Experts gather in Sendai to strengthen potentially life-saving disaster data to build Asia-Pacific resilience

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Over 210,000 houses were destroyed when Typhoon Bopha made landfall in the Philippines on 3 December 2012. Over 1,000 people died with hundreds reported missing. OCHA

The lack of reliable data and robust regional mechanisms hinder the ability of Asia-Pacific Member States to develop resilience and to respond to disasters swiftly through evidence-based policy making, planning and programming.

That assessment led to a meeting to develop a way forward that ended in Japan Tuesday with an agreement on the need to develop a set of minimum basic core set data and a road map for resilience related to the different aspects of policy making, planning, programming and monitoring of disaster risk management and, to the extent possible, climate change.

In Asia and the Pacific, a region most prone to disasters and the adverse effects of climate change, timely and reliable data is vital to reduce damage and losses from disasters. Data is critical in reducing risks, as well as preparing for, responding to and recovering effectively from disasters

The Director of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) East and North-East Asia (ENEA) Office Kilaparti Ramakrishna, said "It is more important than ever that we translate ‘resilience’ into parameters and indicators, so that we can set targets, monitor progress and measure results with high confidence," adding, "This is the only way that we can improve the way we plan and invest in safer nations and communities."

More than 35 experts from Asia-Pacific National Disaster Management Agencies and National Statistical Offices, United Nations agencies, donors and civil society attended the meeting organised by the United Nations Economic and Social for Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  1’25″

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