Following the success on December 5th 2016, the Regional Workshop on Lessons Learnt from community exercise of the 2016 Indian Ocean Tsunami Wave Exercise (IOWave16) on the second day focuses on the fishbowl sessions on further deepen the experiences and lessons learned from the community exercise. All of the participants are being divided into two groups, and the fishbowl discussion sessions being moderated by Mr. Ardito Kodijat from UNESCO/IOC-IOTIC and Ms. Henny Vidiariana.
The fishbowl discussion sessions are organized into four sessions, each with a specific topic, includes: 1) Challenges and complexities in IOWave16 community activities from the planning, organizing, implementing, evaluating and reporting stages; 2) How to do better in IOWave community activity, at all stages including planning, organizing, implementing, evaluating and reporting stages; 3) Recommendation, input and suggestion to Intergovernmental Coordination Group/Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS) on future IOWave exercises to be able to cover communities activities; and 4) How to encourage participation of member states and sustaining the community activities within IOWave exercises. The overall objectives of the fishbowl sessions are well articulated by Mr. Kodijat:
“At the end of the day, the most important is how we can maintain community exercise that already implemented in 11 countries (during the IOWave16), and how we can encourage the remaining countries to also engage and organize the community in the next IOwave exercises” (Ardito Kodijat, UNESCO/IOC-IOTIC)
Various aspects on each topic have been discussed in-depth. For example, coherent coordination from the national tsunami warning center (NTWC) until the community is one of the identified area that can be improved, according to the both groups, particularly due to different initial understanding of the risk knowledge and how to integrate and use them during the exercise. In terms of preparation, there are calls to secure the time of the next IOWave exercises well in advance, for ensuring and optimizing all necessary knowledge and resources for community exercise, as well as to be in line with international agenda in disaster risk reduction (DRR) such as the annual commemoration of World Tsunami Awareness Day and international DRR month, as echoed by Dr. Srinivasa Kumar Tummala from IOC/IOTWMS Secretariat. Furthermore, Dr. Harkunti Pertiwi Rahayu, Chair of Working Group 1 ICG/IOTWMS, noted on her remarks that the IOWave16 has put a high bar on the community exercise and that it was all parties responsibilities to keep the spirit high and ensure visibility of the exercise to high-level official of each member state, local government units and the community in making IOWave as regular strategic agenda in DRR. Overall, as one of the participants concluded:
“… I cannot imagine implementing the next 2018 IOWave without community exercise, although perhaps we’re going to implement it at different level …” (Mr. Kumar Ram Dhurmea, officer from Mauritius Meteorological Services/NTWC)
The outputs from the Regional Workshop will be presented to the Intersessional Meeting of the ICG/IOTWMS Working Group 1 on Tsunami Risk, Community Awareness and Preparedness that takes place in the same venue on December 7th and 8th 2016.