EAS INTERNATIONAL DIASTER ASSISTANCE WORKSHOP
OFFER GLIMPSES OF ASEAN’S COLLECTIVE RESPONSE THE REGION
PERTH, AUSTRALIA, 8-10 MAY 2018
The AHA Centre will be expected to play a crucial and pivotal role in facilitating ASEAN collective response beyond the Southeast Asian region, in particular to provide disaster assistance to non-ASEAN countries who are participating in East Asia Summit (EAS). This formed a key theme for discussion during the EAS International Disaster Assistance Workshop, held in Perth, Australia, from the 8th to the 10th of May 2018.
The workshop presented the participants with a scenario in which multiple disaster events strike Australia simultaneously. Despite the calculated low odds of the reality of such events occurring simultaneously, the scenario would severely stretch the existing disaster management system in Australia. Under this scenario, Australia will be forced to call for international assistance.
Participants engaged from different agencies within the Australian Federal Government, Local State Governments, as well as representatives from the ten ASEAN countries and other eight EAS participating countries (i.e. Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia, United States and New Zealand) to discuss the potential ramifications of this scenario. Points included Australia’s mobilisation of its internal resources and facilitation of international assistance, including the one from ASEAN.
The Southeast Asian region continues establish its roles and responsibilities within the global context – including within disaster management. ASEAN Leaders are in the process of repositioning themselves as a region with the capacity to provide disaster-related assistance to other regions in the world if required. This ambition is clearly stated in the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response, signed by the ASEAN Leaders in September 2016. Therefore, the EAS workshop stands as a key initial step towards the goal of enabling ASEAN to respond collectively beyond the region. The AHA Centre, as the primary regional coordinating agency in disaster management, welcomed this opportunity to clarify the arrangements that must be in place to enable ASEAN in attaining the shared vision.
The workshop also represents the opportunity to partially test the EAS Disaster Response Toolkit developed by Australia and Indonesia in 2015. The Toolkit contains important information on how individual EAS participating countries may send and receive international assistance, as well as list of national focal points that could be contacted to arrange an offer of assistance. The workshop was co-hosted by Emergency Management Australia, the Government of Western Australia and the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency Authority (BNPB), in close collaboration with the AHA Centre.
Written by : Dipo Summa | Photo: Emergency Management Australia
STRENGTHENING THE INTEROPERABILITY OF
ASEAN-ERAT AND UNDAC
SWITZERLAND, 29 APRIL – 11 MAY 2018
THE ASEAN REGION WAS REPRESENTED BY THREE MEMBERS OF THE REGION DURING THE UNITED NATIONS DISASTER ASSESSMENT AND COORDINATION (UNDAC) GLOBAL INDUCTION COURSE, HELD IN SWITZERLAND FROM THE 29TH OF APRIL TO THE 11TH OF MAY, 2018. THEIR INVOLVEMENT IN THE UNDAC TRAINING SERVES TO DEMONSTRATE THE STRENGTHENED PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE UNITED NATIONS AND ASEAN FOR INCREASING COLLECTIVE DISASTER PREPAREDNESS IN THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN REGION.
The participants, from Indonesia, Malaysia and Lao PDR, included two members of the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT), thus their engagement in the UNDAC course formed another opportunity to test the interoperability between international and regional humanitarian mechanisms.
“The purpose of our involvement in the UNDAC course is to ensure quality learning process of UNDAC methodology and approach, increase the number of ASEAN-ERAT members who are also UNDAC-certified, as well as showcasing the quality of ASEAN-ERAT in collaborating together with other humanitarian actors within the UNDAC system,” said Dr. Mizan Bisri, the Disaster Monitoring and Analysis Officer of the AHA Centre, and one of the participants in the 2-week course.
At the completion of the course, numerous key-learnings could be identified, especially regarding points of improvement for adoption from UNDAC within ASEAN-ERAT processes. These included, amongst others, the strategic elements of coordination, access to assessment results, and back-end support mechanisms of UNDAC missions. A particular highlight is the strategic element of UNDAC system that forms a link between their assessment results and greater resource mobilisation, as well as public disclosure of such assessment results to increase the transparency of UNDAC and its standing in the wider humanitarian community. Therefore, dissemination of the assessment report produced by ASEAN-ERAT at the completion of each deployment/disaster response is increasingly important. While a response might not necessarily lead to greater resource mobilisation, having a public report will increase the visibility of ASEAN-ERAT, promote the values of ASEAN-ERAT, and potentially fortify the partnerships with global humanitarian partners.
