Cross-Sectoral Collaboration for Disaster Resilience Promoted at REDCON Asia’s Press Conference
VNU Asia Pacific, part of VNU Group, a globally operating exhibition company with offices in Utrecht, Shanghai, and Bangkok, is pleased to announce the staging of “Resilience on Emergency & Disaster Conference”, or REDCON Asia through a press conference which is held on April 27 at MBK Center, Bangkok.
The event is sponsored by MBK Public Company Limited.
REDCON Asia is a multi-stakeholder conference and exhibition that envisions to engage business sector leaders, governments, media, international agencies, and academia, among others, in the value chain of disaster and emergency management. It is set to take place on December 7-9, 2022 at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok.
With the Press Conference's theme, "Bridging Cross-Sectoral Efforts for Disaster Resilience," the event features speakers coming from different sectors as it aims to provide insights on the crucial role of multi-stakeholder partnerships on collaborative disaster risk management towards building resilience. Over 40 representatives coming from media, government, academia and other sectors were gathered at this event.
The highly acclaimed speakers include Mr. Saharat Wongsakulwiwat, Director of Research and International Cooperation Bureau, Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), Thailand; Dr. Sanjay Srivastava, Chief of Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations ESCAP; Ms. Neeracha Malisak, Editor, The Nation; Dr. Peeranan Towashiraporn, Director of Geospatial Department, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC); Mr. Tam Hoang, Sustainable Urbanization Specialist, UN-Habitat; Ms. Anchalee Kongrut, Editorial Pages Editor, Bangkok Post; and Dr. Tavida Kamolvej, Dean of School of Political Science, Thammasat University.
“We are excited to launch this much-needed platform in the region. Our mission is to gather the leading thought leaders, policymakers and cutting-edge companies on disaster risk reduction and emergency response here in Bangkok. We are convinced, that this event will spur cooperation from various sectors of the society for a more cohesive and decisive action when disasters strike,” says Mrs. Monika Baro, Project Manager of REDCON Asia.
“Cooperation” is our “salvation,” this is a key message in the opening speech of Mr. Saharat Wongsakulwiwat from DDPM Thailand. “Due to the world situation today, it is undeniable that all of us are facing more or less the challenges from the spread of COVID-19. This is a new challenge that the world is facing and we need to find solutions together.”
According to Dr. Sanjay Srivastava from UN ESCAP, REDCON Asia provides an avenue to capitalize on these three key opportunities to build a resilient Asia Pacific region: One, build policy coherence among multiple sectors to integrate disaster, climate and health resilience seamlessly into development planning; two, invest in integrated natural and biological multi-hazard early warning systems; and three, promote investments in climate adaptation and resilience.
This advocacy is supported by Dr. Peeranan Towashiraporn from ADPC saying that, “we need to work not only with the public sector but also with the private sector. So given what are we facing, it is a right time to have the upcoming REDCON Asia Conference where we can bring both the public and the private sectors together under one roof.”
However, “such coordination will not be easy,” according to Mr. Tam Hoang from UN-Habitat. “Tackling the combined threats of the Twin C’s: Climate change and COVID-19, requires innovative approaches, along with a readiness to finance new infrastructure and technologies towards longer-term durable solutions across the humanitarian-developmental nexus.
Meanwhile, the crucial role of media in disaster risk and emergency management was highlighted by Ms. Anchalee Kongrut and Ms. Neeracha Malisak, representing Bangkok Post and The Nation respectively. “As media, I believe that we can play a productive role, and become part of the effort. Because disaster management is becoming more important --not just events to be covered. Climate change --or even recent and ongoing war will become mankind's problem. All of us will be affected, so everyone needs to be on the team, so does media,” stresses Ms. Anchalee Kongrut.
The Nation’s editor, Neeracha Malisak-Lemire has also participated in a short speech for this Resilience on Emergency and Disaster Conference, focusing on the media role and its power in raising awareness about the natural disasters, emphasising the current challenges of making our world a better and more sustainable place to live for our own existence and for the future generations.
“The Nation believes, as media, that we play a crucial role in serving as a medium linking all parties – the government, private sector, the public, etc. – through communication to raise awareness and visibility of the problems. This communication helps provide better information and understanding so all parties are prepared to deal with any new problems that may arise. This also helps protect vulnerable groups like children, women, the elderly, etc. Clear communication and awareness will bring us together locally, regionally and internationally so we can build a better, resilient, sustainable world,” said Ms. Neeracha.
Dr. Tavida Kamolvej from Thammasat University represented the academia’s voice at this event, saying that “Extreme weather will definitely add uncertainty and complexity to disaster risks that need collective action from all mechanisms one society has. Environment disruptions require all actions to be proactive and synergized. As we gather today, the strong intention of concerting effort to make the region safer leading by government agency, universities, international organizations and alliance, and REDCON Asia, will guide us to better constructive practices to reduce all risks we shared.”
The program was concluded by Mr. Igor Palka, Managing Director of VNU Asia Pacific, saying that “VNU is grateful for the continued support of our partners and speakers for REDCON Asia in December 2022. Organizing it this year could not be more than timely and relevant as we, together, find the solutions to address the nexus of disease-disaster-climate change phenomena.”