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2nd BGR-CCOP International Training Course on Risk-Sensitive Spatial Planning

The ‘2nd BGR-CCOP International Training Course on Risk-Sensitive Spatial Planning for CCOP Member Countries’ was held from 18 to 28 September 2017 in Quezon City/Philippines and was organized by the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR, Germany)in cooperation with CCOP Technical Secretariat (CCOPTS), the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB, Philippines), and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

The BGR-CCOP Training Course is funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)and implemented into three training activities conducted by two BGR experts Dr Dirk Balzer and Dr Dirk Kuhn. The training courses represent a capacity building measure for professionals of mandated authorities in the fields of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and Spatial Planning. It aims to support the requirements and future challenges of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), to strengthen disaster risk governance to manage Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and to promote the dialogue and cooperation among the relevant authorities. During the course, the participants are familiarized with the concepts and dimensions of disaster risk and the crucial role of risk-sensitive spatial planning as a non-structural measure to mitigate risks. Considerable effort is made to intensively train the participants in the practical sessions of pre-disaster risk assessments particularly with regard to the practical benefits to their daily work.

The 15 participants of the second training course were selected from eight CCOP Member Countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam), representing different ministries & line authorities active in the fields of DRM and spatial & urban planning in their respective home countries.

The training course encompassed nine working days and was structured into three parts. In the first introductory part (7 sessions, lectures and exercises), the multi-disciplinary course participants (geoscientists, civil engineers, spatial planners) were introduced to the concepts of Disaster Risk Management (DRM), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Disaster Management (DM), Mainstreaming DRR into Development and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA), and the corresponding terminology. Additionally, the participants were invited to present their organization’s role and relevant works in the fields of DRM.

The introductory part was followed by the technical part of the course (22 sessions, lectures and exercises) including a thorough explanation of the coupled database/GIS risk exposure software tool of the BGR, the necessary information and the data processing procedures, which were later used to elaborate the risk exposure analyses.

The subsequent practical risk exposure assessment activities were focused on real world scenarios from the fields of DM and DRR, providing exercises with typical problem situations in single- and multi-hazard conditions and taking into account the spatial hazards like landslide, flooding, volcanic (ash fall) and seismic hazard. Various ‘Elements of Risk’ were considered, such as people exposed, roads, bridges and life lines, health facilities and schools.

In accordance to the philosophy of the training course, the exercise outcomes (risk exposure maps and statistics) were discussed in detail to recognize the profit and relevance from the risk-sensitive spatial planning perspective. Also, the limits and data requirements for such realistic analyses were pointed out.

The participants were supplied with well-structured teaching manual and training data sets. The approach provides efficient transfer of the technical concept and methodology into the respective country-specific DRR environment.

The final third part of the training course was used for final discussions on the benefits and limits of the risk exposure analyses and the future plans of the participants in applying the knowledge learned to their daily routine in their home countries. Future networking and transboundary collaborative activities on DRM and risk-sensitive spatial planning were also discussed among the participants. The course climaxed in the final course evaluation and an awarding of certificates to the participants. The evaluation by the participants mostly emphasized the practical benefit of the chosen approach in bridging the gap between DRM theory and practices.

The training course was supplemented by a two-day field excursion on September 23-24th to Talisay, Batangas und Tagaytay City, excellently prepared by both MGB and PHIVOLCS. The excursion was an integral part of the training course to demonstrate the relevance of the theoretical assessments and the respective practical applications and solutions in DRM. At the Taal Volcano Observatory, the participants were introduced into the valley fault and other active fault systems and the local DRM activities of the local government of Talisay, Batangas and of Tagatay City. In the lively discussions that followed, participants expressed their appreciation to the remarkable progress on the implementation of the local disaster risks mitigation measures.

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