Saturday, October 6, 2012

2011 International Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction Islamabad PAKISTAN

International workshop on 2005 Pakistan Earthquake and Flood Disaster in 2010 was held in Islamabad in collaboration with Rescue 1122, CHEF International and RCUSS, Kobe University, Japan from 1-6 May 2011. Delegates from USA, Japan, China, Philippines, Bangladesh, & Turkey joined the international workshop. After two days’ discussions and two days’ field visits to disaster stricken areas like Muzaffarabad and Charsaddah, outcomes in 5 areas including Accessibility for Disaster recovery & reconstruction sites, Mainstreaming DRR in Development Planning, School / Community Safety Program, Educational Material/ Curriculum, Advocacy & Capacity Building were agreed upon. Resultantly, a declaration was signed to carry out DRR activities. This helped out the kind of Preparedness that can be implemented for the future Disasters in Pakistan, whole of Asia and also in various Courtiers in MENA.

1. Background
Natural hazards, such as floods, droughts, earthquakes and tsunamis, are becoming more regular and intense, and are having an increasing impact on people and communities. Poor planning, poverty and a range of other underlying factors create conditions of vulnerability, hazards and risks that result in insufficient capacity or measures to reduce the potentially negative consequences of natural hazards and disasters. Thus, vulnerability contributes as much to the magnitude of the disaster impacts as do the natural hazards themselves. Action to reduce risk has grown in importance on the international agenda and is seen by many as essential to safeguard sustainable development efforts. International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction in1990, Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action in 1994, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction in1999, World Conference on Disaster Reduction in 2005, Kobe, Japan, Global Platform in 2006, Second Session of the Global Platform for DRR in 2009, Mid-Term Review of the HFA in 2011 and third Session of Global Platform on DRR and WRC 08-13 May, 2011 in Geneva depict International commitment to reduce the Disaster Risks. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has started DRR Training Courses in coordination with RCUSS, Kobe University, Japan. Follow-up workshop regarding Urban Disaster Risk Reduction (UDRR) of JICA Ex- Participants was held in Kobe, Japan from November 1st to 3rd of 2010. Three regional groups namely Asia, MENA (Middle East & Africa) and Latin America were created to hold a workshop for UDRR in each region with the support of Research Center for Urban Safety and Security (RCUSS), Kobe university , Group Leader and coordinators were selected from each Region to execute DRR activities. In this Context, this International workshop on 2005 Pakistan Earthquake and Flood Disaster in 2010 was held in Islamabad from 01-06 May 2011. Delegates from USA, Japan, China, Philippines, Bangladesh, & Turkey joined the international workshop to learn the UDRR Lessons learnt from the above two major Disasters and their Recoveries. This helped out the kind of Community Preparedness that can be implemented for the future Disasters in Pakistan, whole of Asia and also in various Courtiers in MENA.
Pakistan covering a total land area of 796,095 sq km, shares its borders with Iran to the West, India to the Southeast, Afghanistan to the North-West, and China in the North. The Arabian Sea lies in its South with a long coastal way. The topography varies from coastal beaches, sandy deserts, plateaus, plains, high mountains to snow-covered peaks. Variable rainfall and extreme variations in temperature characterize the climate in Pakistan. Like other Asian countries, Pakistan continues to suffer from a plethora of natural and human induced hazards that threaten to affect the lives and livelihood of its citizens – natural disasters including floods, earthquakes, landslides, cyclones, and drought to human induced disasters such as fires, road traffic crashes, civil unrest and terrorism, refugees and internally displaced people, health epidemics, industrial accidents and war.
Though natural disasters cannot be avoided by any country but losses both human and economic, could have been minimized, if there was some mechanism devolved to be initially prepared. The Indonesian tsunami and the earthquake in Japan are live examples. But the response to these disasters is commendable especially in case of Japan. Not a single person died due to stamped despite the crowded places where people were stuck. The people seemed to have already been drilled to face such a calamity. It may not be feasible to financially compare Pakistan and other countries in Asia & MENA Region with that of Japan. But Pakistan does not lack in human capacity and can at least have trained personals and have a defined strategy and guidelines that could help us to reduce the risk and damages associated with any disaster. CHEF International (Comprehensive Health & Education Forum International), Rescue 1122 Pakistan and Kobe University Japan, arranged a workshop on disaster risk reduction in Islamabad, Pakistan from 2nd to 5th May 2011. WORKSHOP PLAN OBJECTIVES
• Enhance Disaster (EQ) Preparedness capacity of schools/community for future Disasters in Pakistan and Asia.
• Learn and study DRR lessons learnt from 2005 EQ and 2010 Floods and recovery situations.
• Strengthen human network among ex-JICA participants.
• Produce and execute tangible outputs for vulnerable communities.
• Strengthen international DRR collaboration for community preparedness.
Following were the major proceedings of this DRR workshop.
DAY 1, (May 2, 2011) Preliminary session The day started with the recitation of the Holy Qur’an followed by silence in the memory of those who lost their lives in the North East (Tohokou) Earthquake in Japan. In his address, Professor Dr Muhammad Daud khan (Chairman Board of Directors, CHEF International, Pakistan) welcomed all the distinguished guests and shared his views on disasters, and Disaster Risk Reduction. He elaborated the mandate of CHEF International and its performance in Disasters specially floods in 2010.

