Сountries of Central Asia Discussed and Decided about the Strengthening of Regional Cooperation for Disaster and Emergencies Risk Reduction in 2019-2021

The regular Regional Forum- Meeting of the Heads of the Emergency Authorities of the Central Asian countries within the framework of Central Asia plus Japan dialogue was held in Bishkek city, the Kyrgyz Republic, 11-12 July 2019.

The participants accounted for more than 60 people – leaders and representatives of the countries of Central Asia, Afghanistan, the UN and donor agencies, international and non-governmental organizations in the work of the Regional Forum – Meeting of the Heads of the Emergency Authorities of the Central Asian Countries which was held with technical and financial support of the government of Japan, the UNDP and the World Bank.

The emergency departments of the countries of Central Asia, in order to the adoption of further measures to develop and strengthen the regional and international cooperation, improve institutional foundations of implementation of bilateral and multilateral international and intergovernmental agreements which came into operation, create stable mechanisms of disaster risk reduction, strengthen preparedness to respond to trans-border emergencies, discussed and according to the signed protocol made the following decisions:

  1. To form the Regional Technical-Scientific Council for emergency situations and organize its activity according to the approved Regulation.
  2. To form the Regional Register of experts in the field of the civil protection/ defensive, disaster risk reduction, prevention and elimination of emergencies.
  3. To form the Regional Register of forces and means of the countries of Central Asia for implementation of emergency and rescue operations on their territory whenever emergencies arise.
  4. To approve the 2019-2021 Plan of actions (Road map) of implementation of the framework for strengthening the regional cooperation of the countries of Central Asia.
  5. To work out the matter of holding the next regular Regional Forum – Meeting of the Heads of the Emergency Authorities of the Central Asian Countries in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
  6. To render support and assistance in the implementation of the Regional programs and projects in the field of disaster risk which are being funded by donor agencies and international organizations.

The participants of the Regional Forum – Meeting of the Heads of the Emergency Authorities of the Central Asian Countries expressed gratitude and acknowledgments to the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic for hospitable reception, organization and holding the event, and the government of Japan, the UNDP and the World Bank for rendering technical and financial support of actions of strengthening the regional cooperation of the emergency departments of the countries of Central Asia in the field of disaster risk reduction, prevention and elimination of emergencies.

Drought Monitoring in Central Asia

On 4-5 July 2019, the experts from the Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Russia, and South Korea participated in an expert meeting on the development of the decision-making tools for monitoring and early warning of drought in Central Asia. The meeting organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific became the platform for exchanging experience of countries in a fight with drought and models of prognostication of drought, methods of evaluating the situation and using space and GIS technologies.

The center participated in the meeting as a partner of the joint project with ESCAP which is called «Assessment of drought challenges and drought monitoring models in Central Asian region» and expressed its intention to provide comprehensive support to ESCAP in the region.

The agreement about the joint implementation of the project with ESCAP was signed on June 28, 2019, and will last till the end of February of the next year.

Perspectives of CESDRR and UNDRR Cooperation

On July 2, 2019, the management of Center held a meeting with the Deputy Head of the Regional UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Mr. Abhilash Panda and Sebastien Penzini, program officer of the European UNDRR Office.

During the meeting, the parties discussed further cooperation of the CESDRR and UNDRR for the disaster risk reduction.

As the conversation followed, Mr. Panda confirmed the agreements reached during the Global Platform for DRR in May 2019 in Geneva regarding the support of the initiatives to strengthen the capacity of the CESDRR.

At the same time parties discussed the draft of the Agreement between UNDRR and CESDRR in order to implement the above-mentioned initiatives.

Training on GIS, Data and Mapping at East Kazakhstan DES

Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction, in cooperation with the British NGO MapAction, provider of professional mapping services in the field of natural and technogenic emergencies, under the previously signed agreement on mutual cooperation and the 2019 Cooperation Plan is conducting a training on geographic information systems, data management and mapping for the employees of  the Department for Emergency Situations of Almaty, the East Kazakhstan, Pavlodar and Almaty regions  – Regional branches of the Committee for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan.

