WITH the Philippines being hit by at least 20 typhoons every year, 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 being funded by the Australia-ASEAN Council (AAC).
A workshop was held recently at the University of the Philippines in Manila dubbed “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,” Woodhead said.
She said the aim of the project is to “create regional synergies between leading higher education institutions in order to build capacity in ASEAN countries.”
“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,” Woodhead stressed.
“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,” she added.