The training also provided in-depth insights that may be integrated into the development of ASEAN-ERAT Level-2 curriculum, particularly related to rapid assessment, information management, logistics, humanitarian civil-military coordination and early recovery. The UNDAC holds a wide array of experiences designing back-end support with partner organisations, both within and outside of the UN system, particularly focused towards assessment and analysis, and information management aspects. Based on these experiences, within the Southeast Asian context, there are opportunities to enable ASEAN-ERAT members to provide remote support for ongoing missions on the ground.
During the UNDAC global induction course, ASEAN-ERAT was highlighted as a key regional partner for responding on the ground, capacity building and inter-operability preparedness. The ongoing participation between both ASEAN-ERAT and UNDAC within each other’s respective induction courses and exercises was highlighted and praised. UNDAC members also evidenced awareness that, in the case of disasters in ASEAN region, there is a great likelihood that a Joint Operations and Coordination Centre of ASEAN (JOCCA) would run in parallel to the Onsite Operations and Coordination Centre (OSOCC). Both centres would serve as coordinating platforms and provide support to the affected countries to manage incoming assistance. The existence of a Standard Operating Procedure between the OCHA/UNDAC and AHA Centre/ASEAN-ERAT, tailored to the respective UNDAC and ASEAN-ERAT mission cycles, was highlighted as a good institutional approach to ensure quality response for supporting the needs of the affected population. Overall, better strategic, tactical and operational linkages between ASEAN and UN agencies are fundamental to the holistic implementation of One ASEAN One Response, both for responding inside and outside the region. As of May 2018, there are 18 out of 252 ASEAN-ERAT members who had been trained and qualified as UNDAC personnel, with plans to continuously increase these numbers, in line with the ASEAN-ERAT Transformation Plan as part of the AHA Centre Work Plan 2020.
Written by : Mizan Bisri | Photo : AHA Centre, United Nations
BOOK REVIEW OPERATIONALISING
ONE ASEAN ONE RESPONSE
Readers of The Column, and those with general knowledge of disaster management in the ASEAN region, should by now be well acquainted with the One ASEAN One Response vision. This vision forms the blueprint for the current and future state of disaster management in ASEAN, driven by the AHA Centre, and strives to develop timely, appropriate and united responses to disaster across the ASEAN region and abroad. One ASEAN One Response is a broad and complex vision, with such breadth and complexity also reflected within its implementation and realisation. Therefore, in early 2018, the AHA Centre developed a book – Operationalising One ASEAN One Response – to form the framework and guidance for the real steps that must be taken to ensure the implementation and realisation of One ASEAN One Response for all stakeholders throughout the ASEAN disaster management sector.
The book begins by tracking back and compiling the context and history of the One ASEAN One Response vision’s development, including the birth of the idea after Typhoon Haiyan, its conceptualisation and promotion, and other steps in its journey until its formalisation through the Declaration on One ASEAN One Response – signed by all ASEAN Member States in 2016. Throughout the early chapters of the book we also learn more about a range of elements, processes and key stakeholders within the One ASEAN One Response movement, allowing for a strong understanding of the mechanisms and parties central to the vision’s real implementation.
With a sound understanding and picture of the One ASEAN One Response context and history, the book then turns to the all-important operationalisation of the vision, capturing the processes, mechanisms and measurements that guide the realisation of a collective regional response for all members of the ASEAN community. The overall goal of One ASEAN One Response is the umbrella under which the operationalisation takes place – namely to increase speed of disaster response, provide to-scale resources for preparedness and response, and do so in solidarity as a strong, united ASEAN region with the common objective of responding to the needs of those affected by disaster. With such a goal identified, the book then identifies the seven key principles of One ASEAN One Response, which ensure that ASEAN responds through singular mechanisms including:
1. ONE POLICY FRAMEWORK – AADMER
2. ONE SOP – SASOP
3. ONE RESPONSE PLAN – AJDRP
4. ONE POLICY BODY – ACDM
5. ONE POINT OF CONTACT – NDMOs
6. ONE REGIONAL COORDINATING AGENCY – AHA Centre
7. ONE FIELD COORDINATION CENTRE – JOCCA
The book then moves on to providing answers regarding key elements of One ASEAN One Response operationalisation, covering nine specific elements that form the entire cycle of disaster management in the ASEAN region. These elements are made up of:
1. Policy guidance
2. Coordination mechanism
4. Information management
5. Operating procedures
6. Response plan
7. Standby assets and capacities
8. Participating actors
9. Exercises and after-action reviews
Finally, the book concludes with an overall roadmap of One ASEAN One Response implementation, including progress indicators that can be used to measure the implementation stages of the vision. Overall, the implementation has four key phases – namely ASEAN 1.0, ASEAN 2.0, ASEAN 3.0 and ASEAN X.0. As highlighted within this roadmap, at time of printing the One ASEAN One Response has already reached, and is working its way through ASEAN 2.0. As the implementation continues, ASEAN 3.0 should see the region able to successfully engage East Asia Summit participating countries within all aspects of response mobilisation, and further into the future, ASEAN X.0 would see ASEAN capable of engaging in responses outside of the ASEAN region itself.