As in the past, the main objective of this training is to familiarize employees with the geographic information systems, data management, and training in the field of mapping for the more detailed organization of work of the operational groups for the prevention and elimination of natural and man-made emergencies, followed by the adoption of the most efficient and optimal solutions.

Upon successful completion of the training participants, will receive internationally recognized certificates.

Center Participated in Introductory Seminar on Evaluation of Tailings in Central Asia

On 11 – 13 June 2019 in Kokshetau, Akmola region, the Secretariat of the Convention of the Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on Industrial accidents held an introductory workshop on the assessment within the UNECE project to strengthen the safety of mining operations, such as tailings in Central Asia. The event was attended by representatives of state bodies of industrial development and industrial security in Central Asia, Committee for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, ecology and environmental experts, Dnieper State Technical University (Ukraine), participants of the project, the UNECE Convention on Industrial Accidents, as well as employees of the Center.

 Objectives of the event:

  • To acquaint Kazakhstani and Tajik participants with guidelines and good practices of UNECE to ensure the operational safety of tailings  and appropriate methodology;
  • Increase knowledge of participants in the field of reducing the risks associated with water from the tailings, in particular by supporting them in the use of a methodology of tailings  checklist during the training at the facility;
  • Start the UNECE project to strengthen the safety of mining operations, such as tailings in Tajikistan and Central Asia, funded by Switzerland;
  • Provide support to Kazakhstan and Tajikistan in the implementation of recommendations arising from the environmental performance reviews of the UNECE;
  • Strengthen the implementation of the UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents and the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes;
  • Review the progress made in the implementation of the UNECE project to strengthen the safety of mining operations, such as tailings in Kazakhstan and Central Asia;
  • Provide a forum for discussion of issues by national authorities to improve their institutional coordination in the area of tailings security – among themselves, with the operators and between countries;
  • Identify the next steps for the implementation of the UNECE projects to strengthen the security of mining operations, such as tailings in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, including in view of the sub-regional workshop in the autumn of 2019.

The next day, on June 12, participants of the seminar in order to review the educational facility visited JSC «Altyntau Kokshetau». Representatives of JSC «Altyntau Kokshetau» made a presentation of the tailings.

During the introductory seminar Center acquainted with the project of the UNECE to strengthen the security of mining operations, such as tailings in Central Asia, its common aims and objectives, also Center presented its activities and work in Central Asia.

Training for specialists-psychologists of CoES MIA RK

June 14, 2019 concluded the five-day training for 45 specialists-psychologists of the regional branches of the Committee for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Internal Affair of the Republic of Kazakhstan  on the topics “Psychological assistance for children and disabled, affected by the emergencies” and “Innovative methods of emergency psychological assistance, mental regulation and self-regulation”.
Many of us from time to time go through tragic events: disasters, accidents, fires, and many others. Any given person, children, people with disabilities or whole communities could be affected and become victims.

People lose their houses, get separated from the families and usual surroundings, or witness abuse, destruction, and death. Events like this affect each of us, however, the varieties of the reactions and emotions are big. Many feel lost and do not understand what is happening. They feel fear or anxiety, can be stunned or become apathetic. Some victims show minimum reactions, others- more severe. Many factors affect how people react.

Everyone has their own strength and abilities that can help to cope with life obstacles. However, some are more vulnerable during emergencies and might need additional assistance. This is also related to people being under the threat or in need assistance: elderly, with limited physical or mental abilities.
In order to provide more effective emergency psychological assistance to the affected population and people with disabilities, specialist of regional branches of CoES MIA RK attended the training to improve their qualifications and get new knowledge. As a result, training participants learn about the specifics of information dissemination in the emergencies, the notion of “stress”, behavior trends in the extreme emergencies, consultancy for victims, main characteristics of acute stress reactions, the specifics of grief experienced by adults, children and people with disabilities, the organization of the work of psychologists in suicidal behavior, the ethical principles of the work of a psychologist in providing emergency  assistance, the basic methods and techniques depending on the specific state of the victims, learned how to apply their knowledge in practice.
The training was conducted by the best trainers of the Center for Emergency Psychological Assistance of EMERCOM of Russia, Russian Center of catastrophe medicine “Zashita” of the Ministry of Health of Russian Federation, National Medical Association, UNICEF in Kazakhstan, Red Crescent in Kazakhstan, Institute of Psychology and psychotherapy and Kazakh National University after Al-Farabi working in the field of psychology in emergencies.
The training was organized by the CESDRR, International Civil Defense Organization, National Medical Association, UNICEF in Kazakhstan, Red Crescent in Kazakhstan, Institute of psychology and psychotherapy.
At the end of the training participants and trainers received international certificates.

