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Aarhus Centers Coordinators Acquire Skills in Disaster Risk Reduction

On October 23-34, introductory training course on “Implementation of disaster risk reduction strategy in Armenia” was held for the Aarhus Centers coordinators at the Crisis Management Academy. It was carried out within the “Aarhus capacity building: in order to enhance awareness of local communities in the disaster risk reduction” program, which is being implemented simultaneously in more than a dozen countries by the OSCE, UNDP and the Regional Environmental Center, aimed at reduction of various risks assets at the community level.
Mr. T. Dembski, Economic and Environmental Programme Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan,

highlighted the initiative welcoming the training participants and trainers. The latter noted that in general, the OSCE pays great attention to disaster risk reduction, since both natural and man-made disasters are challenges, which are directly related to the environment and human security.

As reported by A. Chilingaryan, expert at UNDP, more than 110 of 240 world’s famous natural hazards are found in Armenia. Unfortunately none of these is set at the Armenia’s development policy in 2014-2025. According to him, the French experts likened Armenia to a laboratory of natural hazards, where can be conducted researches and collected more information about them. This fact is conditioned by the Armenian relief, diversity of climate zones, large gap between the lowest (350 m) and the highest (4090 m) points, as a result of which fluctuation of human activities in this little area is approximately 3800 m.

In accordance with the Seismic Hazard Map at the seismic hazard zone is located the Ararat Valley, Yeghegndzor, Gugark, Shirak and Gegharkunik, some dangerous areas are also existing in Syunik, partially in Lori and Tavush regions.

On the advice of A. Chilingaryan we have to accept this reality, to be ready and adapt the threatening hazards sooner or later. Meanwhile, during the construction of the 13rd capital, we have not taken into account the fact that all the 12 capitals of Armenia were destroyed by earthquakes.

During the course the coordinators of the Aarhus Centers in Armenia were made aware both of threatening hazards, landslides, heavy rains, desertification, the series can be continued, and development of the DRR system in Armenia, main achievements in 2010-2014, the structure and objectives of the National Platform’s DRR Disasters Risk Reduction, package of reproductive health minimum in crisis situations, public relations and public awareness issues regarding the emergency situations.

The participants were given an opportunity to apply their gained theoretical knowledge in practice, through practical group works aimed at understanding the ways of creation and development of crisis management and risk reduction bases, based on the hazards inherent to Armenia, which the Aarhus Centers coordinators, people of different backgrounds, carried out successfully.

The training was very efficient in terms of both presenting the issue, training materials availability, acquisition of new knowledge, and referring the problem to the local level.
The Aarhus Centers coordinators can transfer their acquired skills to the communities further, in respect of disseminating relevant knowledge, supporting to the formulation of disaster risk reduction annual plans as well as ensuring educated and informed public participation in the discussions.

Mary Chaqryan
Armenian Aarhus Centers Press Officer
Tell: (+374)10 551364
E-mail: aarhusnews@gmail.com
Translated by Anush Beybutyan