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Lesson Learnt from the Regional Workshop in Refining the Tsunami Policy Support and Exercise Modules

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Lesson Learnt from the Regional Workshop in Refining the Tsunami Policy Support and Exercise Modules

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System of IOC UNESCO (ICG/IOTWS) and the Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC) organized a Regional Workshop on Training Modules for Tsunami Exercises Policy Support at Grand Kemang Hotel Jakarta, 15 to 17 June 2015. The workshop is the final activity under the Project “Enhancing Tsunami Risk Assessment and Management, Strengthening Policy Support and Developing Guidelines for Tsunami Exercises in Indian Ocean Countries” funded by the United Nations for Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

Thirty nine (39) participants from nineteen (19) Indian Ocean Countries attended this workshop. The participants representing Disaster Management Office, Meteorology Department, and other disaster management related institution and agencies of their country.

The objectives of this workshop are to: 1) introduce the two training modules developed under the same project: Tsunami Risk Reduction Policy Support and Tsunami Exercise. Through this project these modules have been piloted in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Timor Leste; 2) share lessons learned from the three pilot countries; and 3) to get input on the follow up activities to be done after the project ends.

The workshop started with a welcoming remark by the head of DRRTIU Unit, Mr. Ardito M Kodijat representing the UNESCO Office Jakarta and officially opened by the head of ICG/IOTWS secretariat, Mr. Tony Elliott. The opening remarks highlighted the remaining gaps on tsunami risk reduction that need to be improved and capacity building on Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS) that need to be strengthened, especially until the last mile.

The agenda was then followed by presentations on the introduction to the two training modules and the lesson learned from the three piloted countries. Adding to these country presentations, thirteen (13) countries presented their updates on tsunami risk reduction policy, tsunami preparedness and tsunami exercises conducted in their countries. These resulted valuable lessons learnt on the importance in developing and applying tsunami policy and tsunami exercise plan to improve awareness on tsunami risk reduction as well strengthening institutions and system for better preparedness.

On the second day of the workshop, the workshop began with presentation of Indonesian tsunami risk reduction policies at the national level and local level. The national policy was presented by representative of the Research Centre for Disaster Management of ITB and the National Disaster Management Office. The local level was presented by the Bantul Disaster Management Office sharing their local policy support for tsunami risk reduction and the tsunami exercises they did.

The remaining day of the second day and morning of the third day of the workshop focused on group discussion using the fishbowl method. The participants were divided into three (3) groups and each groups discussed the same topics. Four topics were discussed related to the training modules: Tsunami Risk Reduction Policy; Policy Support for Tsunami Preparedness; Tsunami Exercise; and Indicators for a Successful Tsunami Exercises.

On the afternoon of the third day the chair of Working Group 1 on Tsunami Risk and Tsunami Preparedness of the ICG/IOTWS presented the work plan of the Working Group and the head of Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre presented the work plan of IOTIC. Afterward, the group discussed on the expectation of the Indian Ocean Member States of the WG 1 ICG/IOTWS and IOTIC. The result of this discussion will be input for IOTIC to work and better serve the Indian Ocean member states.

The workshop was closed by Mr Ardito M. Kodijat, representing the Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC) of UNESCO Office Jakarta and IOC as the host of this event.