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Expert meeting on resilience to slow-onset disasters including sand and dust storms to be held in Tehran

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TEHRAN, 4 November 2018 (UNIC) – “The Experts Consultation Meeting on Regional Cooperation for Building Resilience to Slow-Onset Disasters Including Sand and Dust Storms and Information Management for Cross-border Disasters in Asia and the Pacific” will be held at Espinas Hotel in Tehran, on 5-6 November 2018.

In Asia and the Pacific, the world’s most disaster-prone region, many of the disasters including sand and dust storms, are cross-border in nature. The region has the world’s two most seismically active fault lines which cross many national frontiers. It also has three major ocean basins, so a cyclone that develops in one of these basins can travel across many countries, causing heavy rainfall and flooding. Countries within the region also share rivers and river basins, so floods also regularly spread across national boundaries. In addition, excessive snowmelt in high mountains, or glacial lake outbursts, can flood many countries downstream. And countries affected by the same climatic events can simultaneously be hit by drought.

Information and knowledge management holds the key for building resilience to cross-border disasters. It is in this context that the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) member states adopted Resolution 71/11 in May 2015 on the establishment of the Asia Pacific Centre for Disaster Information Management (APDIM). As one of ESCAP’s knowledge institutions, APDIM is envisioned to promote South-South and regional cooperation, and to bridge the gaps in capacity and access to information and knowledge for disaster risk reduction and resilience.

Key objectives of the Expert Consultation

ESCAP/APDIM has prepared a draft implementation plan to put in place the regional mechanism for building resilience to slow-onset disasters. The draft plan will be presented and shared to be reviewed by experts. The meeting will therefore:

• Define and shape the proto-type of regional cooperation mechanism for its implementation as part of ESCAP/APDIM’s work programme activity in the area of information services on innovations for cross-border disasters; and

• Deliberate on the form and contents of the multi-hazard risk assessment, alert system and partnership network based on national, regional and global efforts and countries’ related experiences.

The consultation is expected to open new avenues for enhanced collaboration within the region and among the countries and partners. The outcome report of the expert consultation will be brought to the attention of the APDIM Governing Council at its third session in December 2018, for its implementation and report to the Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction at its 6th session.

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