Announcement Archive

Series of Technical Deep Dive : Applying Japan’s Experience on Hydromet Services for Early Warning

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

story from Tokyo Development Learning Center
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  From September 12-15, 2016, the World Bank’s Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) and Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Hub, Tokyo, in cooperation with the Government of Japan including the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) and the Japan Internatinoal Cooperation Agency (JICA) organized a four-day Technical Deep Dive on Hydromet Services for Early Warning, in partnership with the International Center for Water Hazard (ICHARM), the Hydromet Program of the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR) and the World Bank Hydromet Community of Practice (CoP). More than 40 participants gathered widely from 12 countries. This is the 3rd TDD TDLC delivered since April 2016.

In the opening remarks, Mr. Naoki Yamashita, Deputy Director of Multilateral Development Banks Division MOF, explained that due to its characteristics of being prone to disasters, Japan has been modernizing its hydromet systems over the last 50 years. Mr. Yamashita insisted that the main takeaway from the Japanese experience is the collaboration among residents, businesses, and both central and local government.

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Mr. Makoto Suwa, World Bank’s Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist of GFDRR stressed, “Good hydromet services has multiple benefits, not only for disaster risk management but encompasses a number of sectors: agriculture, health, energy, water resource management, among others. It is a highly cost effective investment, at the very least three times beneficial over cost.”

Active discussions in the first two days went around key institutional considerations such as interlinkage of the people for hydromet services, evolving technology and innovation options for early warning, communication method for warning, and key lessons learned from past experiences.

Participants visited Shimodate River in Jyoso City, Ibaraki Prefectrue to learn Japan’s normal and extraordinary operations in the region, particularly before, during, and after an expected major hydro-meteorological event. Participants observed upgrading of levee and learned that various efforts are conducted by local government and residents around major rivers to ensure last-mile connectivity and communication for early warning. Participants also visited JMA and learned the significance and the difficulty of forecasting effectively used for early warning. The Government of Japan has been providing trainings for the local government to ensure sufficient and timely observation of rivers in addition to improving forecasting. Mr. Hirotada Matsuki, Director, River Planning Division, Water and Disaster Management Bureau, MLIT mentioned that “Direct communication is crucial, it’s a three-way triangle of the authority, community and people.”

After careful deliberation, each country presented their action plan as a summation of this four-day TDD. The expected actions that countries presented include: 1) institutional development with defined roles and responsibilities for each actor, 2) better coordination mechanism, 3) modernization of technology, 4) capacity building and 5) effective communications for early warning. Dzung Huy Nguyen, Disaster Risk Management Specialist, GPSURR, WBG mentioned that “The key to improve our hydromet services is actually not only about the lack of financial resources, but about the need for institutional reform.” The countries requested further support on development of policy making, capacity building, and modernization of hydromet forecasting and modeling.

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