FORCE project: Groundwork activities gain strong support from local and national stakeholders in Nepal
GEM’s USAID-supported Forecasting and Communicating Earthquake Hazard and Risk (FORCE) project kicked off in Kathmandu, Nepal from February 20th to 24th by meeting local and national partners involved in disaster risk reduction activities in the country. A half-day introductory workshop for key project stakeholders on February 24th capped the groundwork activities.
GEM, represented by Catalina Yepes and Alejandro Calderon, and GEM public sponsor - the National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), represented by Executive Director Surya Shrestha and its key officers, coordinated and participated in the kick-off activities.
Discussions with different stakeholders focused on the following project goals in the country:
to improve earthquake risk assessment practices;
to introduce a temporal component in the global exposure model that would enable the quantification of future disaster losses, including those associated with climate change; and
to develop communication and dissemination tools to maximize the uptake of disaster risk information in policy making.
The discussions also highlighted the following priorities and challenges:
need to unify numerous studies available in the country;
need for an inter-governmental strategy to share, use and maintain information;
need for a centralized system of open and transparent models (NDRRMA indicated the mandate to create a platform for this purpose);
Importance of social vulnerability data for decision-makers and stakeholders, which the project must explore with the Statistical Office of Nepal.
Discussions also focused on the challenges and the need to clearly communicate the outputs and results of the project to the relevant authorities and the general audience.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA), Nepal’s governmental institution with the mandate to provide information on earthquake risk in the country, sees three main areas of collaboration for the project that could address some of the challenges discussed: 1) technical training; 2) unifying and updating the existing risk information and models; and 3) using FORCE outcomes for current and future risk forecasts at the municipal level.
NDRRMA will be the main governmental institution for coordinating the project activities and will lead in facilitating access to existing data and surveys in the country, as well as the maintenance, distribution and communication of project outcomes to the relevant government offices and the public at large. NSET and GEM will be the main technical support for developing and updating the models, in close collaboration with academic institutions where possible.
For more information about the FORCE project and the Nepal meetings, please visit the project website at: https://www.globalquakemodel.org/proj/force.
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