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                                                        Agenda Item: IIIb

 Summary Report on the Study Course on Disaster
     Emergency Response and Recovery
                          Purpose: Information
                          Submitted by: China

                            Task Force on Emergency Preparedness
                                                       Lima, Peru
                                                  15 August 2008
                                   14-22 April 2008, Bejing, China

The Study Course on Disaster Emergency Response and Recovery was held from 14-22 April 2008 in
Beijing, China. 14 officers and experts in charge of disaster management from APEC member
economies attended the study course, which provided a platform to exchange information about their
experiences and practises and to further enhance the capabilities of the related countries and regions
in the field of disaster emergency response and recovery.

The study course introduced the theory, practice, experience and lessons about disaster emergency
and recovery. Member economies took the opportunity to learn from cases of disaster management
and benefited from lectures of the experts, researchers, government officials, representatives from
agencies responsible for emergency preparedness and disaster relief, and from international
institutions such UNICEF, WFP and Actionaid International of China Office.

The study course was opened by Dr. Wang Zhenyao, Director General of Disaster Reduction and
Social Relief Department, the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China. The study course was divided into 4
sessions: 1) Comprehensive Disaster Reduction Management; 2) Disaster Emergency Response and
Disaster Relief; 3) Recovery and Rehabilitation; and 4) Social Resources Mobilization. The course
combined in-class training with field visit to Tangshan of Hebei Province, where a strong earthquake
took place in 1976. The visit provided an opportunity for participants to learn how to coordinate with
other departments and to provide relief assistance to victims after huge disasters happen.

                                      Outcomes and Key Issues

Session I: Comprehensive disaster reduction management

A presentation made by Dr. Wang Zhenyao introduced about disaster management in China. It is in
China the National Committee for Disaster Reduction to coordinate disaster risk management, draft the
national contingency plan, establish operation systems, and issue early warning for emergency
response, disaster relief and recovery. He provided two cases to further explain: the low temperature,
freezing rain, snow and ice in South China in early 2008 and Typhoon Billis in July 2006. During the
session, the participants visited National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC). Dr. Yuan Yi
delivered a lecture on disaster information management to cover disaster information collection, storage,
analysis and assessment, and distribution managed by NDRCC. Dr. Yang Siquan’s speech mainly
focused on Space Technology in Disaster Management, including space technology application, small
satellite constellation, and international cooperation mechanism (UNSPIDER and Charter).
Session II: Emergency response and relief

There were four presentations made by officers and experts. First presentation: Prof. Fang Weihua from
Beijing Normal University summarized experiences and lessons of the freezing rain and snow-ice
disaster in 2008. He explained how the disaster had developed in South China and the characteristics of
the disaster: extreme weather events, large affected areas, high intensity, long duration, vulnerability
and exposure of the infrastructure, and lessons learned in responding to the disaster by administration
at different levels, such as decision makers in working closely with experts, coordination among different
ministries. Second presentation: Disaster Emergency Response System in China was introduced by Dr.
Lai Hongzhou, Deputy Director of NDRCC, who talked about China’s disaster response and relief
system at the central and local levels, the coordination mechanism, working procedures, information
collection, relief fund and material distribution and checking, resettlement management, etc. Third
presentation: Prof. Cheng Xiaotao gave a presentation on recent progress in flood management as well
as flood threats to China today. He detailed how the strategy changed from flood control to flood
management. He gave a case study about Huaihe River floods in 2007, in which the government had
successfully responded to. Fourth presentation: Prof. Michael K. Lindell lectured on Disaster Response
and Recovery: The Cases of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in US. He compared differences between the
two disasters in response, introduced disaster impact model, fundamental principle of community
emergency planning, and community emergency response and recovery.

Session III: Disaster recovery and rehabilitation

There was series of lectures about disaster recovery and rehabilitation. Prof. Ye Yaoxian introduced
earthquakes in APEC area, post-disaster reconstruction models and plans: rebuilding at original places,
satellite towns or relocation of the people. He used Tangshan Earthquake to justify his points. Dr. Zheng
Yuanchang presented the procedures on disaster recovery in China: disaster recovery assessment,
public involvement, approval process, recovery planing, audit, etc. He also gave an example about the
recovery scheme after the 2003 earthquake in Xinjiang of China. Mr. Sun Yanna described structure
design and type of dwelling houses in post-disaster reconstruction. At last, Prof. Liu Jin lectured on post-
disaster psychosocial intervention for both disaster victims and responders.

Session IV: Social resources mobilization

Ms. Feng Yuan , Coordinator for Gender and Women’s Rights of the China Office of Actionaid
International, gave a presentation on empowering women in building resilient communities. And Ms. Yin
Yin, Representative of UNICEF in China, introduced the roles of the United Nations in emergencies.

During the course, participants from APEC economies shared their experiences and practices in
disaster management, namely:

        Review of the Tropical Cyclone Warning System in Hong Kong after Passage of Typhoon
         Prapiroon in 2006

        Disaster Management in Malaysia

        Earthquake from Pisco-Peru of 15 August 2007

        Philippines Emergency Response and Recovery

        Lessons learned from Responding to Typhoon and Flood from Chinese Taipei

        Presentaion on Disaster Emergency Response and Recovery in China

In addition to lectures and presentations, the course organized four group discussions:

        Feasibility of Transferring US Experience in Disaster Response and Recovery to Your

        Disaster Preparedness more Important than Emergency Response.

        Role of Women in Disaster Management.

        Role of International Organizations and NGOs in Disaster Reduction and Emergency Relief.

        Improvement of the Regional Cooperation in Disaster Reduction.

After 9 days study and discussion, the participants made the following recommendations:

a. Role of Women in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

Importance of women in DRR:

   They are part of the society;

   Physically and socially they have more needs;

   There is an evolving trend in women education;

   They have different background and expertise; and

   They have strong advocate capability in mobilizing resources.

Involvement of Women in DRR:

   DRR should start at homes;

   Government should support women to take lead in participating in NGO activities;

   Training women in disease and malnutrition control are important;

   Participation by community women in policy formulation process is required; and

   Collaboration of women from public and private sectors is a common goal.

Empowering women to engage them in DRR:

   Integration of women empowerment in the training modules;

   Set-up database of women experts;

   Collection of good practices about women at community level and share them; and

   Availability of reading materials to display women empowerment.

b. Regional cooperation


   To learn the best practices, experience and knowledge of other countries;

   To assist establishment of network between developed and less developed countries;

   To establish mutual assistance system.


   Share information and data;

   Organize symposiums, seminars, courses or simulation exercises; and

   Promote agreements of cooperation between APEC economies.

c. Future activities

   Formulation of a strategic agenda of APEC economics on mutual assistance in DRR;

   Participation in APEC activities; and

   Development of DRR projects related to Asia-Pacific situation.

In conclusion session of the study course, Mr. Wang Jiexiu, Deputy Director General of NDRCC, made
concluding remarks: During more than a week long study, experts delivered lectures and introduced
measures in emergency response and recovery. All representatives from each APEC economy also
presented their study cases and shared their experiences and practices in disaster management. The
study course organized group discussions on issues of how to implement emergency response plan,
how to empower the women participation in building resilient communities, and how to enhance the
regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific area. We also conducted a field visit and gained better
understanding   about   China’s disaster management development.           Mr. Wang      thanked   the
representatives of APEC member economies for their active participation in and their valuable
contributions to the course.