Social movement is a strong basis for developing one’s leadership capacity.
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA – Secretary General of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), Sudirman Said, invites all parties to seriously invest in human resources, especially humanitarian and disaster volunteers as part of efforts to reduce disaster risk. The cadre of disaster volunteers must be carried out at the lowest level, namely in districts, sub-districts, villages, and even in the family unit.
“The more residents understand disaster risk, the more spread it is in the community, then efforts to reduce disaster risk will be able to run more effectively,” he said. Sudirman Said in Panel day 3, entitled “Community Knows Best: Reducing Disaster Risk for All”, Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (APMC-DRR), in Brisbane, Australia.
The panel hosted by Prof. Tim Frannery, an environmental expert at the University of Melbourne University, presented four speakers: Rosemary Kayess (UN Committee On The Right of Persons With Disabilities), Ricardo Tomas Mana Speck (UNDRR) Geneva, Sudirman Said (PMI), and Noelene Nabulivou (Diverse Voice and Action for Equality, Fiji.
Secretary General PMI explain how important the role of the community and volunteers, especially the local community. In many disasters, the role of local volunteers is crucial. “They came first to the field, and left the disaster site last,” he said.
Therefore, one of the strategies for reducing disaster risk is to provide education and information to the public at large, so that disaster management networks are formed in each community. At the family level, at least one family member must understand the risks and methods of disaster management.
“If we do this collectively, disaster risk can be managed properly,” added the former deputy head of the Aceh-Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency.
Sudirman added the need for special attention for the younger generation, such as the Youth Red Cross Movement and the Scout Movement. To various stakeholders including the IFRC, ICRC, UN Agencies, and global Donor Agencies, PMI calls for jointly investing heavily in the regeneration of disaster volunteers.
The 2014-2016 Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources explained that volunteer activities are a real learning tool for leadership. The experience gained as a driver of humanitarian activities is a capital for the development of leadership for young people.
“Social movement is a strong basis for developing one’s leadership capacity. Giving attention and opportunities to the younger generation and disaster volunteer cadres is a strong message for the sustainability of disaster risk reduction efforts, because they are the owners of the future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Panelist, Rosemary Keyess emphasized the need for institutional strengthening to give full attention to and involve people with disabilities. Meanwhile, Ricardo Thomas Mana Speck underlined the strengthening of the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) framework with real action plans, especially in relation to the planned DRR summit to be held in New York next year.
On this occasion, the Secretary General of PMI also explained examples of how important community resilience is in disaster management. The Nandong Smong tradition on Simeleu Island, a small island in the Indian Ocean, has proven to have saved residents from the tsunami that hit Aceh in 2004. “This is an example of local wisdom that must be developed in a wide area and has a variety of traditions like Indonesia,” he added. .
The Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is a continuation of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction which was held in Bali, in May 2022. The APMC-DRR lasted for four days, attended by 3,500 participants from 58 Asia Pacific countries. A number of ministers from various fields and various countries attended and also became speakers in this forum.