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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

APEC forum: How the pacific ring of fire is preparing for natural disasters

Officials and international disaster management experts reveal how response, preparedness and mitigation systems work in the rest of the world. The activity is part of the Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) that is being held in Puerto Varas.

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Puerto Varas, August 21, 2019. In addition to being located in the Asia-Pacific Region, the economies that form part of APEC share another important geographic characteristic: they are located in the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, an area that is prone to seismic and volcanic activity. As a result, the member economies must prepare for these natural disasters and mitigate their impacts.

This is the main focus of the 13th Senior Disaster Management Officials’ Forum, which was held on Tuesday in Puerto Varas in the context of the APEC Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3), which has been taking place in the city since last Thursday.

The National Director of the Interior Ministry’s National Emergency Office (Onemi), Ricardo Toro, chaired the activity. It included three sessions during which participants discussed reducing the risks of natural disasters to foster resilient development, the creation of cities that are capable of responding to these events and international cooperation for emergency rescues.

“It is very important for our country to participate in these activities and to contribute to making the Asia-Pacific Region less vulnerable, with more resilient communities. This type of forum is fundamental for generating actions aimed at achieving sustainable development. Building resilience given the new normal associated with climate change poses both a challenge and an opportunity that we must address through, for example, public-private alliances that allow us to join forces to manage and reduce disaster risk,” explained Ricardo Toro.

The speakers included Joaquín Toro, Regional Coordinator for Disaster Risk Management in Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank; Carlos Castillo, the US Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Associate Administrator for Resilience; Kun Gao, China’s Minister of Emergency Management; Alexey Avdeev, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Department of the Russian Federation Ministry of Emergency Situations; Jorge Luis Chávez, Director of Peru’s National Institute of Civil Defense (INDECI); and Koji Suzuki, Executive Director of Japan’s Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), as well as experts and academics from Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Malaysia. These participants described how disaster response and preparedness systems work in the rest of the world.

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