The IORA Workshop on Tsunami Early Warning Systems was held on the side-lines of the International Symposium: Lessons-learnt from the 2018 Tsunamis in Indonesia from 26-28th September 2019 in Jakarta.
The IORA Workshop held on 26 September was preceded by a stimulating panel discussion that saw the active participation from Disaster Risk Management (DRM) experts. The Workshop gathered officials and experts from 11 IORA Member States (Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Seychelles, Somalia, Sri Lanka) and IORA Secretariat officials.
This Workshop provided participants a platform to build capacity and share best practices through exploring the various requirements to build back better for a resilient and stable Indian Ocean region. Discussions highlighted the need to transfer the knowledge of fully integrated early warning systems as well as establishing communication channels for disaster risk information. Delegates had the opportunity to share their respective country strategies in terms of detection, warning and dissemination, emergency management and to acquire knowledge in community awareness and preparedness.
Additionally, the Workshop outcomes included a Key Takeaways document highlighting the following areas to:
- Recognise performances and key challenges in the effective functioning of warning systems implemented recent during the tsunami events in Indonesia;
- Exchange latest experiences on the performance of warning systems and pre- defined evacuation strategies for different tsunami risks;
- Develop a strategic roadmap and related action plans towards efficient tsunami risk communication, coordination and organizational functioning; and
- Define elements of long-term community-based awareness and development programmes.
During the inaugural ceremony, H.E. Andre Omer Siregar of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, highlighted that Disaster Risk Management is one of key priority areas of cooperation in IORA. IORA has a mission to build a resilient region, among other by enhancing cooperation with related international organizations and agencies, including IOC – UNESCO. This joint event is a valuable opportunity for IORA Member States to benefit from the experience of the implemented early warning systems, risk management, and to gain the transfer of knowledge that can be implemented in their respected countries.
Furthermore, Dr. Gatot Gunawan, IORA Director, emphasised the importance of the Association providing Member States with a unique opportunity to enhance the spirit of multilateralism within one of the most diverse regions of the world, comprising a heterogeneous mix of developed countries, developing countries, Small Island Developing States, and Least Developed Countries.
Delegates also had the opportunity to visit Pandeglang on 28 September. The visit included the tsunami shelter in Labuan, the newly integrated TEWS (BMKG) at the Fisheries Port of Labuan, Gunung Anak Karakatau Observation Office, IDSL Early Warning System and BIG Tide Gauge in Marina Jambu as well as the Menara Suar (Lighthouse) Anyer.
Building on the momentum of the IORA DRM Cluster Group Meeting which was held in February this year and the IORA Action Plan 2017 – 2021, this Workshop provided actionable inputs for disaster risk reduction which is to be included to the regional DRM Work Plan. It was also reflective of the evolving activities of the Association, especially in the field of DRM as an ever-increasing area of concern.