It was followed by a short speech from Yasuo Tanaka, Professor & Director, Research Center for Urban Safety and Security (RCUSS), Kobe University, Japan. He stressed upon the importance of disaster mitigation and DRR activities carried out by his institution and JICA. He also shared his views on recent earthquake in North East, Japan and the leakage of Fukoshima nuclear plant and the measures taken by the Japanese people.
Ms. Louise K Comfort, Professor, Graduate School of International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, USA shared her views and experiences with the audience and expressed her sympathies for the Japanese stricken by recent earthquake. Brig.(R) Niazi from Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) and Mr. Ahmed Kamal from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) expressed their views and shared experiences from the previous disasters in Pakistan. They also highlighted the performance of their institutions and challenges faced from time to time. Mr. Nishikata Takatoshi, country representative JICA, Pakistan being the Chief Guest shared his views and role of JICA on DRR and other fields. He assured all out support to the people of Pakistan in disasters.

Towards the end of first session, Dr. Rizwan Naseer, Director General, Rescue 1122, Pakistan, delivered vote of thanks to all delegates and expressed his commitments for emergency preparedness, response and prevention.
Scientific Session
In the scientific session, participants from national and international organizations briefed about their experiences, strategies, current DRR activities and challenges in their countries as per following schedule.
DAY 2,  MAY 3, 2011 Visit to Muzaffarabad (AJK) On the second day, the international participants were taken to Muzaffarabad, the capital of state of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, to visit the 2005 earthquake affected areas and recovery and reconstruction made after that. Delegates visited SERRA head office, where they were welcomed by the Secretary, SDMA and Director SERRA, who made presentation about devastation associated with 2005 earthquake. He highlighted the overall losses, recovery and reconstruction, lessons learnt and challenges faced. He also mentioned major achievements of SERRA and other allied departments.

