Japan shared with the international community its experiences and the lessons it learnt on disaster risk management and reconstruction, after the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 at a video-conference in Hanoi on April 18.

Themed, “Learning from Mega Disasters”, the conference attracted scientists, academics and policy makers from various Asian Pacific countries including Japan , China , Brazil , Vietnam , Indonesia , Chile and Iran .

Besides learning from Japan ’s worst-ever disaster, the participants discussed plans to construct defences to prevent floods, giant waves and suggested ways of managing natural disasters.

The conference, which was co-organised by the Vietnam Development Information Centre and the Natural Disaster Management Group for East Asia and the Pacific Region, also focused on Vietnamese issues related to inland flooding and drainage and the difficulties when collecting data on disasters.

Dr. Mori, a Japanese disaster expert, said that building dykes at an appropriate height, while considering impacts on the environment, can be an effective way of coping with tsunami and limit losses.

Although Vietnam has only a small risk of experiencing a massive earthquake and tsunami like Japan’s, it is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and sea level rise, which has been shown in the increase in frequent landslides and floods.

Nguyen Thi Xuan Dung, Vice Director of the Management Board for the Urban Development Project under the Ministry of Construction, said the ministry has launched a project to help coastal urban areas adapt to climate change, minimise the impacts of climate change and build protected safe coastal cities.

Japan ’s experiences also suggested that it is necessary to establish an agency to manage the building of disaster preventing works, while collecting data on tides, geology and terrain.

Currently, Vietnam’s coastal urban system covers more than 28 provinces nationwide with a total coastline length of 3,265km, among which there are six Mekong Delta provinces, which are vulnerable to sea tides.-VNA