Bolster public awareness of natural disaster potentials: BNPB Head

Bolster public awareness of natural disaster potentials: BNPB Head

BNPB Chief Doni Monardo

Depok, West Java (ANTARA) - National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Head Lt Gen. Doni Monardo highlighted the importance of boosting public awareness of the potential for natural disasters in Indonesia since people only knew of the potential of natural resources.

"In fact, outsiders call Indonesia a 'disaster supermarket' because of our complex demographic contours. We are one of the 35 countries, with the highest level of potential disaster risks in the world according to the World Bank's indicators," Monardo noted in a statement here on Thursday.

Indonesia's disaster mitigation programs do not stand alone, as they concern a social dimension of the community, he remarked in his speech at an online seminar on "The Importance of Building Disaster Competencies and Skills in Indonesia" organized by the School of Environmental Sciences (SIL) of the University of Indonesia (UI).

The seminar's other speakers comprised Head of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Prof. Ir. Dwikorita Karnawati, Chairperson of the Disaster Risk Reduction Center, UI, Prof. Fatma Lestari, and Dr. Mahawan Karuniasa from the United Nations Climate Change, SIL, UI.

"If a prevention program is just a project, not a long-term one, and does not involve the community, it will not have any impact," he pointed out.

The country has four disaster clusters: geology and volcanology (volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis); hydro-meteorology I (forest fires and drought), hydro-meteorology II (flash floods, landslides, and coastal abrasion); and non-natural disasters (waste, epidemics, and technological failures).

The government has applied a community-based prevention program by incorporating local wisdom of the community.

A public welfare approach has also been adopted by preparing long-term programs to develop the local economic potentials and process forest and land products to have added value.

The programs are projected to create a sense of adoration among members of the public and help them to gain a better understanding of the potential of the environment around them. Disaster mitigation efforts are also being conducted by the government through educational programs.

In a presentation, Karnawati expounded that the BMKG had opened an Earthquake Field School and a Fisherman Weather Field School to create disaster socialization agencies.

The agency has additionally built and continues to develop an early warning system to bolster the effectiveness and efficacy of disaster mitigation in Indonesia.

Two other speakers -- Fatma Lestari and Mahawan Karunisa -- also highlighted the significance of disaster mitigation efforts through collaboration with local communities.

Through collaboration, programs formulated by the government will be sustainable and gain greater acceptability among members of the community. Related news: BNPB records 1,118 natural disasters until April 14
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