The ASEAN Strategic Policy Dialogue on Disaster Management (SPDDM) was held on 19 August 2022 at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore. The dialogue was co-organised by the Singapore Civil Defence Force, the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, with the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Programme by RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), participating as knowledge partner for the event. Around 100 participants attended the dialogue in-person this year. Mrs Josephine Teo, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Second Minister for Home Affairs, gave the opening remarks as the guest of honour.
Exploring the theme “The Future of Disaster Resilience is Now: Are We Ready?”, this year’s dialogue facilitated discussion on forward-looking ideas that can potentially enhance disaster resilience in the future, with an emphasis on the importance to act and invest now. The global pandemic in 2020 has affected the way we work and function; both at the national and international level. In particular, the disaster management sector has had to prepare for and manage disasters against the backdrop of COVID-19. Considering that the types, dynamics, and dimensions of disaster threats will be more complex in the future and require far more strategic analysis and preparation, it is beneficial for humanitarian organisations to re-think strategies and transform to strengthen capabilities and capacities for the future. The sub-themes of the dialogue were: (i) Planetary Health: Interlinkages between Climate Change and Disasters; (ii) Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) Factors: Riding the Wave towards Disaster Resiliency; and (iii) Innovations Driven by Crisis.
The dialogue emphasised the need for disaster management practitioners to identify opportunities for disaster risk reduction and prevention through the lens of planetary health. It also discussed the relationship between ESG and disaster resilience, highlighting ESG strategies for achieving disaster resilience targets. Finally, it highlighted the need for process-driven innovations, as opposed to simply relying on product innovations. The official dinner was hosted by Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Singapore’s Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development.