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Palau first to start work on climate and disaster plan

Palau first to start work on national broadcasters’ climate and disaster resilience plan

4 July 2014

Palau - Palau is the first island nation to begin work on a project to develop Climate and Disaster Resilience Plans for national broadcasters through an ‘emergency management for media’ course that was completed on Thursday.

This training is part of an initiative funded by the Pacific Assistance Media Scheme (PACMAS) and implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

Over this three-day period, participants in Palau learnt how to develop a plan that can be used in times of emergencies and disasters to strengthen their ability to continue broadcasting to local communities.

“The enthusiasm shown by representatives from TV, radio and newspapers to develop their disaster plans and strengthen their relationship with the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) is encouraging. Participants in this training have drawn on their experiences from Typhoon Bopha in 2012 and Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 to identify ways to improve public information in future emergencies and disasters,’ said Mr. Noa Tokavou, Disaster Risk Management Officer, SPC, training facilitator.

During the training, participants learnt more about the hazards to which Palau is exposed, the national warning system that is in place, and their roles and responsibilities within the system. Participants also became familiar with Palau’s national emergency management plan and learnt how to develop Climate and Disaster Resilience Plans and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). This will ensure that, in the event of an emergency or disaster, the broadcaster can continue to effectively communicate messages to the public.

Ms Rolynda Jonathan, lead reporter for Oceania Television Network and participant of the workshop said, “This workshop not only provides us with the opportunity to educate ourselves about the role of our NEMO and the National Emergency Committee, but it also gives us the opportunity and means to develop a stronger relationship with these agencies to effectively inform the public.”

Broadcasters will receive ongoing support to develop their plans and SOPs from SPC and Palau’s National Emergency Management Office.

The National Broadcasters Climate and Disaster Resilience Plan Project will work with broadcasters from eight Pacific Islands selected by PACMAS – the Cook Islands, Palau and Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Outcomes of this project include the development of climate and disaster resilience plans, training to help them implement the plan, development of Standard Operating Procedures, as well as training for their news teams to help them better report on disasters and climate change.

ENDS

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