FAO training conducted at the Center

On June 18, 2019, Almaty, Kazakhstan — How to count the damage and losses in the agricultural sector caused by natural disasters of various kinds and scales, what methodology should be used to collect information so that the collected data in the countries and regions of the world can be analyzed, aggregated and compared, and what data is required – these and other important issues will be discussed during the three-day training seminar that kicked off today at the Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction in Almaty.

This is the third workshop in this series conducted in Europe and Central Asian region for presenting a methodology developed by FAO to assess the direct losses caused by disasters in agriculture, fisheries and forestry as part of Sendai Framework and monitoring Sustainable Development Goals.

Climate change has serious implications for all countries in the world, both developed and developing. An increasing number of natural disasters – droughts, floods, storms, more often occurrence of outbreaks of pests, diseases of plants and animals.

At the global level, the economic losses caused by natural disasters, are ranging from 250 to 300 billion US dollars per year. In developing economies, there are about 260 natural disasters per year,  from which as a result suffered 97 million people (an average of 27 billion US dollars of economic loss annually).

At the same time the largest share of losses – nearly 23 percent – falls on agriculture. Between 2005 and 2015 loss as a result of the decline in production of crops and livestock after disasters in emerging economies accounted for about 96 billion US dollars, or about 4% of the potential production was lost.

It bears a direct threat to the well-being of the rural population, as well as losses in all sectors of agriculture in affected countries – animal husbandry, fishing industry, crop production and forestry.

Drought leads to prolonged water deficit and extreme thermal loads in culture, leading to a sharp decline in yield. Flooding generally washes out fertile soil layer in the main areas of production, causing irreversible damage to the enviroment. Storms, hurricanes and tornadoes can destroy forests and to the ground destroying irrigation systems, food storage, and other critical infrastructure that plays an important role in agricultural production – dams, bridges and roads.

In order to develop effective policies that promote sustainability of the sector to natural disasters, as well as the rapid recovery of food systems after disasters requires a robust and evidence-based statistics.

However, the collection of data on damage and losses in agriculture is carried out usually on an ad hoc basis. Governments and multilateral organizations conduct a detailed assessment of the losses in the economy only after large-scale disasters, while data on many small local disasters, the growing number and scale increase, often not collected, resulting in an underestimation of the impact of disasters in the agricultural sector .

In order to develop a standardized approach to assessing the loss and damage resulting from natural disasters in agriculture, FAO has developed a methodology that can be applied in the case of various disasters in the context of the different countries / regions, allows for accurate analysis of all sub-sectors of agriculture and to obtain accurate damage assessment.

During the seminar, representatives of the national statistical services, organizations involved in disaster risk reduction, and the Ministries of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will work with FAO to create a road map for the implementation of the methodology in the national information system. This will generate data on the effects of natural disasters to increase awareness in the field of agricultural policy for disaster risk reduction and planning.

In addition to studying the key concepts and application of the methodology, the seminar provides an opportunity for experts and decision-makers from the participating countries to share information about the main risks and threats in agricultural sector in their respective countries, exchange of experience in collecting data on damage and loss, to discuss the existing institutional framework and coordination mechanisms, and to identify the steps necessary to systematize the collection, analysis and reporting of the damage and losses at the national, sub-national and local levels.

“This seminar is the first step in a broader process of building capacity in this important area, – said in his speech at the seminar Kairat Nazhmidenov, Head of the FAO Office for Partnerships and Relations in Kazakhstan. “FAO will support national statistical offices and other relevant government institutions in the modernization of the existing information systems in agriculture to improve the awareness of the policy and resource allocation to increase the availability and sustainability of rural areas for natural disasters.”

