The Sub-Regional Lessons Learnt and Work Planning Meeting of the Phase II of the ““Partnerships for Strengthening School Preparedness for Tsunami in Asia and the Pacific” project was held in Nadi, Fiji, on 28th – 29th May 2019. It was organized by the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) Pacific Office in collaboration with the Government of Fiji and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.
The United Nations Development Programme Bangkok Regional Hub (UNDP BRH) implemented the first phase with the support of Japan-UNDP Partnership Fund and Supplementary Fund from Japan. The project established partnership with the International Tsunami Information Centre (ITIC), Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC), the Indonesia Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and Tohoku University (IRIDeS), that provided reliable source of information and comprehensive advice.
The second phase intends to keep the momentum going, fill the gaps, scale-up and integrate the preparedness programme and drills into the school curriculum and systems. The project emphasises institutionalising disaster preparedness in schools for sustainability beyond the projects. The Government of Japan has approved US$980,000 for the second phase of the school tsunami awareness project for 18 countries to be implemented over a period of 18 months, aiming to achieve three outputs:
- School preparedness and awareness programmes for tsunamis institutionalised in project countries,
- School preparedness and awareness programmes for tsunamis replicated and adapted in more schools in the Asia-Pacific region, and
- Capacity of data collection enhanced in the countries requiring support.
In the second phase, eight Pacific Island countries have been targeted that includes four new countries. The four new countries are Kiribati, Micronesia, Palau and Tuvalu and phase I countries are PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji.
UNDP Pacific Office in Suva, Fiji established partnership with the Intergovernmental Coordination Group of the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/PTWS) through the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICT) Regional Working Group on Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (WG-PICT). On Day 1, Mr Jiuta Korovulavula, IOC Programme Officer Tsunami Warning and DRR shared the IOC, Tsunami Ready Recognition Programme and introduced the Pacific Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System through the WG-PICT and its linkages with National Tsunami Warning Centres (NTWC) and National Disaster Management Office (NDMOs). The Fiji NTWC was represented by Mr Isikeli Duwai who presented Fiji’s National Tsunami Early Warning Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Following these presentations, it was realized that the project has an ideal opportunity to confidently contribute to strengthen targeted PICTs national tsunami early warning and mitigation systems.
The Sub-Regional Planning meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Education and National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Palau, Kiribati and Tuvalu. Mr Taisuke Iwano, the First Secretary for Development Cooperation of the Embassy of Japan in Fiji, officially opened the Sub-Regional Lessons Learnt and Work Planning meeting.
The WG-PICT Task Team Capacity Building will continue to work closely with targeted PICTs through NTWC and NDMOs in collaboration with Ministry of Education and UNDP Pacific Office in the design and implementation of in-country project activities.
The Fiji Tsunami Working Group (FTWG) of the WG-PICT Task Team Capacity Building met on Day 2 to discuss Fiji’s Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation Systems and the UNDP project, phase two activities. The members of the working group are representatives of the Seismology Unit of the Fiji Mineral Resources Department, National Disaster Management Office, Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS), Ministry of Education and Cultural Heritage, The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), UNDP Pacific Office and the Office of UNICEF in the Pacific.
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