Aarhus Centers as a Disaster Risk Reduction Informational Tool at a Local Level
On October 6, the third working meeting of the Aarhus Centre of Armenia in 2014 was held in Yerevan Aarhus Center. The first item of the agenda was dedicated to the Aarhus Centers specialized actions in direction of disaster risk reduction. This process has been launched within the frameworks of the “Aarhus Centers Capacity Building regarding disaster risk reduction (DRR) aiming to raise awareness of the local communities” project jointly implementing by the OSCE Office in Yerevan, Environment and Security Initiative and the Austrian Development Agency. In the territory of the Republic specialized partner is the UNDP’s “Strengthening the national capacity
for disaster preparedness and risk reduction” (DRR) program.
Ms. G. Ghazinyan, Environmental Programme Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan highlighted the initiative and the OSCE efforts for the benefit of the Aarhus Centers capacity building and expanding the range of activities.
Welcoming the joint activity of disaster risk reduction, M. Poghosyan, director of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) noted that not using such a strong, established resource as the Aarhus Centers network for achieving the goal of creating disaster resistant cities would be considered as nonsense and waste of resources.
Mr. A. Chilingaryan, coordinator of the UNDP DRR program presented that in the field among the developing countries Armenia is a leader, because has a developed concept, educational programs, tested methodology and has taken sustainable steps to implement community-based disaster risk reduction.
It has been already developed the Aarhus Centers capability development concept, for the initial stage has been prepared an action plan, as a result of joint successful activity is not too far the development of such a format, which can be spread in the region further. “Our goal is to send the NP to the communities with the help of the ACs and to reach the problems in the places,” the latter added.
The final goal is to include disaster risk reduction component in the strategic plans of the communities and we’ll have resistant communities. No less important guarantee of the effective process is the willingness of the community leadership. In this regard, as an exemplary community was mentioned Stepanavan, where according to the resistance plan, the process has entered to an active phase. It was decided to boost the ACs-NP-Lore Rescue Team trilateral cooperation; it was adopted the Aarhus Centers Action Plan.
It was decided that the Aarhus Centers coordinators will be the contact persons in the places, for which will be held three training courses under the themes: disaster risk management as a development part of the introductory course, risk management at the local level and resistant cities.
In the second part of the agenda the ACs coordinators discussed the effectiveness of the tools and methods used to disseminate environmental information, referred to the ACs further activities ensuring compliance with the Aarhus Convention implementation strategy for 2015-2020, as well as other issues.
Armenian Aarhus Centers Press Officer
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Translated by Anush Beybutyan