The JRCS’s participation in the 3rd Asia Pacific National Societies
Disaster Management Conference

2016/11/02

From September 21-23, 2016, the 3rd Asia Pacific National Societies Disaster Management Conference was held in Seoul, Korea under the theme: Towards Community Resilience. This conference was joined by Mr. Mitsuhiro Fujimaki from the Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center (NDRC) of the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS).

1. The 3rd Asia Pacific National Societies Disaster Management Conference



More than 80 participants from the Asia
Pacific region joined the conference.

More than 80 participants from the Asia Pacific region joined the conference.

This conference is held based on the five-year strategy of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) and for the purpose of discussing the disaster management strategy in the Asia Pacific region. Following the conferences in Tokyo, Japan (2006) and Brisbane, Australia (2010), this was the third conference. The conference in Seoul was joined by representatives from 33 National Societies in the region that are in charge of disaster response and disaster risk reduction, staff members supporting disaster-related programs and representatives from the IFRC and the Asia Pacific Regional Office. More than 80 participants joined the conference.


Discussion by a working group on regional
cooperation.

Discussion by a working group on regional cooperation.

During the conference, the participants looked back on the past 10-year disaster management strategy of the National Societies in the region. In addition, they reconfirmed important global disaster management agendas which were prepared in the recent years such as: “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030,” “Paris Agreement from COP21,” “Sustainable Development Goals: SDGs,” and “Report for the World Humanitarian Summit (2016).” Then a new strategy called “Asia Pacific National Societies DRM Strategy Towards Community Resilience: 2016 - 2020” (Strategy) was discussed in detail. Furthermore, technology innovation cases such as SNS-based volunteer network building and disaster information gathering and dissemination which were developed from activities by National Societies in the region were shared among the participants. A new notion of “Green Response” which is required in disaster management was also shared. In order to take a look into important actions to be specified in the Strategy, the participants were divided into four working groups and discussed each of the four themes: (1) Regional Cooperation in Response/Recovery; (2) Urbanization and Climate Change; (3) Community Resilience; and (4) Institutional Disaster Management Capacity Enhancement. The three-day discussions were reflected in the Strategy and a proposal for the Strategy was shared with the participants on the final day. The proposal was basically agreed among the participants.

Asia Pacific Disaster Risk Management Strategy Towards Community Resilience 2016-2020 (Draft) [PDF] (Available only in English)

2. Panel discussion on cooperation with the Asia Pacific Reference Centre on Disaster Risk Reduction and Community Resilience



Opening ceremony

Opening ceremony

During the conference, the opening ceremony of the Asian Pacific Reference Centre on Disaster Risk Reduction and Community Resilience was held. This center is jointly run by the Korean Red Cross (KRC) and the IFRC. For this ceremony, some IFRC reference centers related to disaster preparedness and management were invited. They were the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, the Global Disaster Preparedness Center and the Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center from the JRCS. During the panel discussion, cooperation among these reference centers was discussed.


Panel discussion

Panel discussion

First, the representatives of the centers made a presentation about their activities outlines and possible support which they could provide to National Societies in the Asia Pacific region.

The presentation by our center was about the JRCS’s nuclear disaster preparedness which started based on lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Specifically, we presented the following matters:

(1)Outline of “JRCS Nuclear Disaster Guidelines for Preparedness, Response and Recovery;” [PDF]
(2) Deployment of radiation measuring devices and radiation protective equipment and materials to JRCS chapters throughout Japan;
(3) Arrangements for nuclear disaster response and giving advice to JRCS responders by JRCS radiation emergency medical care advisors;
(4) Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center Digital Archives (Archives) with more than 1,900 documents, articles, photos and links on nuclear disasters, and specific information contained in the Archives.

As for the support our center may provide to National Societies in the Asia Pacific region, we proposed: (1) disclosure of JRCS’s nuclear disaster response experiences and preparedness products via the Archives; (2) provision of radiation measuring devices and radiation protective equipment and materials in the event of nuclear emergencies; and (3) provision of consultation when sister National Societies develop their plan for nuclear disaster response.

During the latter half of the session, the center representatives presented how they could cooperate with the Asia Pacific Reference Centre and discussed the expectations to the center. Our center suggested that our possible cooperation with the reference center be as follows:

(1) Assigning JRCS radiation emergency medical care advisors to a technical advisory group which the reference center is planning at the moment;
(2) Dispatching instructors to workshops to be organized by the reference center.

We presented our expectations that the reference center could (1) strengthen the momentum to promote nuclear disaster preparedness in the Asia Pacific region and (2) host workshops on nuclear disaster preparedness for the regional National Societies.

Dr. Sung-Jun Kim, Head of Learning and Development of the Korean Red Cross, who facilitated this session, concluded it with the remarks: “The earthquake that occurred around Gyeongju, the southeastern part of Korea was a record-level earthquake in the country and that it occurred in the area with many nuclear power plants. This has made people in Korea much more interested in nuclear disaster preparedness. For community resilience, different hazards including climate change need to be comprehensively addressed. Therefore, our reference center hopes to enhance capabilities as a reference center in the Asia Pacific region by collaborating with other relevant reference centers who are already providing special activities in their specialty fields.”

NDRC’s presentation materials [PDF] (Available only in English)

The NDRC will continue to take similar opportunities of international conferences to disseminate information on the JRCS’s nuclear disaster preparedness and support sister Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in facilitating their nuclear disaster preparedness.