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UNESCO Updates on Resilience of Coastal and Small Island Communities Project

25 February 2013: The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has reported on recent developments within the framework of the Strengthening Resilience of Coastal and Small Island Communities towards Hydro‐meteorological Hazards and Climate Change Impacts (StResCom) project, funded by the Japan Funds-in-Trust (JFIT). StResCom project is a three-year project implemented in Indonesia, the Philippines and Timor-Leste. 

The StResCom project aims to reduce disaster risks and increase the resilience of coastal and small island communities against hydro-meteorological hazards and climate change impacts. Coastal and small island communities are the focus of the project because they are the most vulnerable to climate–related hazards such as storm, cyclone and sea level rise.

According to UNESCO, the Philippines National Workshop on Validation of Local and Indigenous Knowledge on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Small Island and Coastal Communities, which took place in Manila, the Philippines, on 18-19 February 2013, was organized by the Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP). The event, which brought together 24 field researchers and scientists, aimed to assess and validate the local and indigenous knowledge (LINK) related to disaster risk reduction (DRR) collected in three project sites in the Philippines: Rapu-rapu (Albay); Alabat (Quezons); and Angono (Rizal). Next steps for the StResCom team in the Philippines include: finalizing self-assessment tools, which will be piloted in one of the field sites; developing educational and awareness-raising materials based on the recommendations of the national workshop.

UNESCO also reported on a workshop held in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, on 4 February 2013, organized by Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center (TDMRC), which validated LINKs identified and collected in Pulau Nasi and Pulau Breuh (Aceh). Next steps in Indonesia include: for the StResCom team to pilot the self-assessment tool in one of the islands and work with an organization to pilot the tool in another site in Indonesia; and for the TDMRC to develop educational and awareness-raising materials.

In Timor-Leste, UNESCO informed that researchers at the National Center for Scientific Research, National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL-CNIC) have identified and collected LINKs related to hydro-meteorological hazards and climate change in three sites, namely: Lau-Hata (Liquica); Maluro-Beaço (Viqueue); and Raimea (Cova Lima). The StResCom team now finalize self-assessment tools, which will be pilot-tested in Raimea.

The second phase of activities of StResCom will conclude with a regional workshop, scheduled to take place mid-April 2013, in the Philippines. The event will bring stakeholders from the three countries to launch the educational and  awareness-raising materials, as well as to share experiences and lessons learned. [StResCom Project[UNESCO Press Release]