RSIS Seminar by Dr Jonatan Lassa, Senior Lecturer, Emergency & Disaster Management Faculty of Arts and Society, Charles Darwin University, Australia
Disaster Policy Reform in ASEAN 2003-2023: Progress and Challenges
There is a shared perception and narrative that disaster risk reduction policy reform in ASEAN has been fruitful, marked by steady mechanism of ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) since 2003 that laid the foundation of a legally binding ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER). AADMER leads to the establishment of ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management in 2011. The ASEAN Secretariat, ACDM, AHA Centre and the international partners have been consistently collaborating in facilitating and catalysing significant initiatives and changes in the region. At the regional and diplomatic levels, ‘everything’ seems to be working in the right direction towards implementing ASEAN disaster management commitments that is convergent with global agendas such as Sendai Framework and Sustainable Development Goals. At process and policy level, the progress is steady and sustainable. However, when measured by real outcomes at societal level, including on the ground level real-risk trajectory. Data suggests that the real disaster and climate risk should concern many players and stakeholders in the diplomatic spheres. Furthermore, there is a possibility that ASEAN might not be meeting Sendai targets by 2030. Such a potential drawback is not simply because of Covid-19 legacy. For example, one small earthquake event can be disastrous as recently shown in Indonesia. There are thousands of preventable hazard events turning into disasters in the region. There is a lack of systematic evidence of sustainable recovery as promoted by ‘build-back better’ framework. Does regional initiatives and narratives might have pulled the member states away from their real needs? Using some of the long-term data from disaster trends and recovery trajectories data, this research asks does disaster policy reform in ASEAN last-long and sustainable? The findings suggest that ASEAN’s disaster policy reform is practically fragile. It offers some insights on how to fix the reform to the next level.
About the Speaker
Dr Lassa is listed as the Top Researcher (Field Leader) in Emergency Management by The Australian Research Magazine 2023. He also won “Science and Health Editor’s Choice Award 2022” for contributions to science-based journalism focusing on disasters and health in The Conversation (ID) in 2022. Prior to joining Charles Darwin University in 2016, Jonatan worked as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, where worked on climate change adaptation, food security and disaster risk reduction research. In the last 15 years, he co-founded and co-initiated several social enterprises in Indonesia including KuanTech (focus on renewables and rural technology), Institute of Resource Governance and Social Change, Resilience Development Initiatives, Kupang International Montessori School, among others.