More than 35 experts from the Asia-Pacific region gathered in Japan this week to discuss ways to build resilience to natural disasters through improved data collection and dissemination.
The participants from disaster management agencies, statistics offices, U.N. bodies and civic groups agreed Tuesday on the need to develop a set of “core data” on policymaking, planning, programming and monitoring of disaster risk management and climate change.
The two-day meeting was held in Sendai, which was devastated by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake and powerful tsunami in 2011, and organized by the U.N. Economic and Social for Commission for Asia and the Pacific with the support of Tohoku University. Its outcome will be presented to the ESCAP Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction next month.
The experts stressed the significance of timely and reliable data in preparing for, responding to and recovering faster from disasters, as the Asia-Pacific region is prone to the adverse effects of climate change.
“It is more important than ever that we translate ‘resilience’ into parameters and indicators, so that we can set targets, monitor progress and measure results with high confidence,” said Kilaparti Ramakrishna, director of ESCAP’s Incheon-based East and North-East Asia Office at an opening ceremony.