resilience starts with information
Fuelled by climate change, disaster risk is outpacing resilience in Asia-Pacific
Asia and the Pacific is facing a daunting spectrum of natural disasters which are growing in frequency, complexity and severity due to climate change, rapid urbanisation and environmental degradation. Many countries in the region could be reaching a tipping point beyond which disaster risk exceeds their capacity to respond. The most vulnerable communities will be the hardest hit.
The Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2019 assesses the scale of losses across the disaster ‘riskscape’ and estimates the amounts that countries would need to invest to outpace growing disaster risks. For the first time, the report also takes into account slow-onset disasters, such as drought, which quadruple previous estimates of economic losses caused by disasters.
While this will require significant additional finance, the Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2019 shows the amounts are small compared to the amounts that countries in the region are currently losing due to disasters. Similarly, the report explores how emerging technologies such as big data and digital identities can be used to ensure the poorest and most vulnerable groups are included in policy interventions. The report also proposes a set regional policy actions to be implemented through the Asia-Pacific Disaster Resilience Network….
Turkey taps Japanese tech for disaster response
Both prone to earthquakes, Turkey and Japan cooperate on responding to natural disasters. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which oversees Japan’s development assistance program and is renowned for its technological know-how in disaster response, runs a program to that effect. JICA and Turkey will work on the seismic retrofit of some 10,000 schools in Turkey. Materials used in the retrofitting will be manufactured in Turkey.
JICA, which supported important projects in Turkey like Marmaray, an underwater tunnel connecting Istanbul’s European and Asian sides, has been active in Turkey for 60 years and will now extend its outreach to disaster response, particularly for public buildings like schools. An external retrofit will be first tested at a school in Istanbul…