July 19 – 22. Six policy makers and 13 technical participants from ASEAN Member States (AMS) convened in Bangkok to participate in a training workshop on implementing Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA) Guidelines, a powerful tool to enhance ASEAN’s resiliency strategies in dealing with disasters and other extreme events. The U.S. Government supports the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) to create regional policies, guidelines, and mechanisms to enable AMS to be better prepared in times of disaster. Through the ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS project, the U.S. Government is providing technical assistance for the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) to implement strategic priorities, including drafting regional RVA Guidelines.
During the event, technical participants learned how to enter and analyze existing data on hazards, including mapping events using geographic information systems. Simultaneously, policy makers from the Risk Assessment and Awareness Working Group discussed ways to institutionalize implementing a regional RVA and ensuring that all AMS complete risk assessments as stipulated in the AADMER.
Josefina Tenorio Timotes, Civil Defence Officer V, Office of Civil Defense-Regional Office III from the Philippines and Co-lead of the Working Group appreciated the event, as she noted: “Training and policy discussion on RVA is very useful for us. The participants both on the technical and policy sides learned a lot through sharing technology applications, information, best practices, and lessons learned on RVA. On behalf of the Philippines government and my co-lead in the WG-RAA, I would like to extend our sincerest thanks and gratitude to USAID, ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS, and the ASEAN Secretariat for supporting this great endeavor.”
Ultimately, regional RVA Guidelines will be used by National Disaster Management Authorities (NDMAs) to collect and analyze data on national-level risks and vulnerabilities, supporting national-level strategies in disaster risk reduction activities. Information on risk and vulnerabilities from each AMS will also be incorporated into the AHA Centre’s Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS) to support decision making at the ASEAN regional level.