avenida Arnoldo Cano Arosemena en el Campus de la Ciudad del Saber Corregimiento de Ancón Panamá
Tel: (+507) 317 0971, 317 1124, 317 1120, 317 0775.
Fax: (+507) 317 060


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