Beijing, Dec 9 — An international workshop on earthquake relief kicked off in Beijing Monday, with the theme of sharing quake response philosophy and strengthening search and rescue capacity.
The six-day workshop, supported by the Britain-China Global Development Partnership, has over 40 representatives from China, Nepal and Bangladesh, as part of Sharing and Learning Programme on Community-Based Disaster Management in Asia (CBDM Asia).
“We will cooperate with Bangladesh, and Nepal by studying earthquake relief policy, sharing information and building a pilot community,” said Lai Hongzhou, head of the disaster reduction division at China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The workshop is being held at the China National Training Base for Search and Rescue in Beijing, where representatives will take part in seminars, group discussions, and training in medical care and casualty management, search and rescue, and equipment drills.
The British Department for International Development (DFID), a co-organiser also seeks cooperation in disaster relief with China. “China has deep experience in dealing with natural disasters, so Britain has much to learn from China to improve response to disasters, including earthquakes,” said Chris Chalmers, head of DFID China.
According to the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Asia is the world’s most disaster prone region. Regional coordination and cooperation in disaster management is still far from adequate.
“China has established an outstanding urban search and rescue team within a short period of time. Its team-building capacity sets example for countries vulnerable to natural disasters, such as Nepal and Bangladesh,” said Patrick Haverman, deputy country director at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The CBDM Asia is jointly launched by China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs, DFID and UNDP in January 2013. Bangladesh and Nepal are initial partner countries and more are set to join.