ASEAN’s Disaster Management Strategy

The nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are topographically situated in one of the most catastrophe inclined locales of the world. The countries of the area have a record of disastrous calamities that have caused financial and human losses over the region. More or less, a wide range of natural peril is present, which includes storms (strong tropical tornadoes), floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, avalanches, forest fires, and pandemics that intimidate life and property. It also includes droughts that result in severe lingering impacts.

Intending to diminish ASEAN’s susceptibility to the risk of disasters, the World Bank, United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), through the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR), and in a joint effort with other international partners have begun to support the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement for Disaster Management Emergency Response (AADMER) to encourage sustainable development in ASEAN region.

AADMER, which came into power in December 2009, set the establishment for provincial participation, coordination, technical support, and resource mobilization in all facets of disaster management and emergency response. The AADMER is a regional legally binding agreement that ties the ASEAN Member States together to promote regional participation and cooperation in diminishing catastrophe loss and strengthening the joint emergency response to calamities in the ASEAN area.

The agreement underpins enduring and planned national initiatives of ASEAN Member States, and with supporting and supplementing national ability and existing work programmes. Since its initiation and through different inventiveness, ASEAN through AADMER has figured out how to augment both provincial and national capacities concerning response to catastrophes in Southeast Asia.

However, the countries have witnessed a continuous evolution of the humanitarian landscape and natural disasters; the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management to address the present risk and future dangers and to acclimatize to the changing philanthropic landscape has put forward “ASEAN Vision 2025 on Disaster Management.” The vision was embraced by the third ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) and the fourth Conference of the Parties (COP) to AADMER in December 2015 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The strategic policy document delineates the “directions that may be considered by ASEAN in the following ten years and categorize the key areas to move the implementation of AADMER forward to a people-centered, people-oriented, financially sustainable, and networked approach by 2025.” There is a massive amount of tasks that need to be implemented as the region pushes ahead to address rising difficulties. Three inclusive strategic elements have been considered – Institutionalization and Communications, Finance and Resource Mobilization, and Partnerships and Innovations, that may guide the direction of the implementation of AADMER to 2025.

Institutionalization of AADMER is a vital component that recognizes the requirement for a multi-layered and cross-sectoral administration approach driving the incorporation of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, the ASEAN Economic Community, and the ASEAN Political-Security Community on disaster management and emergency response. It further establishes that the strategy goes beyond the regional and worldwide levels and creates disaster management and emergency response potency at the national and sub-national (city, provincial, and community) levels. It will likewise be essential to decide the effect on people in the future. It additionally features the significance of correspondence exchange between all partners included.

Financial and Resource Mobilization linked with the implementation of AADMER, including ASEAN Member States, ASEAN Secretariat, and the AHA Centre, pinpoints that the strategy needs to join an expansion in ASEAN Member States’ commitments with customary and non-conventional aspects of findings and different modalities of support. It ensures that the ASEAN drives the procedure and content. It recognizes the role that small and medium-sized endeavours, micro-insurance, insurance pooling, and capital markets can offer in the quest for a calamity-resilient region able to broaden its skill further adrift by 2025.

Partnerships and Priorities Innovative ways is accountable for the implementation of AADMER can cooperate with nontraditional partners for disaster management and emergency response. This component features the qualities of banding together with entities at regional, national, and local levels in the public, private, and individual’s areas. Specifically, this vital component decides the significance of drawing on the local knowledge and capacity of civil society associations.

Furthermore, it identifies the impending role of the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (the AHA Center) to become a network coordinator of regional centres for superiority in disaster leadership and management. It can encourage knowledge creation, policy analysis, and training for the next generation of practitioners. It finally perceives that the ASEAN think-tank community can provide strategic policy analysis and support the “development of the region as a global thought-leader in disaster management and emergency response.”

Thus these three mutually comprehensive strategic components and the policy document propose to situate ASEAN as a pioneer in changing disaster management landscape in the Southeast Asian area and beyond and fortify its leadership to keep up ASEAN Centrality.

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