This is the second event of a series of forums under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Research and Development Platform Program which brings evidence-based research and insights to support ASEAN sectoral bodies in their activities. The program is supported by the Japanese government through the Japan - ASEAN Integration Fund.

ASEAN calls for new approach to disaster management. (Photo for illustration)

Highlighting that ASEAN is among the most disaster-prone regions in the world, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASCC Ekkaphab Phanthavong said the disaster management sector will need to be equipped with strong strategic analysis and tools to be prepared for the changing risk landscape in ASEAN.

Naoki Minamiguchi, the Director of Japan - ASEAN Integration Fund Management Team, noted that the forum aims to assist ASEAN in achieving substantial reduction of disaster losses in lives and assets and to enhance disaster resilience in the region through collaboration and cooperation in disaster management.

He emphasized the importance of actionable policy tools and innovative methodologies to be readily applied to the disaster sector.

The project’s advisor team, Resilience Development Initiative (RDI), highlighted the complex interactions between climate hazards, exposure and vulnerability, and disaster management. To respond to these interactions and come up with viable solutions, they advised that new adaptive approaches to disaster management will be needed.

However, Dr. Mizan Bisri from RDI warned that there are several problems in utilizing disaster-related technology while suggesting the digitally mature approach to Disaster Risk Reduction Management as an option for ASEAN to address the existing gaps in disaster management.

Dr. Riyanti Djalante, Head of the Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance Division reiterated that training and capacity buildings programs will be crucial in utilising application technologies and ICT assets, and participation in ASEAN activities and programs should be prioritized to support localization of disaster management.

At the forum, delegates also discussed localization of disaster risk management in ASEAN, and recommended creating shared understanding and greater dissemination of localization strategies as well as developing a localization road-map at regional and country level.

Source: VNA