Talks on Disaster Resilience Begins


By Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby

An information brief held in Port Moresby has highlighted important areas where the Australian and Papua New Guinean Governments can work together to inform Papua New Guineans on disaster reaction measures.

Based on previous projects in PNG, relevant government authorities will working alongside Geoscience Australia, to identify and design suitable disaster resilience structures in preparation for natural disasters.

Following a risk information workshop in East New Britain, scientists from Australian Geoscience, the PNG Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management Department and National Disaster Centre, have commenced dialogue on appropriate disaster reaction measures for people living in disaster prone areas.

Geoscientist Dr Andrew Jones, the section leader for the regional risk international group of Geoscience Australia, said in order to carry out proper awareness, they need the support of relevant government bodies to provide the certain information to assist them for disaster resilience.

“You can tell us the information you know and we can work in partnership in this area,” Dr. Jones said.     

Points identified include knowing who the target audience is, disseminating the scientific information in the right forms and language, and knowing that the targeted audience will understand the information. 

Dr Kelly Strzepek, also from Geoscience Australia, said communication is one challenge the team came across. “We need the media in this area, they have the capacity to disseminate information and we need them on board,” Dr Strzepek said.  

She said the outcomes from workshop in Kokopo shows that more training and time to do the training,”

“We got a lot of suggestions from participants in Kokopo to increase the number of days on the risk resilience training to two days,” Dr Strezpek

These discussions come at a time where parts of PNG are experiencing the effects of a drought.

These talks expose another significant reason on how such discussions can prepare people on any natural disasters.

While this is only the beginning, both governments are inviting the private sector to be partners in further discussions to address measures on disaster preparedness in PNG.

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