After refreshment, delegates visited the Community Centre which was donated by Government of Turkey. In this Community Centre, women were imparted with the vocational training like stitching, embroidery and handicrafts skills. Afterwards, participants visited the CMH Hospital (also called Sheikh Khalifa Khalid Bin Anhayan), a generous support from UAE.
Towards the end, the delegates visited the newly constructed campus of University of Muzaffarabad where they were briefed about different educational wings and departments of the university.
On the way back to Islamabad, delegates visited the Emergency Rescue Station, Murree. They were welcomed by Mr. Farooq (Emergency officer). They enjoyed refreshment in pleasant weather conditions and Mountain Rescue Training facility here. Visitors also enjoyed some shopping at Mall Road.
In the evening in Islamabad, the delegates were served with dinner at the Farm House of Rtn. Pervez Ahasn, District Governor, District 3272.
DAY- 3, MAY 4, 2011 Visit to Charsaddah (KPK) Delegates of the international DRR workshop visited CHEF-International head quarters at Charsaddah, Khyber Pakhtun Khwah (KPK). They were warmly welcomed by Professor Muhammad Daud Khan, Chairman CHEF International and Dr. Muhammad Babar Qureshi, CEO / ED, CHEF International and other staff.
The visiting team attended a meeting. Chairman CHEF –International welcomed the visiting guests followed by a presentation from CEO CHEF International on the relief and rehabilitation work undertaken by CHEF-International in flood affected district Charsadda and Peshawar. Emergency Coordinator from CBM Ms Valerie Scherrer made presentation on Disaster and Disability. Center for Disaster preparedness and Management University of Peshawar made a presentation on its area of mandate. Shields were distributed among the visiting delegates. The delegates were also briefed about the premises of CHEF office.
After refreshment, delegates visited the school for Boys at village Agra district Charsadda, which was renovated, refurnished and made accessible for children with disabilities. Team also visited Basic Health Unit (BHU) at Village Jhagra district Peshawar, another flood affected area. The BHU was comprehensively renovated by CHEF and made accessible for the persons having disabilities. On the way back, to Islamabad, the delegates were taken to the City Government Office, Rawalpindi, where Early Warning System (EWS) was installed by the generous support of JICA to monitor the flow of Nala lai. This EWS was being operated and monitored by the Rescue 1122 Rawalpindi and Metrological Department, Islamabad. Dr. Ali ((Emergency officer) gave an overview of the functioning and role of EWS. After that, delegates were taken to the Emergency Rescue Central Station, Rawalpindi, where District Emergency Officer, briefed the participants and distributed the shields.
Dr. Zafar Shah, Ms. Shelby Acosta Ruiz, MS. Josephine R. SY, Mr. Abrar Ismaeel, Peng Yubin, Ms. Berna Burcak Basbug Erkan, Alpaslan Hamdi Kuzucuoglu, Sabiha Yeasmin, Waqas A Qureshi & Rabia Iftikhar.
Summary of Day -1 was presented by MR. Yasuo Tanaka, RCUSS, Kobe University, Japan. Similarly, Summary of Day-2&3 regarding field visits was presented by Ms. Louise K Comfort, Graduate School of International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, USA in which she reviewed field visits and put forward DRR steps to be taken in future.

Group Work Participants were divided into three groups for DRR initiatives to be taken in future. Group A consisted of Mr. Sohail Ayaz Khan, Ms. Shelby Acosta, Ms. SabihaYeasmin, Mr. Alpaslan Hamdi Kuzucuoglu, Mr. Waqas A Qureshi, Mr. Kamal Ahmed and Ms. Deeba Shahnaz with the theme Accessibility for Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction Sites and Mainstreaming DRR programs / projects into development planning. Following were the recommendations.
• Pre Disaster
– Data Collection / consolidation
– Digitize to a GIS Data Base for quick accessibility/decision making
• Leading to a comprehensive contingency plan(s)
– Guidelines should be screened/ scrutinized and developed (protocols)
• Focal person/agency responsible for disaster management at various levels.
– Rapid Assessment to be standardized to avoid any misleading judgments / confusions
• DRR component should be mainstreamed into
– policy,
– institutional,
– Programs/organizational,
– community and
– Individual level.
GROUP B consisted of Mr. Yasuo Tanaka. Dr. Zafar Shah, Mr.Abrar Ismail, Ms. Rabbiya Iftikhar, Mr. Yubin Peng, Mr. Moazzam Ali toor, Dr. Shahzad Khan, Dr. Fatima and Mr. Haibat Khan with the theme of School / Community safety program and Educational Material / Curriculum development. Following were the recommendations. Selective risk assessment of schools in disaster prone areas Communicate the analyzed data to the concerned authority i.e. ERRA, NDMA and public at large Increase awareness amongst the community about schools Risk assessment of school areas Development of safety/ disaster material for schools Incorporation of that material in school syllabus.
GROUP C consisted of, Dr. Babar Qureshi, Ms. Louise K Comfort, Dr. Haroon Awan, Ms. Josphine Reyes, Mr. Berna Burcak, Ms. Mehnaz Khan, Mr. Shehzad Nazim with the theme of Advocacy and Capacity Building. Following were the recommendations. 1- National framework for mitigation that would include all stakeholders in terms of education, training, evaluation should be provided (media, chamber of commerce, boy scouts, girl scouts, civil defense, unions, etc…) 2- Peer review of work that has already been done is necessary. Regular monitoring of program performance is needed.

