(ASIAN CONFERENCE ON DISASTER REDUCTION 2020)
The Asian Disaster Reduction Centre (ADRC), since its establishment in 1998, has capitalised on the development of human and information resource management in order to enhance the disaster risk reduction capabilities of member countries. Through one of its activities—the Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction (ACDR) – this resource development is carried out, while also serving as a venue for annual conferences to be hosted by one of the member countries. For the first time in 19 years, the ACDR 2020 was organised virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the ADRC, hazards that have resulted in disasters have resulted in increasing impacts throughout recent years. This comes despite the continued efforts by member countries to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). These facts have shed light on the urgency of implementing and adapting Disaster Mitigation and DRR Strategies that take climate change into “greater consideration, especially in the context of the coronavirus pandemic”.
The 2020 conference focused on how national disaster management organisations, civil society organisations, and other relevant authorities and agencies deal with the dual risks of climate change and COVID-19. In the ACDR 2020, member countries shared their situations and discussed future actions that focused on two themes, namely:
1. DRR Measures and Challenges to the Intensifying Disaster Risks, and;
2. Disaster Preparedness and Response Amidst COVID-19.
During the ACDR 2020, the AHA Centre had the privilege to present on how it undertakes disaster information management. The presentation highlighted the resilience and adaptability of the AHA Centre’s processes and mechanisms during the pandemic—including even being able to conduct operations and responses through virtual means. Bangladesh presented an interesting insight into addressing issues and challenges for disaster risk reduction under changing disaster conditions and climate change, while Singapore presented on addressing issues and challenges for disaster risk management in the “New Normal” resulting from the pandemic.
Overall, the conference provided a platform for organisations in member countries to share to and learn from one another, engaging on best practices in adapting to changing landscapes battered by climate change, and even further by COVID-19.
Written by : Keith Paolo Landicho | Photo : AHA Centre