News      |      Events

ABU Launches Media For Disaster Prevention Initiative

The Global Media for Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative was rolled-out in the Asia – Pacific region with a virtual workshop for Bangladesh TV. 35 broadcasters from management, technology and content production backgrounds navigated the complex issues of climate change adaptation and disaster prevention with the help of two world experts in Early Warning Systems and Weather Forecasting. A third trainer engaged with editors and producers of BTV to chart a new ways and approaches for saving lives and livelihoods through programming.

This, Phase 1 of the Global Media for Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative, aims to build the knowledge base of participants not only in covering disasters, but also supports the development of a proactive approach to use the “quiet time” between disasters to build a national culture of prevention. Bangladesh has a very successful policy of saving lives and livelihoods through media,  which will be showcased in the workshops for the remaining 16 ABU member organisations, which has to be conducted by the end of March 2021. The following phases will see practical content production mentoring and co-productions between Asia – Pacific Broadcasters and cooproductiopns between ABU members and the other regional broadcasting unions.

The Global Media for Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative is a two year project, supported by the United Nation Office for DRR and implemented globally by the broadcast unions members of the World Broadcasting Unions – Asia – Pacific Broadcasting Union, Arab States Broadcasting Union, African Union of Broadcasting, European Broadcasting Union and Caribbean Broadcasting Union. 

The multi-activity programme for the Asia – Pacific region aims to enhance the capacity of 40 ABU member organisations to: ensure the continuity of the broadcast services during disasters by making their physical networks resilient; link the broadcasters’ services to their National Disaster Management Authorities; issue timely, accurate and relevant Early Warning Messages by developing up to date Broadcast Emergency Plans; mainstream climate change adaptation and disasters’ prevention in their news, current affairs and general programmes.

The Head of the ABU SG Office Ms Natalia Ilieva, who is also ABU/UNDRR Coordinator for the Global Media for Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative, thinks that the initiative start cannot be more timely. “The COVID 19 pandemic showed without any doubt that media is the most powerful “weapon” we have in times of crisis. That is the most reliable and trusted way to reach the entire population with timely and accurate  information and advice and help people to stay out of harms way. It will be no exaggeration to say  that the pandemic was a wakeup call and we all have to be prepared for future  climate change induced calamities such as more frequent and intense cyclones and typhoons, heat waves and water and food scarcity threats. Media in Asia – Pacific is ready to accept this challenge and the ABU members are leading in putting their organizations in service of their people.”- she said.

For more information on the project and how to enroll in it, please contact Ms Natalia Ilieva: