RAP 2001/14

Report of the FAO Asia-Pacific Conference on Early Warning, Prevention, Preparedness and Management of Disasters in Food and Agriculture




The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author alone and do not imply any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO.

NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT

The copyright in this publication is vested in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, by any method or process, without written permission from the copyright holder. Applications for such permission with a statement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction desired should be made through and addressed to the Senior Food Systems Economist, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Maliwan Mansion, Phra Athit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand.

FAO 2001



Contents


ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS

Annex I - APDC/01/Info. 3
List of Delegates

Annex II
Opening Statement of the Representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand

Annex III
Keynote Speech by teh Assistant Director-General and FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific

Annex IV - APDC/01/1
Agenda

Annex V - APDC/01/Info. 2
List of Documents

Annex VI - APDC/01/2
Strengthening Early Warning Systems for Food and Agriculture in Asia and the Pacific

Annex VII - APDC/01/3
Agro-Meteorological Models and Remote Sensing for Crop Monitoring and Forecasting in Asia and the Pacific

Annex VIII - APDC/01/4
River Basin Management for Flood and Drought Prevention and Mitigation in Asia and the Pacific

Annex IX - APDC/01/5
Forest Fire Prevention and Preparedness in Asia and the Pacific

Annex X - APDC/01/6
Pastoral Risk Management for Disaster Prevention and Preparedness in Central Asia with Special Reference to the Case of Mongolia

Annex XI - APDC/01/7
Reducing Agricultural Vulnerability to Storms, with Special Reference to Farming Systems and Methods

Annex XII - APDC/01/8
Long-Range Climate Forecasts for Agriculture and Food Security Planning and Management in Asia and the Pacific

Annex XIII - APDC/01/9
Asia FIVIMS for Disaster Preparedness

Annex XIV - APDC/01/10
Developing Farming Systems and Best Practices for Drought-Prone Areas

Annex XV - APDC/01/11
Developing Farming Systems and Best Practices for Flood-Prone Areas

Annex XVI - APDC/01/12
Disaster Risk Management Strategies for Animal Health

Annex XVII - APDC/01/13
Managing the Continuum of Relief, Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Recovery Activities Following Disasters in Food and Agriculture

Annex XVIII - APDC/01/14/A
Leveraging Support for Disaster Management with Special Reference to Food and Nutrition Assistance

Annex XIX - APDC/01/14/B
Leveraging Support for Disaster Management with Special Reference to Women

Annex XX - APDC/01/Info. 4
Disasters in Asia and the Pacific: An Overview



Foreword


The frequencies and impacts of natural disasters have increased and are linked to critical trends such as hunger rising poverty, population density, environmental degradation and climate change. Nearly two-thirds of all natural disasters in the last two decades in Asia have been of hydro-meteorological origin. These have their greatest impacts on the agriculture sector. As Asian and Pacific communities are heavily dependent on agriculture, they have become increasingly vulnerable.

FAO, in its Strategic Framework for 2000-2015 has included a plan to address preparedness for, and effective and sustainable response to food and agricultural emergencies. It has identified disater prevention, mitigation and preparedness and post-emergency relief and rehabilitation as a priority area for inter-disciplinary action (PAIA) in its Medium-Term Plan (2002-2007) . This programme is to be implemented trough a relief-development continuum - a series of eight types of action, or phases for interventions namely prevention, preparedness, early warning, impact and needs assessment, relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and sustainable recovery. FAO has also clearly signaled that development objectives should not and cannot be se aside during emergencies.

The FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific has adopted "Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Preparedness and Post-Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation" as one of the four Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIA). It is aiming for a paradigm shift in natural disaster management strategy: from hazard to vulnerability focus, reactive to proactive policies, relief to prevention and preparedness approach, response to risk management, and from planning for communities to planning with communities.

This publication is the proceedings of teh Asia-Pacific Conference on Early Warning, Prevention, Preparedness and Management of Disasters in Food and Agriculture, which was organized by the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Chiang Mai, Thailand from 12 to 15 June 2001 to launch RAP's PAIA on disasters. I have no doubt that the recommendations of the Conference will contribute to sound and effective policies and programmes for prevention and management of disasters in the food and agricultural sector leading to sustainable food security and poverty alleviation.


R.B. Singh
Assistant Director-General and
FAO Regional Representative
for Asia and the Pacific