During 17-19 October 2007 at Khon Kaen University, Thailand, Sumernet member Dr Tran Thanh Be, Director of Mekong Development Institute at Can Tho University, Vietnam recently attended ‚ÄúRegional workshop on Innovative Approaches to Flood Risk Reduction in the Mekong Basin‚ÄĚ organized jointly by Mekong River Commission (MRC) and Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) with funding support from GTZ. The workshop aimed to share local and international knowledge, experiences and innovations in flood risk reduction approaches and to provide a platform to foster new regional partnerships as well as strengthen the existing ones in order to promote flood risk reduction in the region. Approximately 120 participants were involved in the workshop from different institutions, local to national and international, governmental and non-governmental from 16 countries.
The workshopfocussed on 8 themes: (1) development and implementation of Flood Preparedness Programme (FPP) at provincial, district and commune levels, (2) promoting community awareness and strengthening community resilience, (3) improving access to early warning, (4) implementing children and women focused program for flood preparedness and risk reduction, (5) partnerships and networking for Flood Risk Reduction (FRR), (6) integration of flood risk reduction into national, sectorial and local development plans and programmes, (7) capacity strengthening of disaster management authorities at national, provincial and district levels, and (8) province-to-province trans-boundary cooperation in emergency assistance. The workshop is ended with the session of future directions.
‚ÄúMany thanks to Sumernet for financial support to enable me to attend this Workshop. This is an excellent opportunity to learn what other institutions have contributed to disasters in general and flood in particular risk management and reduction in the Mekong Basin‚ÄĚ, said Dr Be.
Lessons learnt are better coordination (many projects/programmes, organisations involved) and collaborations along different levels in-country (national, provincial, district and commune), in-country with regional and international and NGOs. Further activities are aimed at capacity building for individuals and local institutions, integration to socio-economic development planning and strategies, and up-scaling awareness on disaster risk management and mitigation.
‚ÄúThis is also a good chance to introduce Sumernet and MDI to participants and institutions, such as Mekong River Commission, Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, and Mekong Institute in Khon Kaen University.I hope it will create opportunities for future collaboration by Sumernet and MDI with other institutions in commonly concerned projects/programmes and activities‚ÄĚ, he ended.