By Dr Tamara Wood, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW 30 November 2021…
PDD proudly supported the Philippines and UNISDR in organizing the Regional Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction, Preparedness and Disaster Displacement from 19 to 22 June 2018 in Bohol, Philippines, bringing together more than 60 government officials and experts from the Philippines, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Timor Leste. The workshop aimed to inspire collaboration on three cross-cutting themes: (1) community resilience; (2) disaster displacement; and (3) the use of science, technology and innovation for disaster risk reduction (DRR).
The Asia Pacific region is highly affected by and is vulnerable to natural hazards and the negative effects associated with climate change. Over the past 30 years, the number of people and assets exposed to natural hazards, like floods and cyclones, in the region has increased and, according to IDMC’s 2017 Global Report on Internal Displacement, 8.6 million people in the region were displaced from their homes by disasters brought on by sudden-onset natural hazard events.
In recent years, the Philippines has been affected by a number of devastating storms, notably Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in 2013. In order to manage such events, the Philippines has given high priority to strengthening resilience and reducing disaster risks and has firmly committed itself to implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and supporting other States in the region. It is in this spirit that the Government of the Philippines, recognized as a global leader in disaster risk reduction (DRR) governance, organized a Regional Workshop to share innovative and effective approaches and practices to reduce and manage disaster risk, including disaster displacement. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of Civil Defense, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Science and Technology organized the majority of the inputs for the workshop on the three themes. They further invited Pacific workshop participants to bring their experiences to the table, such as integrated approaches to DRR and Climate Change, including the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific.
The second day of the workshop was devoted to visiting two municipalities on the island of Bohol, in order to see first-hand how communities cope with flooding and earthquake. The group visited a community center that is used as an evacuation center in case of need.
Beyond providing a space for regional experts to share experiences, on day three, this workshop identified elements for potential inclusion in the development/revision of DRR strategies and plans. It also provided the opportunity for participants to prepare for substantive engagement in the upcoming 2018 Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction Regional Asia-Pacific Platform and feed into the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in May 2019.