19 Jun 2023

Plotting a path towards the sustainable growth of anticipatory action in Asia-Pacific

The 7th Asia-Pacific Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Humanitarian Action began last week in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city. Over three days, more than 200 experts met to share their experiences and lessons, and to identify ways to increase the scale and sustainability of anticipatory action across the region. 

Asia-Pacific is one of the world’s most hazard-prone regions and several countries have been implementing this approach for years. Through a series of plenary discussions and workshops, the gathered participants – including humanitarians, scientists, disaster specialists and government representatives – presented the evidence and lessons from their projects, and also shared their ideas about what needs to happen next in different countries. 

Drawing inspiration from Nepal’s famous mountain ranges, the theme for this year’s event is ‘Reaching new heights: exploring trails for the sustainable growth of anticipatory action’. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal and Minister of Home Affairs, the Honourable Narayankaji Shrestha, outlined how anticipatory action is already gathering pace in the host country: “[It] is now becoming increasingly accepted and gradually embedded within disaster risk management systems.”

Anticipatory action is now becoming increasingly accepted and gradually embedded within disaster risk management systems. In Nepal, we are taking anticipatory action with a goal of cultivating a forward-thinking approach to disaster risk management, one that is firmly rooted in proactive measures rather than reactive responses, and can contribute to the management of the impacts of climate change, extreme weather, and even non-weather-related events.

Honourable Narayankaji Shrestha Deputy prime minister and minister of home affairs

This year’s Asia-Pacific Dialogue Platform is trialling a new format for hybrid events. Following the in-person discussions in Kathmandu, participants from Asia-Pacific and beyond now have the opportunity to share their own expertise and evidence through a series of online webinars and discussions. These began on 20 June with a workshop led by Open Street Map; the next session takes place on 28 June, when panellists will reflect on the main outcomes from the meeting in Kathmandu. More online sessions will be announced in the coming weeks. 

This year’s Asia-Pacific Dialogue Platform is hosted by the Anticipation Hub and co-hosted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority in Nepal and the Nepal Red Cross Society. Co-organizers are the German Red Cross, the American Red Cross, the Finnish Red Cross, the Danish Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Food Programme and Start Network. It is supported financially by the German Federal Foreign Office. 

All photos by Skanda Gautam. Thanks to the World Food Programme for supporting all photo and videos.