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International Recovery Platform

First regional workshop on the earthquake risk reduction and recovery preparedness programme (ERRP) for South Asia

The Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), in cooperation with the government of Nepal, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SARRC) Disaster Management Center (SDMC), organized the First Regional Workshop on the Earthquake Risk Reduction and Recovery Preparedness Programme (ERRP) for South Asia in Kathmandu, Nepal on 10-12 August 2008. This workshop served as the kickoff event for the regional programme of the ERRP.

Natural disasters, especially earthquakes, cause a great deal of damage in South Asia, and seriously impede development efforts within the region. The ERRP strives to reduce the damage caused by earthquakes and to promote more rapid recovery by promoting building reinforcements, focusing on efforts to strengthen skills in the field of disaster reduction. The ERRP covers five member countries of the SARRC, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. The UNDP is implementing this programme with funding from the Japanese government's Grant Aid for Disaster Prevention and Reconstruction. The programme is expected to last for two years starting from its launching date in May 2008.
The ERRP is divided into "regional programmes," which cut across five countries to achieve the goal of promoting information sharing and cooperation, and "country programmes," which are tailored to meet the needs of individual countries. The ADRC supports both types of programmes by sending Japanese experts who have a wealth of knowledge related to earthquake preparedness policies to the areas where they are most needed.
This recent workshop was attended by a total of about 200 representatives from the five target countries. ADRC Executive Director Mr. Koji Suzuki gave remarks at the opening ceremony held on the first day of the workshop. Among those present during the opening ceremony were high ranking officials from the government of Nepal, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal, the Japanese Ambassador to Nepal, the Executive Director of SDMC and so on. Mr. Suzuki committed ADRC's full support to the successfulimplementation of the ERRP and emphasized the importance of community disaster reduction efforts in the disaster management field. Then, the Regional Programme coordinator for the ERRP presented an overview of the project, and the representatives of the five participating countries described the efforts being taken in their nations.
At the knowledge-sharing session held on the second day of the workshop, Japanese expert Dr. Tatsuo Narafu, Senior Coordinator for International Cooperation of the Building Research Institute (BRI), gave a presentation on "Opportunity and Challenges for the ERRP
Project and Inputs from Japanese Technical Assistance." Additional presentations were also given by Mr. Masato Ohori, Senior Researcher of the ADRC, on "Lessons Learned from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake" and "The Importance of Total Quality Management in Construction: Lessons from Projects Overseas." The afternoon strategy session featured discussions about the importance of regional cooperation and methods of achieving it, as well as a presentation by Dr. Narafu on the kinds of technical assistance that Japan might be able to provide. This was followed by reviews of the country programmes.
On the third day, participants visited the city of Lalitpur, adjacent to Kathmandu, where they learned about the city's disaster management system and visited existing buildings and private homes currently under construction to view them from the perspective of seismic resistance. There is a plan to hold three more ERRP regional workshops in the future, in a way that is consistent with the progress made on the programme. The ADRC plans to provide whatever support it can in response to requests submitted by each of the participating countries for Technical Assistance from Japan. The ADRC will continue to support the implementation of the ERRP by sending Japanese experts with a wealth of the knowledge in the area of the earthquake preparedness policies out to the areas where they are needed.


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