Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)Volume 2 Number 3 (2010)
Sharing Japanese Non-technical Knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia: Challenges for Non-profit Organizations
Japan is regarded as one of the most advanced countries in the broad field of disaster management and attention is usually given to its technical or engineering capacities for success. However, there is considerable non-technical expertise and knowledge that can be shared with the people facing disaster risk in other countries. SEEDS Asia was established as a NPO in 2006 in Kobe, with the aim of helping communities in Asia to reduce the risk of being affected by natural disasters, by sharing Japanese good practices, lessons learnt and knowledge on disaster mitigation. In Indonesia and Myanmar, a school safety project is being implemented, taking lessons learnt from Japan's disaster education programmes. In the Maldives, the authors carried out a project on community-based solid waste management to link everyday environmental problems with possible disaster risks. Also, considering the huge impact of local media to island people, they conducted training on contents development for disaster risk reduction for local media staff so that the local media can contribute to awareness-raising of the public. While it is difficult to put a high priority and large budget allocations for disaster management in developing countries, through such capacity building initiatives, the projects have shown that believe disaster risks can be reduced at the community level.
Keywords: Disaster risk reduction, Non-technical knowledge, Japanese experiences, Capacity building, NGOs, The Maldives, Indonesia, Myanmar.