APEC forum highlights disaster management in sustainable growth

Thursday, 2017-09-21 15:01:57
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Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang addresses the opening of SDMOF 11 in Nghe An on September 21. (Credit: tuoitre.vn)
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NDO/VNA – Natural disaster management activities should be implemented in parallel with ensuring sustainable growth, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) will not be completed without the successful prevention of calamities, APEC senior officials have noted.

As part of discussions within the 11th APEC Senior Disaster Management Officials Forum (SDMOF 11) that is being held in the central province of Nghe An, APEC officials emphasised that economic growth must not bring about new risks. They agreed that new tools and training courses should be designed for the community to recognise and prevent the risks.

At the same time, it is necessary to prioritise resources for mitigating disasters, while strengthening public preparedness for natural disasters and encouraging the engagement of businesses and the partnership between the private and public sectors in the field. The collaboration among technology and science research institutes, investors and the community is also important, they said.

Representatives from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the Philippines, Japan and Vietnam highlighted the need for developing supporting tools as well as advanced science and technology in disaster management, especially in forecasting and early warning.

According to the UNISDR representative, problems related to water account for 90% of total disaster losses, therefore, it is crucial to seek new methods to minimise water-related disasters.

Officials from the APEC member economies also shared expertise in developing high technology infrastructure system as well as the application of advanced technology and science in dealing with new normal disasters.

They proposed reforming information supply and alert methods, while stressing the important role of management agencies in directing disaster response and recovery.

At the two-day forum, APEC officials are scheduled to issue a Joint Recommendation on Renovating Science and Technology Cooperation to deal with new normal disasters, with focus on addressing landslides in coastal areas, supper storms and tsunami, which will be submitted to APEC leaders later this year.