IOTIC Organized the First Online Lecture Series on IOC UNESCO Tsunami Ready

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre of IOC-UNESCO housed in UNESCO Office Jakarta and BMKG organized Online Lecture Series on IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready Program. This is a series of 6 online lecture on piloting IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready in Indian Ocean. The objective of this lecture series is to give broad understanding of IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready program and motivate and encourage communities, disaster management offices, and non-governmental organization to initiate, pilot, and implement the tsunami ready indicators.

On 4 September 2020, The Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre of the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission organized the first online lecture series on IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready program. The first lecture was attended by 382 participants from 33 countries, 18 of which is Indian Ocean Member States. The Participants representing the Disaster Management Offices, National Tsunami Warning Centres, Universities, Non-governmental organization, and others.

The first lecture was moderated by Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director and Representatives of UNESCO Office Jakarta. There were two prominent resource persons for the lecture: Mr. Bernardo Aliaga, Head of Tsunami Unit of IOC UNESCO and Dr. Srinivasa Kumar Tummala, Director of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services – India.

Prof. Shahbaz Khan and Mr. Bernardo Aliaga discussed on Getting Community Tsunami Ready. The discussions cover on what is IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready program. Mr. Bernardo explains, the IOC Tsunami Ready program aims to encourage and recognize community-based tsunami preparedness. The Tsunami Ready program seeks to build resilient communities through awareness and preparedness strategies that will protect life and property from tsunamis in different regions. This is achieved through a collaborative effort to meet a standard level of tsunami preparedness through the fulfillment of a set of established best practice indicators. He further explained that there are a set of indicators, which measure the capacity of a community to respond to a tsunami under three key areas: Mitigation, Preparedness, and Response. Mr. Bernardo also added that one of the objectives of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (referred to as “the Ocean Decade”) is a Safer Ocean which intend to significantly increase the number of Tsunami Ready Communities. Prof. Shahbaz Khan concluded that the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready Program is a strong program it is set on standard of indicators that is based on scientific knowledge of how a community could be tsunami ready. He also concluded this tsunami ready program and recognition also strongly supported the sustainable development goals, a coastal community depending on tourism, having the tsunami ready recognition can help the community to boost up their tourism industry.

The second topic of the discussion was on Tsunami Ready Community in India. Prof. Shahbaz Khan and Dr. Srinivasa Kumar Tummala discussed on how the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready program has been successfully piloted in India. Dr. Srinivasa mentioned that India was the first to come forward to volunteer to pilot the “Tsunami Ready” program in Indian Ocean with the implementation in its coastal provinces. India took this as an opportunity to strengthen the coastal communities’ knowledge and capacity on tsunami preparedness since the stakeholders in India are convinced that this could provide a structural and quantifiable approach to downstream preparedness. This program was successfully implemented due to involvement of every level of the Disaster Management Offices (DMO), at the national level such as Ministry of Earth Sciences, Ministry of Home Affairs, NDMA, and Province level DMOs of Odisha, then District, Block and Village level DMOs. Most importantly, it is also due to the communities that were very much enthusiastic towards implementation and their continuous volunteer works in building their resiliencies. On the difficulties in achieving the indicators, Dr. Srinivas mentioned every indicator is a step toward building tsunami resilience community, it is true that not all the indicator can be achieved solely by the community. This is the beauty of the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready program that it connects the most often broken link in many countries, the link between scientific organization, technical organization, disaster management office, and the community. Many of the indicator could only be achieved by all these institutions to work together. INCOIS has taken the lead for the implementation of tsunami programmes in India and enjoyed the confidence of the NDMO, PDMO and LDMOs in a very close working relation. Prof. Shahbaz concluded the session by stressing that this has been a good lesson that can be replicated by other countries who are interested to pilot the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready. He also mentioned the importance to always have the multi-hazards perspective, as tsunami is a not often disaster in many countries, the experience of other hazards could contribute to tsunami preparedness and the concept of IOC-Tsunami Ready could also contribute to the preparedness in other hazards.

Some of the comments of the participants:
“Mr. Bernardo share a very informative discussion about what are UNESCO-IOC Tsunami Ready programme. Clear understanding between the link of science, the key areas that will help community in mitigation, preparedness, and response, and the importance of link between the national and local community on the process of tsunami ready”

“Dr. Srinivasa Kumar Tummala explained very well about how they implemented Tsunami Ready Communities in India. An agreement between institutions involved must exist, share the work, and do the things that other is not able to. He clearly describes the roles of the national government, local government units and its coastal communities and how all of them can collaborate with international organization such as IOC-UNESCO and IOTIC”.

What next:

The next sessions 2 – 5 will be discussing the 12 indicators of the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready and the last lecture series, session 6, will discuss on how to pilot the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready and how to apply for IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready recognition in Indian Ocean.

IOTIC Online Lecture Series #2 will be Tsunami Hazard and Risk Reduction that will be held on Friday, 11 September 2020 at 02:00 – 03:15 PM (Jakarta) / GMT +7 This session will discuss the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready Indicators 1, Tsunami Hazard Map, what is it for the community with the resource person Ms. Sunanda Manneela, Indian National Centre For Ocean Information Services – India. The second topic will be on Indicator 2 and 4, knowing how exposed a community to tsunami hazard with the resource person Dr. Harkunti P Rahayu, Chair of WG-1 Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System, Chair of Indonesian Disaster Expert Association, Lecturer of Bandung Technological Institute – Indonesia

 

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