The country of Bhutan is prone to a range of disasters such as earthquakes, glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF), flash floods, windstorms, fires and landslides due to its geophysical location. With existing underlying vulnerabilities such as poor construction practices, rapid urbanization, environmental degradation as well as lack of preparedness, the risk of disasters is increasing exponentially. To address this need, 16 senior officials and governors from the Department of Disaster Management (Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs) joined in Bangkok to build their understanding of disaster management, climate change, localization process and mainstreaming disaster risk reduction for better preparedness and response actions in their districts.
Through group work, interactive discussions as well as exposure visits, the special workshop on ‘Disaster Risk Management’ was designed to cover sessions on improving the overall quality and effectiveness of disaster response and preparedness in a changing climate. Dr. Suvit Yodmani , former Executive Director of ADPC inspired the officials through his leadership talk on how governance could play a key role in transforming disaster risk management and climate change challenges.
The delegation also paid a visit to the Ayutthaya province to understand community initiatives in disaster preparedness, identifying risks, vulnerabilities and early warning mechanisms, flood shelter management, and disaster community drills. Governors of the Royal Government of Bhutan participated intently to numerous other sessions on critical processes of contingency planning and incident command system (ICS); approaches for mainstreaming disaster risk concerns into development processes for a resilient Bhutan.
Mr. Edwin Salonga, ADPC’s Program Manager in the Philippines, shared the country’s experience on ICS as part of existing on-scene disaster response system for ensuring effective management of emergencies in Philippines. The multi-stakeholder approach of Asian Preparedness Partnership (APP) for implementation of locally-led actions in the six Asian countries was further discussed for scaling the partnership in Bhutan. Mr. Aslam Perwaiz, Deputy Executive Director of ADPC appreciated efforts of the Bhutan Government for investing in building their capacities. ADPC has a long history of collaboration in the country through implementation of several programs, while this workshop will forge stronger ties between Thailand and Bhutan.
ADPC co-hosted the workshop with the Royal Government of Bhutan from 28 October – 1 November, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.