PACIFIC DISASTER CENTRE
Strengthening Disaster Preparedness across Asia-Pacific
with the Pacific Disaster Centre
THE PACIFIC DISASTER CENTER (PDC) IS A HAWAIIAN-BASED ORGANISATION WITH A FOCUS TOWARDS DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS FOR IMPROVING DISASTER MITIGATION, PREPAREDNESS, RESPONSE, AND RECOVERY. FOR ALMOST TWO DECADES, PDC HAS DELIVERED A VARIETY OF TOOLS AND SERVICES TO THE GLOBAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT COMMUNITY – INCLUDING TO THE AHA CENTRE. SUCH TOOLS AND SERVICES INCLUDE GLOBAL MULTI-HAZARD DISASTER MONITORING, EARLY WARNING MECHANISMS AND DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS, RISK AND VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT TOOLS, MODELING AND VISUALISATION PLATFORMS, SIMULATION EXERCISE SUPPORT, AND A RANGE OF CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES.
ASEAN’s collaboration with the PDC began in mid-2004, prior to the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and the PDC has been constantly involved in the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER). More recently, the PDC – supported by the United States Government through its US Agency for International Development (USAID) programmes – has worked with ASEAN and the AHA Centre to implement programmes such as the AADMER Work Programme for Risk Assessment, Early Warning, and Monitoring Activity (2010-2015), the AHA Centre Information Communication Technology (ICT) Gap Analysis, and the development of a Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS) powered by PDC’s DisasterAWARE™ platform.
The most notable recent collaboration between the two Centres has been the development of the DMRS. The system was initiated following an offer made by the United States’ President Barack Obama at the First ASEAN-US Leaders’ Meeting in November, 2009, in Singapore. The DRMS is supported by the United States Government through the USAID and US Department of State-funded ASEAN-US Technical Assistance and Training Facility. The United States has been an ASEAN Dialogue Partner since 1977.
The DMRS enables the AHA Centre to integrate all monitoring of hazard data within one system. The system compiles and transforms various hazard and other natural disaster information from national and international disaster monitoring agencies into a regional, event-tracking and decision-support tool, further enhanced by its utilisation of maps and modelling applications. Through this integration, the AHA Centre operations team can immediately obtain a global overview of any situation, which improves response times and leads to more efficient use of relief resources.
“I would characterise PDC as a very committed and sustainable partner of the AHA Centre. Through their support, we now have comprehensive disaster monitoring tools that allow us to monitor hazards in an almost real-time manner. The early warning alerts allow us to plan ahead of time,” explains Arnel Capili, the Operations Director of the AHA Centre.
Following more than a decade of collaboration, The PDC and the AHA Centre signed a new Memorandum of Intent (MOI) on the 5th of June, 2017, at the AHA Centre’s headquarters in Jakarta.
The MOI aims to strengthen the two Centres’ ongoing partnership in advancing disaster risk reduction and regional cooperation, including steps to progress the vision of One ASEAN One Response. The PDC and AHA Centre will continue working together to pursue new endeavours to support the vision, including a project to conduct a regional risk assessment for the ASEAN Member States that will support the development of sound policies for risk reduction across the region.
Written by : Carla Budiarto | Photo : AHA Centre