Written by : William Shea | Photo : AHA Centre
MONTHLY DISASTER REVIEW AND OUTLOOK
MAY 2018 | DISASTER MONITORING & ANALYSIS
(DMA) UNIT, AHA CENTRE
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF MAY 2018
Hydro-meteorological hazards continued to form a majority of disasters within the ASEAN region during May 2018. Using yearly data comparisons, it is evidenced that the ASEAN region experienced twice as many disasters when compared to the same time period last year. Data for the initial three weeks of the period showed low numbers of recorded disasters. However, numbers increased significantly as Tropical Depression 5 developed and moved across Sulu Sea and into the South China Sea. This situation resulted in flooding, storm surges and strong wind events across Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Viet Nam. Monsoon season has begun in areas within proximity of the Indian Ocean, which creates increased flood risks for northern Myanmar along the Irrawaddy basin. This is consistent with ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre’s (ASMC) observation of the end of the dry season on the 16th of May, marked by an increase in shower activities across the northern part of the ASEAN region.
There were 37 moderate earthquakes with magnitudes of > M .4.0 felt in Indonesia and the Philippines, which were observed at around II to IV MMI. Despite the magnitude of such events, no casualties or damage was reported as a result of earthquakes in both countries. As of the end of May, the alert status for volcanoes in Indonesia are as follows – Warning Alert (Awas, the highest of 4 levels) for Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra; Watch Alert (Siaga, second highest) for Mount Agung in Bali; and Cautionary Alert (Waspada, a level 3 alert) for 19 other volcanoes across the nation. Despite its Cautionary alert level, Mount Merapi in Central Java, Indonesia, has experienced significant increased activity recorded on the mountain, with phreatic eruptions and release of volcanic ash columns beginning on the 21st of May. Three eruptions at the end of Week 22 (1st of June 2018) forced two airports in Central Java to temporarily shut down their operations as a result of the ash plume.
OUTLOOK FOR JUNE-JULY 2018
According to the ASMC, wet weather conditions are expected over the northern parts of the ASEAN region for the rest June, with more shower activities forecast as the transition to the Southwest Monsoon is expected to begin during the month. Rainfall can be expected to increase during this time due to the presence of the monsoonal rain band across the north of the ASEAN region. The Southwest Monsoon season typically prevails over the region between June and October, and is associated with the traditional dry season in southern parts of ASEAN contrasting with the wet season in northern parts of the ASEAN region.
In stark contrast to the northern ASEAN region, extended periods of dry weather can be expected during June and July in the southern reaches of ASEAN. This may lead to an escalation of hotspot activities, with smoke plumes should ignition occur, particularly in parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan. Slightly below-normal to near-normal rainfall may still occur over most parts of the region during this period, with below-normal to slightly below-normal rainfall expected for Java, Nusa Tenggara and Timor Leste during the early part of the Southwest Monsoon season.
As always, you should keep posted on weather updates from your respective Meteorological Services and Disaster Management Organisations for evacuation notices (if any). You can refer to our social media for links to the respective national agencies and organisations for further information.
Written by : Mizan Bisri, Qing Yuan Pang
AHA Centre’s estimation is based on data and information shared by National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) and other relevant agencies from ASEAN Member States, international organisations and news agencies. Further information on each recorded-significant disaster, description and details of data and information are available at: http://adinet.ahacentre.org/reports.