3- Establishment of National Observatories at provincial + state level is recommended. These should be linked with BHU-Basic Health Units, schools etc to provide access to community households and organizations. 4- Develop a National Curriculum to enable sustainable education. A National Curriculum helps to provide Capacity Building for different groups of people (adults, elderly, youth, disabled…) Use of information technologies + media + communication devices can be linked with this purpose (e.g: use of twitter, facebook, mobile phones)
5- Development of National / Local Cluster Framework based on UN Cluster Framework / UN OCHA / UNDRO. ISLAMABAD DECLARATION Keeping in view the recommendation of all the groups, following declaration was signed by CHEF International, Rescue 1122 and RCUSS, Kobe University, Japan.
We, delegates of the International Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction, have gathered from 2 to 5 May, 2011 at Islamabad, Pakistan. Over 60 participants from seven countries attended the workshop (List of Participants is attached herewith). We express our sincere condolences and sympathy to, and solidarity with, the people and communities adversely affected by disasters, particularly those devastated by the unprecedented earthquake, floods and tsunami in Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and other countries in the world. We commend the efforts made by the Governments, NGO’s and International communities for extending marvelous assistance to overcome such devastations.

In this International workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction held from 2-5 May, 2011 at Islamabad, the Disaster Risk Reduction work in Pakistan and rest of the regions was reviewed and discussed by learning from the lessons from 2005 Kashmir Earthquake and 2010 Pakistan Floods. We have learned much, including about gaps and challenges; nevertheless, we are deeply concerned that communities continue to experience excessive losses of precious human lives and valuable property as well as serious injuries, disabilities and major displacements due to various disasters worldwide. We are determined to reduce disaster related losses of lives and other social, economic and environmental assets. Thus, we summarize and agree in writing to further pursue the DRR visions and action plans expressed during the Workshop in the following categories:
 Accessibility for Disaster recovery & reconstruction sites
 Mainstreaming DRR in Development Planning
 School/Community Safety Program
 Educational Material/ Curriculum
 Advocacy & Capacity Building
We, therefore, agree to work towards implementation of the DRR vision in support of national policies and guidelines already outlined as above. It is further elaborated that more workshops shall be held in future through the collaboration of similarly working organizations with particular emphasis on the above mentioned parameters We strongly acknowledge the efforts and extend our heartfelt appreciation to the KOBE University, Japan, People of Japan, CHEF International and Rescue 1122 Pakistan for holding this International Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction at Islamabad, Pakistan.

Islamabad – 05/05/2011

(Dr. Muhammad Babar Quershi) CEO/ ED, CHEF International, Pakistan
(Dr. Rizwan Naseer) Director General, Rescue 1122, Pakistan
(Yasuo Tanaka) Professor and Director, RCUSS, Kobe University, Japan

Towards the end, certificates were distributed among all the participants of the workshop. Press Conference Press conference was held to brief the media about the outcomes and future initiatives and collaborations of the DRR workshop. The workshop ended with the commitment for all out cooperation and assistance on the outcomes to achieve the goal of “Disaster Resilient Societies”.
1. Government of Pakistan. Available at:
2. World Disasters Report 2003, Geneva, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
3. CHEF International. Available at:
4. Rescue 1122,available at:
5. Kobe University, Available at:


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