THE 2ND ASEAN JOINT DISASTER RESPONSE PLAN WORKSHOP
The 2nd ASEAN Joint Disaster Response Plan (AJDRP) Workshop was organised on 31 August 2022 at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. Hosted by the AHA Centre and supported by the European Union, the workshop brought together representatives from the National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
Also present at the event were representatives from the Mission of the European Union to ASEAN, the ASEAN Secretariat and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), as well as an observer from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The event was opened by the H.E. Igor Driesmans, Ambassador of the European Union to ASEAN, who expressed his appreciation towards the commitment of the ASEAN Member States in developing the AJDRP.
Endorsed on 11 October 2016 at the 29th Meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) in Manado, Indonesia, the AJDRP provides a common framework for operationalising the vision of One ASEAN One Response. It was developed to strengthen the implementation and interoperability of various ASEAN mechanisms, and enhance cooperation and coordination with established national and international mechanisms and the humanitarian community in the region.
Prior to the 2nd AJDRP Workshop, the ASEAN Member States had identified three possible large-scale emergencies with significant impact on the population in the ASEAN region during the inaugural Workshop held in 2016. These scenarios include a 7.2M earthquake in Metro Manila in the Philippines, a tsunami triggered by a megathrust earthquake in Indonesia, and a super cyclone in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwardy Delta. Subsequently, three country-level contingency planning workshops were held in Manila (Philippines) in October 2017; Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar) in December 2017, and Jakarta (Indonesia) in March 2018.
Against this backdrop, the 2nd AJDRP Workshop was implemented with three main objectives in mind. First, to share the gaps and needs identified in the three country-level contingency planning workshops in Manila, Nay Pyi Taw, and Jakarta. Second, to develop a strategy for enhancing the coordination and potential mobilisation of resources with NDMOs and international organisations, in responding to the three aforementioned scenarios and other potential disasters, such as multi-hazard disasters. And third, to explore potential new scenarios for ASEAN’s joint collective response.
AC Abdul Razak Abdul Raheem, Director of the Planning and Organisation Department of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and Co-Chair of the ACDM Working Group on Preparedness, Response, and Recovery (PRR) said that the Workshop would continue ASEAN’s efforts to build on the AJDRP in the spirit of One ASEAN One Response. “On that note, let us look forward to an engaging and fruitful 2nd AJDRP Workshop,” he added.
The high level of enthusiasm and expertise brought by the workshop participants led to an intriguing and constructive exchange of ideas. A consensus was reached to move forward with an evaluation of the potential gaps or needs for the three AJDRP scenarios. To this end, the workshop participants came to the agreement that as the next step, the AHA Centre would need to work closely with the respective NDMOs of Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines to conduct the evaluation.
“This workshop will take us one step closer towards achieving the vision of One ASEAN One Response, which is the quick and well-coordinated deployment of the full range of capacities of ASEAN Member States, regional institutions, and humanitarian actors in the region, with potential support from the international communities if needed, to save more lives and prevent further losses from disasters.”
Mr. Lee Yam Ming, Executive Director of the AHA Centre
Written by: Gladys Respati | Photo credit: AHA Centre