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ASEANs Initiatives on Disaster Risk Reduction

By Adelina Kamal, Coordinator, Environment and Disaster Management, ASEAN Secretariat On behalf of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM)

Mutual assistance in disasters: one of the founding principles for 4 decades (since 1967) Momentum created and sustained for the last 4 years (starting 2003) Major disasters provided critical momentum Disasters remain a major challenge to achieve ASEAN vision of a disaster-resilient community by 2015

Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction, 7-8 November 2007, New Delhi, India

ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM)

Elevation from an expert group to a full-fledged committee
Objective of the ACDM: To enhance regional cooperation in all aspects of disaster management including prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery through mutual assistance activities in order to minimise the adverse consequences of disasters on the economic and social development of Member

Institutional Framework
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) ASEAN Standing Committee (ASC) ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) ASEAN Secretariat

2nd Meeting of ACDM, Kuala Lumpur, October 2004

AMMDM, Cambodia, Dec 04


National Disaster Management Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs, Brunei Darussalam National Committee for Disaster Management, Cambodia Relief and Resettlement Department, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Myanmar

Programme Framework
ASEAN REGIONAL PROGRAMME ON DISASTER MANAGEMENT (ARPDM) Launched in Bali, Indonesia, in May 2004, ARPDM outlines five regional priorities: 1. Establishment of ASEAN Regional Disaster Management Framework 2. Capacity Building 3. Sharing of Information and Resources 4. Promoting Collaboration and Strengthening Partnerships 5. Public Education, Awareness and Advocacy

National Disaster Coordinating Council, Philippines Singapore Civil Defence Force, Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore

National Coordinating Board for Disaster Management (BAKORNAS PB), Indonesia National Disaster Management Office, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Lao PDR

Department of Disaster Current Prevention and Mitigation, Ministry of Interior, Chair Thailand Central Committee of Flood and Storm Control, Viet Nam

National Security Division, Prime Ministers Department, Malaysia

.The Indian Ocean tsunami exposed ASEAN Member Countries unpreparedness and weaknesses in responding to such large scale calamities collectively. It demonstrated that regional emergency response could not be deployed rapidly and effectively not so much because of lack of resources but more of a lack of a regional system to identify and mobilise available resources into an effective response system. Our experience with the Indian Ocean tsunami, however, also attested that our region has a large potential in terms of capacity, assets and commitment (Secretary(Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Ong Keng Yong)


Legal Framework
ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Initiated in mid 04, mandate given 3 weeks before tsunami, draft negotiated in 05 within 4 months Signed by Foreign Ministers of ASEAN on 26 July 2005 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. Ratification underway Embodies ASEANs commitment to the HFA and effective disaster risk reduction


To provide effective mechanisms to achieve substantial reduction of disaster losses in lives and in the social, economic and environmental assets of the Parties, and to jointly respond to disaster emergencies through concerted national efforts and intensified regional and international cooperation (Article 2)

Operational Arm AHA Centre

ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) shall be established to facilitate cooperation and coordination among the Parties, and with relevant UN and international organisations, in promoting regional collaboration (Article 20.1)
Establishment of AHA Centre is underway with consultative workshops held in Dec 2006 (Indonesia) and in March 2007 (Lao PDR) Start-up facilities of AHA Centre have been identified, tested and validated in recent regional simulation exercise (ARDEX-07) Plans for operationalisation in 2008

Articles 5 & 7: Risk Identification, Monitoring and Early Warning

ASEAN Disaster Information Sharing and Communication Network (ASEAN DiscNet) ACDM Online: Assessments of ICT infrastructure in ASEAN countries Online Southeast Asia Disaster Inventory (OSADI)

Front page of OSADI website, version 1.0

ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX)

Annual conduct of ARDEX to enhance Member Countries capabilities in joint disaster relief and emergency operations Lessons learnt serve as inputs for review, and enhancement for the SOP for Regional Standby Arrangements and Coordination of Joint Disaster Relief and Emergency Response Ops (SASOP)
Article 8.3.c . conduct training and exercises to attain and maintain the relevance and applicability of the Standard Operating Procedures

