Empowering Local Officials (Saturday, 7 June 2014, 13:30 – 15:15)

Promotion of Grass Root Innovations for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change
Reneema HAZARIKA (India)

Helping Districts Reduce Risk in Indonesia
Dwikorita KARNAWATI (Indonesia)

Guidance on Guidance: Providing Useable Natural Hazard Management Science for Local Government
Wendy S.A. SAUNDERS (New Zealand)

Riverine Flood and Tropical Storm Risk Assessment in Timor-Leste
Soravit VITOONTUS (Thailand)


Promotion of Grassroot Innovations for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change

Reneema HAZARIKA1, Mihir U. JOSHI2 and Manu GUPTA3

  1. Campaigns, Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network , New Delhi , India
  2. Coordination, Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network, New Delhi , India
  3. Chairman, Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network , New Delhi , India

Asia has more than 40 per cent of the world’s population, and almost 38 per cent of the hazardous events occur here. The continent experiences virtually all kinds of disasters, be it flood, drought, earthquake, volcano, cyclone, extreme temperatures etc. People and communities have developed their coping mechanisms over time, which is reflected in the form of local knowledge. Such knowledge developed as an adaptation or mitigation practice passed on from generations and has been existing in communities over time. Local practices and grass root innovations has been effective in the protection of the lives and properties of people and communities during major disasters. Therefore one of the main objectives of the proposed study is to reduce the gap between knowledge and practice. Most local practices across the world have been orally transmitted and some are documented sporadically. This piece of study by the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN) involves documenting local grassroots innovative practices applicable to disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change (CC) in countries across Asia, and establish the scientific basis of the local knowledge. Not only this, planning advocacy / educational campaigns and pilot projects for the promotion of such practices and replicate them to other places is another important objective of this project. For this purpose a methodology is designed, which includes surveys using structured and unstructured questionnaires resulting in detailed field documentation. Through documentation and creation of a database of the local practices ADRRN plans to bring them to mainstream making the locally practiced knowledge more visible in the international forum. The campaigns are planned to build greater outreach, which will be beneficial for areas with similar conditions of natural or climate-related hazards. Again, the approach to fulfil the objectives also includes an outcome mapping tool to evaluate the progress of the activities and assess the real benefits to the stakeholders due to the project. This project is designed together with local and regional CSO partners who are actively engaged with national and local governments and multi-lateral institutions in enabling disaster resilience building. This study has the potential to facilitate wider outreach and exchange of knowledge of good practices not only to the member countries of the ADRRN network in Asia but across continents.

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Helping Districts Reduce Risk in Indonesia

Dwikorita KARNAWATI1, Michele C. DALY2, Teuku F. FATHANI1, Iman SATYARNO1, Phil GLASSEY2, Noel TRUSTRUM2, Terry WEBB2 and Agung SETIANTO1

  1. Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  2. GNS Science, Wellington, New Zealand

Indonesia has undergone major reforms in the area of disaster risk management largely in response to the 2004 earthquake and Indian Ocean tsunami. It introduced disaster management legislation (2007), developed a National Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction (2010-2012), and a National Disaster Management Plan 2010-2014. Disaster management is one of the key priorities in the National Middle Term Development Plan 2010-2014. All provinces have established their Local Agency for Disaster Management (BPBD) and over 80 per cent of districts/cities have also established BPBDs.

In its National Progress Report on the Implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action covering the period 2011-2013, Indonesia acknowledges that while significant progress has been made at the central level against the five priorities for action, there are still considerable challenges translating these into action at the provincial and district levels. The shift in paradigm from response to disaster risk reduction still needs to be promoted among sectors at all government levels, and the functional and structural relationships between the central, provincial and local levels need to be strengthened. There is also a lack of financial resources and operational capacity.

The Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Indonesia and GNS Science in New Zealand are undertaking a capacity building programme which seeks to improve the way local government and their communities identify and manage their hazards and risks. The programme seeks to increase knowledge of the importance of risk reduction and the need to incorporate risk reduction practices across several local government functions such as land-use planning, infrastructure and community development. The programme also seeks to improve local government’s understanding of local hazards and risks and supports them to identify risk reduction priorities through the development of an Action and Implementation Plan to guide and focus further activity.

While a number of local capacity building programmes are underway in Indonesia, key features of this programme are an involvement by local universities in meaningful partnerships with local government to increase research and the establishment of a peer-district support network, where districts are encouraged to share knowledge with neighbouring districts subsequently introduced to the programme.

The programme is an extension of a pilot supported by the New Zealand Government, which ran between 2011 and 2012. The revised programme will work with up to 10 districts in four provinces over a five-year period, and will get under way in 2014. This presentation will discuss the programme’s approach, highlighting results and achievements, and also implementation challenges.

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Guidance on Guidance: Providing Useable Natural Hazard Management Science for Local Government

Wendy S. A. SAUNDERS1 and Margaret KILVINGTON2

  1. Risk and Society Department, GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  2. Independent Social Research, Lyttleton, New Zealand

Like many science research institutes, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science (GNS Science) of New Zealand generates a large number of publications, including for land use planners. In addition their scientists regularly present at professional and sector conferences, hold workshops and run seminars. The aim of these activities is to transfer science into a form that can be used by planners, and to provide guidance on how hazards can be managed through land use plans. However, GNS Science recognises that the uptake of their guidance, and that of others, remains limited. In early 2013, GNS ran a project to investigate this. By interviewing focus groups of local government officials involved in natural hazard management they hoped to gain an understanding of the barriers, and opportunities for uptake, and the way in which format, composition and overall outreach strategy can influence these.

The notable enthusiasm for attending the focus groups was testament to the appetite for better guidance material and a strong need for material that contributed to “lifting the game” of natural hazard management in New Zealand. Importantly the focus groups also revealed some important role changes for both scientists and local government officials.

The findings suggested key areas for improvement in terms of:

  • Purpose and focus;
  • Content;
  • Credibility;
  • Structure and form;
  • Dissemination and outreach; and
  • The role of guidance material in the overall context of natural hazard management in New Zealand.

This presentation will provide an overview of the project’s findings and a “top ten tips” for improving the development and uptake of natural hazard management guidance.

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Riverine Flood and Tropical Storm Risk Assessment in Timor-Leste

Soravit VITOONTUS, Peeranan TOWASHIRAPORN, Anggraini DEWI and Kittiphong PHONGSAPAN
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Bangkok, Thailand

Timor-Leste, located in the easternmost and largest island in the Lesser Sunda Islands, is prone to a variety of natural hazards. The country is faced with recurrent flooding from its major rivers almost annually, with some events causing very severe impact to the areas near the rivers. In addition, occasional tropical storms make landfall in the country causing havoc in vulnerable communities in their paths. The government was determined to reduce the consequences of those possible disasters to its people. In 2012 an initiative to scientifically quantify the disaster risk at the national scale was started by the government of Timor-Leste, with technical support from the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This particular study illustrates partial outcomes of that initiative. Riverine flood and tropical storm intensity and frequency are presented by means of hazard maps. It also presents exposure data for the education, health, and housing sectors in Timor-Leste. Finally, the risk is quantified by an estimate of the monetary losses as a result of probabilistic scenarios. The results of that initiative provide the national stakeholders with a comprehensive view of the natural hazard risk of Timor-Leste. Equipped with this risk information, the government of Timor-Leste can develop risk management strategies to reduce casualties as well as economic losses from future events.

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