Participants of the Workshop on Human Response to Disaster in Southeast Asia at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) Kyoto University, Japan

Bridging Intergenerational and Interregional Gaps: Intermediary Roles in Disaster Management

One of the TDMRC concerns is to elevate community awareness so that they are better prepared for any possible disaster in the future by education and communication through sciences. When dealing with communities, there are two challenges to be addressed at the same time: intergenerational and interregional.

Intergenerational issue comes when the first generation cannot pass the experience and lesson learnt from past disaster events to the second or third generation. As a result, the newer generations carry on the same state of vulnerability due to the lack or absence of knowledge. The hindrance comes not only from the language and the different stage of the generations (past-current-future) but also the effectiveness of the transmission. Study shows that the role of intermediaries (here is the second generation) is more effective in transferring the lessons and experiences from the first generations compared to direct transfer from first to the third generation.

A two day workshop on Human Response to Disaster in Southeast Asia, held by Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) Kyoto University- Japan, reminds all of us that it needs strong and lifelong actions as well as creative strategies to deal with intergenerational issue. This annual workshop was attended by participants from four countries, namely Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and The Philippines.

Dr. Agus Nugroho presenting at the workshop on Human Response to Disaster in Southeast Asia, held by Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) Kyoto University, Japan
Dr. Agus Nugroho presenting at the workshop on Human Response to Disaster in Southeast Asia, held by Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) Kyoto University, Japan

Indonesian representative speaker (TDMRC), Dr. Nazli emphasis on the fading understanding and benefits of Rumah Apung (floating house), a local indigenous knowledge of the people of Singkil in Aceh, Indonesia, on dealing with past floods. Recent observation shows that many younger generations appear to be unaware of the decreasing number of these houses.

Another TDMRC researcher, Dr. Agus Nugroho emphasis the importance of financial protection scheme in the agricultural regions affected by perennial floods. Changing into more floods resistant plantations and plugin the standard- conventional financial mechanism without understanding historical background, local competitiveness and future sustainability are another disaster. The Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI) approaches should be established creatively so that it can be applied in the rural areas that definitely has specific differences with cities or urban areas.

By extending the number of either the countries or topics of cases such as Thailand, Vietnam, Lao, and Cambodia, the workshop uncovered emerging interregional issue that such disaster affects cross border countries. The risk may come from neighboring countries that has effect in the home country, as well as, affect foreign people who enter and remain in the home country. These two dimensions: intergeneration and interregional aspect of disaster management are crucial aspects that one player may have significant contribution: the “Intermediaries”. Since now, this Southeast Asian topic related workshop or other regional conferences shall recognize themselves as the intermediaries dealing with interregional issues on the development of disaster sciences.

Contributed by Dr. Agus Nugroho