In preparation for COP27, PetaBencana was invited to participate at the “Intergenerational Thinkshop for Hydromet Early Warning Early Action (EWEA): The Engagement of Young Professionals in Disaster Risk Reduction” in Cairo. The ‘Thinkshop’ gathered stakeholders from across 5 generations, representing a range of geographic backgrounds from across 4 continents, coming from a range of disciplines including academics, first responders, NGOs, emergency managers, and scientists. Participants gathered to discuss adaptation efforts to increasingly escalating hydrometeorological shocks due to climate change, and to reflect on the implications of the UN Secretary General Guterres initiative to ensure that “every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems within five years”. The workshop was also attended by head of the Egyptian Meteorological Agency, , who iterated his commitment to ensure multi-hazard warning systems for all.
PetaBencana was invited to share our experience working with residents across Indonesia to adapt to extreme weather events, where we highlighted the role of local knowledge in risk reduction, and involving local communities as co-designers of risk reduction programs.
As the culmination of the workshop, together with the participants we co-published a Cairo Statement which will be presented to leaders and stakeholders at COP27. The statement highlights the need to consider the full spectrum of warning and action within the early warning system discussion, acknowledging that the social and behavioural aspects of warning systems, or the ways by which people are equipped and empowered to take action, is a significant portion of the warning infrastructure that has seldom been discussed. History has shown that an improved forecast does not always translate to more proactive responses to warnings. Instead of investing on predictive modelling and technical systems only, equal attention must be given to the behavioural aspects of risk reduction – that is, how people respond to warnings. Additionally, warning systems cannot be thought of as a one-way delivery from large institutions. Local, residential, and indigenous knowledge also play an invaluable role in detecting the earliest warning signals, which are often apparent only through situated, place-based perceptual skills and so must be integrated into monitoring systems on an equal basis with more technical tools of detection. The statement also highlights that funding for the early warning system initiative must prioritize the most vulnearable individuals and areas first. The full statement can be read here.