Participants in the EPWG meeting pose for a photo (Photo: nchmfnews.com)

Khanh Hoa (VNA) – APEC’s Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) has held the 11th meeting in Nha Trang city, focusing on promoting the reform of scientific-technological application to enhance the member economies’ resilience to natural disasters.

The event took place within the framework of the ongoing first APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting in the city of the south central province of Khanh Hoa.

It was attended by representatives of the 21 APEC economies and related international organisations. The Vietnamese delegation included officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Health, and the National Committee for Search and Rescue.

At the meeting, Deputy Director of Vietnam’s Directorate of Water Resources Tran Quang Hoai briefed participants about natural disasters in Vietnam which has been increasingly frequent and severe in recent years.

He asked the EPWG to promote the study and the application of advanced science-technology to effectively support emergency response to natural disasters. It also needs to enhance regional connectivity to devise initiatives on coping with the “new normal of natural disasters” facing the APEC members.

The EPWG was first established as APEC’s Task Force for Emergency Preparedness in 2005. It is currently co-chaired by Vietnamese and Japanese representatives.

In 2017, the group is scheduled to propose recommendations for a Can Tho declaration on food security enhancement and sustainable agricultural development in response to climate change. 

It also plans to build an initiative on boosting the resilience to the new normal of natural disasters through facilitating sci-tech reform in disaster prevention and control. The initiative is expected to be submitted to the APEC economic leaders later this year.

APEC Vietnam 2017 takes the theme of “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering A Shared Future”. Vietnam joined the forum in 1998 and also hosted APEC events in 2006.-VNA