Collapsed Structure Disaster Scenario

Testing mobilisation of cross-border assistance and deployment of urban search and rescue capacities, participated by Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Singapore, others as referees

Flood Disaster Scenario

Massive Collapse of Structures

Over 2,000 participants and observers; and air, land and water equipment from Cambodia and 6 other ASEAN Member Countries (Brunei D, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand) Involved both civilian and military assets and personnel

Testing AHA Centre; Mobilisation of personnel and assets via sea, land and air checkpoints, involving participating teams from Singapore and other 5 ASEAN Member Countries (Brunei D, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand), UN system and IFRC

ASEAN Regional Standby Arrangements

Article 11. Joint Emergency Response through the Provision of Assistance

When a Party needs assistance in the event of a disaster emergency, it may request or accept an offer of assistance that is appropriate and responsive to its needs

Article 9.1: earmarked assets & capacities for joint disaster relief & emergency response ops Online updates at

(Article 11.1-6)
Member Countries responded swiftly to the May 2006 earthquake in Yogyakarta, the July 2006 tsunami in West Java, and the December 2006 Typhoon Durian in Philippines

Informal Gathering of ACDM Chair with ASEAN Commanders and Team Leaders, May 06, Yogyakarta

Article 6. Prevention and Mitigation

Each Party shall undertake measures to reduce losses from disasters which include promoting public awareness and education and strengthening community participation (Article 6.2.c)

ASEAN Day for Disaster Management (ADDM)

Started in 2005 to increase public awareness on disaster prevention and mitigation Past events focused on: national level public relation campaigns conducted by ASEAN Member Countries Joint regional activities (such as exhibition, seminar, etc) with UN/ISDR

October 11, 2006. ASEAN and UNISDR jointly observed the ASEAN Day for Disaster Management and the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction with a regional event in Bangkok, Thailand, and awareness-raising and advocacy activities at country level

Article 18. Technical Cooperation

Parties shall undertake activities for technical cooperation, including technical capacity enhancement, training programme development, and public awareness and education (Article 18.1)

Article 18. Technical Cooperation

Two-Year ASEAN-HFA Regional Capacity Development Programme
Workshop on ASEAN-HFA Regional Capacity Building in Disaster Response and Preparedness (4-8 Dec 06, Thailand) Training on scenario building and conduct for simulation exercise (7-11 May 2007, Singapore Training on contingency planning (30 Jul 3 Aug 2007, Philippines) Training on emergency logistics management (Apr/May 2008 2008, Indonesia) Training on damage and needs assessment after disasters (Jun/Jul, Philippines) International exchange programme for mid-level managers (2007-2009)

ASEAN has sustained cooperation and collaboration with partners and counterparts, including relevant UN agencies, centres of excellence, Dialogue Partners of ASEAN, IFRC, among others.
Basic/ Intermediate ICS Training and Adaptation Workshop, Ha Noi, 5-9 April 2005

Challenges & Opportunities

Spirit to continue to assert leadership and be the driving force in the SEA region Vision of ASEAN to pursue a region of disaster-resilient nations and a safer community Necessity to maintain the momentum and work towards institutionalisation and integration

Challenges & Opportunities

Affirmation of ASEANs priorities to HFA Principle to mainstream DRR into policies, planning and programming Drive to transcend the sectoral divide and further elevate cooperation Strategic role of DRR as an avenue for confidence building, regional cooperation and partnership

Challenges & Opportunities

Availability of sufficient framework, mechanisms and platforms for promoting collaboration and partnership Opportunity for collaboration using AADMER as the platform Importance of giving more emphasis on implementing innovative, action-oriented strategies for DRR

Challenges & Opportunities

Importance of giving more focus and emphasis on implementing innovative, action-oriented strategies for DRR
Working with relevant sectors and key stakeholders Addressing poverty eradication as a core issue Reaching out to the local communities Developing innovative tools such as funding mechanisms for DRR Continuing building and strengthening the capacity

Thank you