New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

Minister of Civil Defence Hon Chris Tremain Visits Indonesia

Minister Chris Tremain & Simon Williamson, New Zealand Aid Programme and Director MCDEM John Hamilton with Pak Lucky

Minister of Civil Defence & Emergency Management Hon Chris Tremain and MCDEM Director John Hamilton were in Yogyakarta last week to attend the 5th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

 The New Zealand research institute GNS Science also participated. Organised by Indonesia and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), the theme of conference was “Strengthening Local Capacity for Disaster Risk Reduction”. It was attended by 50 countries and 25 ministers.

During their bilateral meeting, Indonesian Minister for Disaster Management Syamsul Maarif thanked Minister Tremain for New Zealand’s support currently being designed for linking national and local planning in Indonesia. Minister Tremain held other bilateral meetings with representatives of Japan, Thailand, Tonga, the head of UNISDR Margaret Wahlstrom, and the director of the New Zealand supported ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Centre, Said Faisal.

The 5th AMCDRR is regarded as the key disaster risk reduction event in the region for 2012 because of its formal connection to the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 and opportunity it presents to exchange practical ways to implement disaster risk reduction at the national and local levels. The conference called for governments to strengthen the link between national and local level arrangements and for better public sector agency coordination in preparation for developing a new global framework post 2015.

The New Zealand Aid Programme in Indonesia has a strongly aligned to the AMCDRR conference themes with a focus on helping do develop a network of capacity for national and local level governments through supporting them to develop practical ways for implementing effective disaster risk reduction down to community level. $8.7 million is programmed for support in disaster risk management (DRM) over the next three years. Three current activities being funded are highlighted below.

  1. A joint University of Gadja Mada and GNS science programme delivered at local government level which assists to develop better hazard mapping, local mitigation plans and focuses on strengthening local government disaster risk management capacity has been piloted successfully in Padang and Palu this year.
  2. In June 2011 New Zealand became the first country to contribute $4 million to the new government-led Indonesia Multi-Donor Fund Facility – Disaster Recovery (IMDFF-DR). This facility has the potential to bring about efficiencies in responding to disasters. Following Indonesia’s announcement that IMDFF-DR would be its preferred means for development partners to contribute to disaster recovery activities, New Zealand made a second $2.5 million contribution in June 2012. So far New Zealand is the only donor to have contributed to IMDFF-DR. Currently New Zealand funds are directed to support the recovery efforts in the Mentawai Islands and Mt Merapi areas.
  3. Planned technical assistance to BNPB to help develop a National Framework for Preparedness and Emergency Response. The development of such a framework is a high priority for BNPB. John Norton, an independent consultant and former director of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, has worked with BNPB officials this year to develop the concept around how this activity will proceed. We will provide more information on how this may proceed at a later date.

Regionally the New Zealand Aid Programme supports ASEAN DRM initiatives with planned contributions of approximately NZD $7.8 million to be invested in the current financial year. The priority is to support ASEAN-led initiatives where New Zealand can share its knowledge and expertise. During 2011 New Zealand provided technical assistance to establish a fully operating ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Centre (AHA Centre). New Zealand assisted the AHA Centre to define an initial set of functions and a minimum credible staff structure. More support is planned during 2012 and beyond in coordination with other donors to help support a fully operational AHA Centre.

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