GHI Organizes Workshop on School Earthquake and Tsunami Safety
GeoHazards International is organizing a workshop to reduce risks and improve preparedness in school earthquake and tsunami safety in APEC economies. The workshop is sponsored by the United States, Chinese Taipei, Peru, Australia, and New Zealand. The United States Department of State and the United States Geological serve as the project overseers. The National Science & Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCRM) of Chinese Taipei is providing local support and sponsoring the field trip, banquets and other activities.
Natural hazards—earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic activity—struck APEC economies frequently during the last decade with devastating effects on children and schools. School buildings and school children are uniquely vulnerable to the consequences of these events. The damage from earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic activity has disrupted education and diminished educational opportunities desperately needed by future generations and for economic growth. However, recent events also demonstrated that comprehensive policies consistently carried out over time can significantly reduce damage and consequences in future events. Collaboration between APEC economies, discussing existing programs and lessons learned during hazard events will help economies improve their own programs.
In support of reducing the risk from natural hazards in all APEC economies, the United States, Chinese Taipei, Australia, New Zealand and Peru are sponsoring a collaborative project, School Earthquake and Tsunami Safety in APEC Economies, Reducing Risks and Improving Preparedness. APEC’s Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) will hold a workshop on October 17 to 19, 2011 in Chinese Taipei to further collaboration, discussion of lessons learned and concerns. This important workshop will provide member economies an opportunity to discuss the risk to schools from natural hazards and learn from each other about measures to reduce the risk.
South East Asia. U.S. Navy image US Navy 050102-N-9593M-031.
The three-day workshop will explore recent disaster experiences, issues affecting safety in schools and policies to improve school safety and resilience. A resolution will be considered that would identify region wide school safety norms.
Day 1 will set the scene by providing basic information on the safety of schools during natural hazard events. It will include expert reports on natural hazards in the APEC economies, school building vulnerability and case studies from recent events;
Day 2 features a field trip to Tai-chung, the central area of Taiwan, which was struck by the September 21, 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake, to visit the 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan at the site of the badly damaged Kwangfu Junior High School. Besides visiting the museum, the field trip will visit schools that were rebuilt after the earthquake. During the trip representatives and of the economies and topical experts will discuss ways to reduce and manage risk form natural hazards.
Day 3 will include discussions on existing policies in APEC economies and policies relevant to all APEC economies. Workshop participants will consider adopting by consensus a workshop resolution summarizing APEC-wide norms. A draft agenda is attached.
This project is sponsored by the United States, Chinese Taipei, Peru, Australia and New Zealand. The United States Department of State and the United States Geological serve as the project overseers. The National Science & Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCRM) of Chinese Taipei is providing local support and sponsoring the field trip, banquets and other activities. GeoHazards International, a non profit entity that works to improve safety from natural hazards in vulnerable communities is the project contractor.
Dr. Fernando Echavarria, U.S. Department of State and Dr. Jack Medlin, U.S. Geological Survey are the project overseers. Questions about the nomination process for participants, the workshop agenda and the project can be directed to Mr. L. Thomas Tobin (firstname.lastname@example.org), Senior Advisor, GeoHazards International.