March 22, Beijing-- “Sharing and Learning on Community Based Disaster Management in Asia” (CBDM Asia) Phase II Project Summary Workshop was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to review the project outputs, outcomes and impacts from different levels, reflect on the lessons learned and discuss about further cooperation and sustainability of the project.

 Asia is the world’s most disaster-prone region, and finding an effective approach to managing disaster risks is increasingly critical to a country’s development. The post-2015 Sendai Framework highlights an active focus on disaster risk reduction to lessen the impact of disasters, especially for community engagement in disaster management. These objectives are reaffirmed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through stronger commitments to resilience-building and risk reduction measures.

To explore the impacts of disasters on communities and the effectiveness of the CBDM project, the two-day workshop brought together stakeholders from the U.K., China, Bangladesh and Nepal, and fostered thought-provoking discussions among 50 participants of diverse backgrounds.

Participants included MOFCOM (The Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China), DFID (The Department for International Development of the United Kingdom), NDRCC (National Disaster Reduction Center of China), UNDP, Bangladesh Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Nepal Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Home Affairs and Beijing Normal University.

During the workshop, Devanand Ramiah, Deputy Country Director of UNDP China, highlighted the tangible results from promoting multi-stakeholder partnership and regional cooperation in community based disaster management.

“UNDP will collaborate with all partners on various regional cooperation platforms to share knowledge, build consensus, and promote innovation.” He also noted the role of disaster risk reduction in realizing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.  “The seventeen SDGs have targets related to disaster risk and the goals stronger focus on resilience-building and risk reduction measures” he added.

Chen Hongying, Division Chief of the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs of MOFCOM, also reaffirmed the strategic cooperation between China and UK in disaster risk management, and underlined continuing CBDM programme results with mutual beneficial cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative to promote sustainable development.

As an implementing partner, Ms. Roli Asthana, head of DFID China, expressed DFID’s role as a global development partner will continue to evolve and engagement with China and other partner countries will continue to realize SDGs.

Siquan Yang, Chief Engineer of the NDRCC of China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs, reviewed positive achievements under CBDM programme in terms of enhancing partnership building among UK, China, Bangladesh and Nepal, promoting community capacity building in disaster risk reduction and facilitating policy advisory for disaster risk management. “The role of partner countries working collaboratively toward disaster risk identification, disaster loss assessment, training and dissemination of disaster information for new cooperation chapters is essential” noted Yang.  

“Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to natural disasters, with prediction of an imminent earthquake, Bangladesh shows keen readiness to learn from other countries” noted Md. Eftekharul Islam, Director (Relief), Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Bangladesh.

By recalling recent disasters in Nepal including the 2015 Gorkha earthquake and 2017 flood,  Mira Gyawali, Senior Divisional Engineer, Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), Ministry of Urban Development, Government of Nepal reiterated the programme’s significant contributions towards building resilience in region and expresses the Nepalese government’s readiness to be engaged in continued dialogue at the policy level and peer to peer exchanges among key agencies working on DRM issues through south -south cooperation and other initiatives.

Qiang Zhang, Deputy Director of the Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Beijing Normal University, discussed the impressive outcomes and remarkable impacts, in particular the research component under south-south cooperation, in which the International Center for Collaborative Research on Disaster Risk Reduction sets milestones in international collaboration to exchange ideas and explore new opportunities.

The summary workshop provided a chance to consolidate the existing partnerships and boost more innovative pathways to put Sendai commitments into action. In the meantime, the workshop provided partner countries with an inspiring opportunity to envision a more sustainable network. Through actively experience sharing in disaster risk reduction, the workshop served as the bridge to reiterate the partnership among disaster management practitioners from the governments, communities, academic institutions, international organizations and private sectors in the four counties.

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