13th AIWEST-DR 2021 Strengthening Community Resilience from Compound Disasters in Pandemic Situations

BANDA ACEH – In the last three years, Indonesia has experienced catastrophic events that have had a very significant impact on the development of a disaster technology base, as well as the increasing number of Indonesians infected with the Covid-19. This condition complicates the level of disaster assessment in Indonesia, which requires an integrated solution to overcome the impact of these continuing disasters or known as cascading disasters. The Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center (TDMRC), Syiah Kuala University again held an international workshop and expo named The 13th Aceh International Workshop and Expo on Sustainable Tsunami Disaster Recovery (AIWEST-DR 2021). The theme of the conference is Strengthening Community Resilience from Compound Disasters in Pandemic Situations.

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The 13th AIWEST-DR 2021 activity took place online via Zoom, on 26 s.d. 27 October 2021 and was officially opened by the Rector of Syiah Kuala University, Prof. Dr. Ir. Samsul Rizal, M. Eng. IPU. In his remarks, he recalled the 17th anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in December, which inspired the world’s disaster management paradigm. One important lesson learned from this catastrophic disaster is that we need to increase knowledge capacity to deal with various risks of disaster.
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The conference commenced with Keynote Speech from Prof. Fumihiko Imamura, as first keynote speaker, who conveyed the lessons we got from the Earthquake and Tsunami disaster and the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is information on dealing with disasters and community resilience capabilities. The second keynote speaker, Prof. Rajib Shaw, also explained the importance of improving the national health security system by integrating disaster risk management into primary, secondary, and tertiary health services, including at the local level. The third keynote speaker is Dr. dr. Safrizal Rahman, M.Kes., Sp.OT. He stated that Universitas Syiah Kuala carried out several socializations and Covid-19 preparedness which were drafted in the form of recommendations to the Aceh government. At the end of the session, Prof. Helene Joffe said that almost 2 years after the Covid-19 pandemic, the significant role of the media in molding community responses and developing on vaccination programs, as well as the use of masks, were two psycho-social features of public engagement with this epidemic that stood out the most.

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After the Keynote Speech, it continued with Panel Sessions with three great speakers i.e.; Prof. Dr. Amar from Universitas Tadulako, Prof. Buan Ansari from Universitas Mataram, and Dr. Syamsidik from Universitas Syiah Kuala. The three experts shared information about the involvement of universities in catastrophic disasters. Also, to encourage people to take lessons from disaster happened in Central Sulawesi, Lombok, and the Sunda Strait.

In addition, AIWEST-DR 2021 held 7 special sessions. A total of 4 special sessions were held simultaneously on the first day, i.e.; Health Adaptation Policies and Strategies to Climate-Related Disasters and the Covid-19 Pandemic in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia, Family Health Cadre Empowerment Project, School-hub Project, and Launching of educational game EvaNami. While the other 3 sessions are; screening of “Tsunami of New Dreams” documentary movie, Students Forum, and FGD for Doctoral programs.

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The second day was filled with oral presentations of research on various disaster case studies from around the world, held in three parallel technical sessions. In completing the closing of the AIWEST-DR 2021 event, the Assistant Director of IRIDES Tohoku University, Japan, Prof. Yuici Ono also expressed his gratitude to all participants and speakers who joined the 13th AIWEST-DR event. There was a lot of education about disaster recovery delivered by the speakers. He also thanked the committee for the extraordinary management of the conference. The event was then closed by Dr. Syamsidik announced that the next AIWEST-DR venue would be held in 2022 in University of Sydney.

We would like to extend our utmost gratitude to IRIDeS Tohoku University for the very good cooperation that we have built up over the years. In particular, we also would like to express our gratitude to EPICentre, University College London, Universitas Mataram, Universitas Tadulako, National Defense University of Malaysia, the Higher Education Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Indonesian Association of Disaster Experts (IABI) for their great contributions given to support AIWEST-DR Conference.

We hope to see you next year in Sydney, Australia!

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To re-watch the recording of the 13th AIWEST-DR 2021, click here.