The Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre’s Term of Reference got the endorsement from the Indian Ocean member states at the 10th Session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWS-X) which was held in Muscat, Oman, 24-26 March. The 10th session of ICG/IOTWS was hosted by the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) of the Sultanate of Oman. The session was held immediately following the highly successful regional conference on “Reducing Tsunami Risk in the Western Indian Ocean” and the inauguration of Oman’s National Multi-Hazard Early Warning System. The session was opened by the IOC Executive Secretary, Dr Vladimir Ryabinin, and was attended by 73 participants representing 20 IOTWS Member States, 5 UN agencies and other organizations and 17 other observers.
One of the key outcomes of this session is the endorsement of the Terms of Reference of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC). The term of reference of IOTIC covers:
The goal of IOTIC is to provide support for the countries of the Indian Ocean region in disaster risk reduction focusing on tsunamis through the preparation and dissemination of awareness and preparedness materials and the development of educational programmes.
• Provide support for countries in tsunami disaster risk reduction
• Help strengthen national and community preparedness against tsunami disasters;
• Provide a key source of tsunami Disaster Risk Reduction information in the Indian Ocean region
IOTIC Terms of Reference
1. Work closely and in coordination with the ICG/IOTWS, its Steering Group, Working Groups, Task Teams and Secretariat to:
a. Maintain close familiarity with the operations and needs of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System and work closely with the TSPs, NTWCs and NDMOs to assist, as needed, with the socialization and promotion of tsunami warning information.
b. Support the ICG/IOTWS Working Groups to conduct training programmes, workshops, and seminars as needed in consultation with the ICG/IOTWS Secretariat
c. Manage post-event performance surveys and compilation of reports in close collaboration with the ICG/IOTWS Secretariat under the overall direction of the ICG/IOTWS Steering Group, assisted by teams of experts nominated by the ICG/IOTWS Steering Group as required.
2. Serve as an information resource for the availability of educational, preparedness, and other awareness materials required for an effective tsunami warning and mitigation system. Activities may include:
a. Develop educational, preparedness, and other awareness materials that may be used by countries around the Indian Ocean and potentially other ocean basins.
b. Assist as requested in the development and distribution of materials in the local language and context in partnership with national and local authorities and civil society organizations;
c. Assist as requested in the implementation of national and community level awareness programmes for the effective delivery of awareness information in partnership with national authorities and community stakeholders;
d. Encourage and assist as requested in the development of national social awareness materials for events and institutions, such as museums, memorial events, sign boards and other tsunami event memorials or materials, informative roadside signage or exhibits which remember the damaging aspects of past tsunamis;
e. Encourage the posting of hazard, evacuation, or other interpretative signage to increase public awareness for effective and timely tsunami warning response.
f. Coordinate activities, exchange materials and information with other Tsunami Information Centres (TICs) from other ocean basins.
3. Develop, manage and maintain the IOTIC Website as a platform for sharing information on the IOTWS, tsunami education, awareness and preparedness in consultation with the ICG/IOTWS Steering Group and ICG/IOTWS Secretariat.
4. Develop strategic and long term plans for sustaining the IOTIC in consultation with the ICG/IOTWS Steering Group for endorsement by the ICG/IOTWS.
The IOTIC will be an IOC UNESCO entity and will operate under the overall authority of the Executive Secretary of IOC UNESCO and the day-to-day management of the IOC UNESCO National Programme Officer stationed at UNESCO Jakarta in close coordination with the ICG/IOTWS Secretariat. The IOTIC will report to each session of the ICG/IOTWS and to the inter-sessional meetings of the ICG/IOTWS Steering Group, and its activities and work plans will be guided by and coordinated with the needs and requirements of the ICG/IOTWS.
At the 10th session of the ICG/IOTWS, to ensure the sustainability of the IOTIC, The Indonesian delegation offers to host IOTIC in Indonesia at the Agency for Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical (BMKG), next to the Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning Centre. Indonesia will support IOTIC with office space, staff support and other essential supports for the next 5 years starting 2016. For the detail arrangement and agreement of this support will be discussed further discuss between IOC UNESCO and BMKG.