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As the only dedicated regional trust fund that delivers coordinated support to the development of multihazard early warning systems, the ESCAP Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness has achieved significant results in strengthening regional cooperation.

By employing a programmatic approach, the Trust Fund will continue strengthening regional cooperation for effective and sustainable end-to-end early warning systems for coastal hazards such as tsunamis, tropical cyclones, flooding and storm surges, while increasingly promoting a multi-hazard approach. With a focus on low-capacity, high-risk countries, the Trust Fund will contribute to building more resilient communities, and thus ultimately, help save lives and reduce loss and damage from disasters.

The Fund continues to evolve in line with changing needs within the Asia-Pacific region, capacities of member countries and implementing partners, and priorities within the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Accordingly, it's strategy for 2021-2024 is structured around two people-centred pillars (I, II) and supported by two modalities of implementation (III, IV):
Strengthening “Last Mile” Early Warning Systems Credit: Oleg Golovnev / Shutterstock

[I] Strengthening people-centred, multi-hazard early warning systems

A key component of disaster risk reduction is an effective early warning system which combines science and technology with practical local approaches and is fully integrated into broader national and regional strategies. Across Asia and the Pacific there are still many gaps in early warning chains, particularly at the local level to cover the ‘last mile’.The Trust Fund will continue to promote the four elements of early warning, namely (i) risk knowledge, (ii) monitoring and warning service, (iii) dissemination and communication, and (iv) response capability with a focus on the vulnerable and marginalized.

Investing in Climate Risk Management Credit: Md. Mahbubur Rahman

[II] Strengthening social and economic resilience in Asia-Pacific

Strengthened social and economic resilience complements the benefits of early warning for early actions. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction emphasizes how the scope of disaster risk reduction has been
broadened significantly to focus on both natural and manmade hazards and related environmental, technological and biological hazards and risks.The Trust fund will contribute to operationalizing resilience in Asia and the Pacific to protect people against impact of future disasters and support promotion of health resilience.

Enhancing Early Warning Regional Cooperation Credit: ESCAP / WMO Typhoon Committee

[III] Enhancing disaster and climate risk management through regional cooperation

Many of the region’s disaster hotspots extend across national boundaries, underlining the importance of regional cooperation both to monitor the evolution of disasters and to work together across the riskscape to mitigate the impacts and build cross-border resilience. The Trust Fund will work closely with governments and all relevant stakeholders to put in place a strong regional approach to strengthen local capacities for disaster risk
management particularly in contexts of transboundary disasters, to strengthen early warning systems for the benefit of high-risk and low capacity countries, and seek collaboration with other regional and transboundary projects.

Harnessing Innovation, Science & Technology Source: ESCAP

[IV] Mainstreaming science, technology and innovation

The advances in research and technology enable more effective, risk-informed and end-to-end early warning systems and achieved benefits can be scaled up through regional cooperation. The Trust Fund will continue investing in new-generation, impact-based and risk-informed early warning systems and promote their application. These investments are aimed at ensuring that benefits of science, technologies and communications advances relevant to early warning systems, particularly in the fields of geo-informatics and space technology, reach high-risk and low capacity countries, particularly the ‘last mile’ i.e. communities at risk.