FAO statisticians will soon begin to work with the Kyrgyz authorities on the development of a roadmap for the methodology implementation. The seminar, which started today, will lead to similar processes in other countries of Central Asia.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations plays a leading role in international efforts to defeat hunger. FAO is the global source of knowledge and modern technologies. The organization helps developing countries and transition countries to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since the inception of the organization in 1945, special attention is given to the development of rural areas, where 70 percent of the world’s poor that face the problem of hunger.

Conference and Training for psychologists of CoES MIA RK

On June 10-14, 2019, Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction is holding a conference and training for 45 specialists-psychologists of the Committee for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan titled “Psychological Assistance for Children and Disabled Affected during Emergencies”, “Innovative Methods of Emergency Psychological Assistance, Mental Regulation and Self-Regulation”. The event is conducted within the memorandums in the field of emergency management between the Center and the International Civil Defense Organization, National Medical Association, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Kazakhstan, Red Crescent in Kazakhstan, Institute of psychology and psychotherapy and Kazakh National University after Al-Farabi.

During the first day of the training representatives of CoES MIA RK, Center for Emergency Psychological Assistance of EMERCOM of Russia, Russian Center of catastrophe medicine “Zashita” of the Ministry of Health of Russian Federation, National Medical Association, UNICEF in Kazakhstan, Red Crescent in Kazakhstan, Institute of Psychology and psychotherapy and Kazakh National University after Al-Farabi attended the conference on “Psychological Assistance for Children and Disabled Affected during Emergencies”.

During the conference participants paid close attention to the need of using in the everyday exercise of the emergency psychological assistance to victims affected in emergencies, and adopted a Resolution. Also, for the contribution and development  of psychological assistance in the Republic of Kazakhstan National Medical Association awarded the following specialists with medals:

Senior expert-psychologist of the Crisis Management Center of the Committee of Emergency Situations of MIA RK Ms. A. Soltanbekova

Chief doctor of the Center of Medical Expertise and Rehabilitation of “Zashita”, Candidate of Medical Science Ms. A. Khabarova

Leading psychologist of EMERCOM of Russia Ms. E. Protopopova

Psychologist of 1st category of EMERCOM of Russia Ms. M. Phillipenko

 

The training involved the leading trainers and specialists of Russia, the European Union and National Societies of Kazakhstan, specializing in emergency psychological assistance.

The objective of the training to improve the qualification of the specialists-psychologists of the branches of CoES MIA RK in the field of emergency psychological assistance to the population affected in emergencies with the focus of vulnerable population groups.

Cash-Based Assistance in Central Asia

On June 6-7, 2019, UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia jointly with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent are conducting training on Cash-Based Assistance in the Context of a Major Earthquake in Central Asia Including Using Social Protection Systems. The training is conducted with the support of the Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction.

The examples of the global practice in assisting the affected population by providing cash after largescale earthquakes were the situations in Turkey and Nepal. The type of assistance is not widely implemented in Central Asia. Thus, the objective of the training was national capacity building and raising awareness on how to provide cash-based assistance.

Training participants from Central Asia, the representatives of the government authorities, national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, international organizations, by the end of two-day training will learn the prerequisites for cash-based assistance, its types, tools, and mechanism of its provision.

 

Foreign Guests Visited Medeo and CESDRR

On May 28, 2019, Center for Emergency Situations and Diaster Risk Reduction participated in the Meeting about the overview of the activities of Switzerland in Central Asia in the water management field. During the meeting, specialists of Kazselezhashita (Kazakhstani mudflow agency) briefed the participants with the Medeu high-altitude anti mudslide protection structure.

The unique experience of Kazakhstan in the construction of anti mudslide protection structure attracted the interest of specialists from Switzerland, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The next day, the Swiss guests visited the Center, where they were informed about the Center’s activities, its functions, and tasks, as well as the results achieved in strengthening regional cooperation in Central Asia.