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Summit participants tour ASEAN disaster management centre

A group of participants in the ABU climate change conference in Jakarta had a look at how Southeast Asian countries are coordinating disaster management.

The visit to the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management came a day before the opening of the ABU three-day Media Summit on Climate Change, ICTs and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCIDRR), hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology of Indonesia.

ASEAN established the centre in November 2011 to facilitate coordination among member states on disaster management and emergency response in the region. Its two primary roles are disaster monitoring, and preparedness and response.

The centre’s Executive Director, Said Faisal, briefed the group on the work of the centre and took them through its operations room.

He described the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008 as the two events that had most shaped ASEAN in terms of disaster management. 

Mr Faisal said the ASEAN region was highly exposed to natural hazards, with floods, storms, earthquakes and landslides the most frequent. ASEAN losses related to natural disasters were estimated at US$4.4 billion annually, he said.

ASEAN’s 10 members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The CCIDRR summit will discuss the role of media in raising public awareness of the effects of climate change, and the responsibilities of media before, during and after disasters.

*Photo and story courtesy of Alan Williams.

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