In the framework of UNESCO’s mandate, through its IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission) secretariat, given by the UN Secretary General, to work with Governments in the Indian Ocean region in laying the foundation of an Indian Ocean-wide Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS), and based upon the request by the Ministry for Research and Technology, Government of Indonesia, to facilitate and coordinate the establishment of the National Tsunami Warning System, UNESCO Office in Jakarta has been working closely with 14 nationally assigned institutions and several donor countries towards the conceptualization and implementation of a national TWS, also called the Grand Scenario.
Besides aiming to strengthen the technological and human capacity of institutions involved in establishing the TWS, the Grand Scenario lays a strong emphasis on the community-based disaster risk management components of the national and regional warning systems.
To advance the Grand Scenario, UNESCO Office, Jakarta, with support from UN-ISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) has developed a project entitled “Strengthening Community Based Disaster Preparedness in Indonesia" since 2005.
One of its activities is a joint project between the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and UNESCO Jakarta. The project is aimed at:
(1) identifying and assessing critical factors and issues related to CBDP for disaster prone or high-risk areas at local level, i.e. level of CBDP, assessment of the effectiveness of interface between Tsunami Warning System (TWS) and CBDP and existing local warning system in Simeulue Island;
(2) supporting initiatives on CBDP at different levels and contexts in pilot sites, as a follow-up action of the assessment; and
(3) supporting the development of coherent in-country strategies and vision regarding CBDP, with emphasis on the effective interface between TWS and CBDP.
The project has made some achievements in undertaking comprehensive assessment on critical factors and issues related to CBDP in disaster prone areas (pilot sites). The comprehensive assessment comprised two components:
(1) a general assessment on preparedness in three pilot sites in Sumatra (Padang, Bengkulu and Aceh Besar districts). The finding shows that the three pilot sites were not prepared for an earthquake and/or tsunami. (Download compiled report)
(2) an assessment on the use of traditional knowledge in disaster preparedness on Simeulue Island. The result showed that a wide range of factors, including cultural features and physical settings, have contributed to saving many lives in the Simeulue Island during the 2004 Tsunami.
As a result of the above assessment and in line with the recommendations put forward by the expert team, a range of follow-up activities were organized in these pilot sites including training, workshops and public awareness activities. The activities have helped to put disaster preparedness on the agenda for key-stakeholders in the pilot sites, as well as generated a great interest of a broad public. Knowledge, Attitude, Behavior (KAB) surveys showed improved awareness amongst the key stakeholders.
The UNESCO office, Jakarta reported that the Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) developed under the project in cooperation with KOGAMI (Tsunami Prepared Community), a local NGO in Padang, were effectively applied by the disaster control authority in Padang, Indonesia when the earthquake hit West Sumatra in March 2007.
In 2007, UNESCO Office Jakarta has been working in close cooperation with KOGAMI for “Capacity Building and Integration for Disaster Preparedness”. Its main activities are building a systematic disaster-preparedness education to school communities (see news below), and integration between NGOs in West Sumatra related to disaster preparedness.