Australia-ASEAN Council (AAC) supports disaster planning conference
The Philippines is no stranger to natural disasters. On any given year, the country is hit by 20 typhoons that lead to loss of property and lives.
The University of Newcastle in Australia is now helping to develop disaster resilience capacity through a project linking leading regional higher education institutions – including the University of the Philippines – to proactively address disaster risk and build resilience through education.
The project is funded by the Australia-ASEAN Council.
On 23 November, a workshop was held at the University of the Philippines in Manila on ‘Disaster Resilience Education Capacity Building in South East Asia’.
AAC Board Member Professor Alice Woodhead, in opening the workshop, said the project was a vital addition to capacity building in the university sector across the region.
“The University of Newcastle recently has established a ‘Centre for Disaster Risk Reduction’ which is recognised by the United Nations as a Centre of Excellence in this field,” Professor Woodhead said.
“The overarching aim of the project is to create regional synergies between leading higher education institutions in order to build capacity in ASEAN countries,” she said.
“The Australia-ASEAN Council is very pleased to support this excellent project and sincerely hopes it will lead to less damage, less dislocation and far fewer fatalities and injuries the next time that a large-scale disaster strikes this part of the world,” Professor Woodhead said.
“The ASEAN region is experiencing massive growth in mega cities of over 10 million people, which are also impacted by disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis and mudslides. Understanding what the emerging risks are and how to help countries become disaster resilient will save thousands of lives in coming years”’
[Professor Woodhead is Professor (Value Chains) at the Centre for Sustainable Business and Development at the University of South Queensland.]