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Meridian Institute

Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Asia-Pacific Region

Related: Resilience

In the fall of 2010, the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) asked Meridian to help facilitate an offsite between the University of Hawaii and USPACOM leadership to discuss the potential for a long-term partnership between those two entities to address disaster risk reduction and resilience (DRRR) in the Asia-Pacific region. Following that meeting, Meridian Institute facilitated a broader, multi-stakeholder workshop in August, 2011 on the topic of DRRR in the Asia-Pacific. This workshop was convened by USPACOM and the US Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the US Department of State, US Agency for International Development, University of Hawaii, US Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center, and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. The workshop was attended by 83 participants representing a diverse cross-section of civil society, government, academia, philanthropy (including the Rockefeller Foundation), and the private sector, along with representatives from the Japanese government. 


To enable coordination among the convening partners, a Principals group was formed to provide reflections on the outcomes of the workshop and guidance on any recommendations that might be communicated at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Principals group met again in late September, 2011 in Washington, DC, to discuss common interests around DRRR in the Asia-Pacific region and to outline options for improved coordination and collaboration among partners in the region. 


At the APEC Leaders Week in November 2011, the Principals signed a “Joint Statement of Intent,” pledging to work together on DRRR in the Asia-Pacific region. These organizations believe that public-private collaboration on disaster risk reduction and resilience can help to save lives, ensure economic vitality, and enhance human well-being across the region. Signatories included: US Chamber of Commerce President, Thomas Donohue; US Pacific Command Commander, Admiral Robert Willard; University of Hawaii System President, Dr. M.R.C. Greenwood; US Agency for International Development Assistant Administrator, Nancy Lindborg; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Director of External Affairs, Andy Winer; Ford Foundation President, Luis Ubiñas; Rockefeller Foundation President, Judith Rodin, Ph.D.; US-Japan Council President, Irene Hirano; and Federal Emergency Management Agency Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness, Timothy Manning.


Meridian Institute supported ongoing discussions of this group, which focused on establishing a formal structure for a secretariat to facilitate and manage the Asia-Pacific DRRR Collaboration. The group has formally incorporated under the name R3ADY Asia- Pacific (the R3 stands for risk reduction and resilience) and is facilitating collaborative R3 projects across the region.




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