ICHARM -- The International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management

In our periodical newsletter, we continue our focus on providing our national and international partners and colleagues with up-to-date information on the progress of our activities at ICHARM.
(Click here for back numbers of UNESCO-PWRI newsletters)

Issue No.6
What's in this issue
  1. Message from the Director
    Opening Ceremony of New Master's Program. (October 4, 2007)
  2. Recent Reports
    1. Tsunami Countermeasures in Kii Peninsula
    2. Community Based Hazard Maps in Ise City
    3. The Preparatory Study of the "Project for Strengthening of Flood Risk Management in Lai Nullah Basin" (Islamic Republic of Pakistan; August 19-September 1, 2007)
  3. Research
    1. The 62nd Annual Academic Lecture Meeting of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (Hiroshima; September 12-14, 2007)
    2. International Seminar on Wetlands and Sustainability 2007 (Johor Bahru, Malysia; September 4-6, 2007)
    3. The International Symposium on 2007 Basin Water Management Policy for Chao Phray River (Thailand) and Changjiang River (China) (Tokyo; September 6, 2007)
  4. Training
    1. ICHARM Launches a New Master's Program
    2. Flood Hazard Mapping Training Course, 2007
    3. Introduction of "Comprehensive Tsunami Disaster Prevention Training Course"
  5. Attended International Conferences
    1. Workshop of the ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee (Bangkok, Thailand; September 10-13, 2007)
    2. Asia-Pacific UNESCO Water Centes' Meeting (Bangkok, Thailand; September 26-27, 2007)
  6. Report from Costa Rica (Ms.Tsuruta, former coordinator of JICA training course)
  7. Coming Events
1. Message from the Director

October 10, 2007 marked International Disaster Reduction Day. Twenty years ago, the General Assembly of the United Nations designated the 1990s as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR), and the second Wednesday of each October as International Disaster Reduction Day. Since then even after IDNDR, the tradition is respectfully kept by its successor program International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). While countries and organizations celebrated the day all over the world, it became a particularly special one for ICHARM to remember, because a new Master's program on water-related disasters was finally launched, closely coinciding with this internationally celebrated day.

This new Master's program, entitled the "Water-related Risk Management Course of Disaster Management Policy Program," was jointly prepared by ICHARM/PWRI and the National Graduate Institute for Policy Program (GRIPS) with the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). On October 4 the program held an entrance ceremony at GRIPS in Tokyo, followed by an opening ceremony at ICHARM in Tsukuba. The first class in this program consists of 11 students from several Asian countries; three each from China and Japan, two from Bangladesh, and one each from Nepal, India and the Philippines. All the students participated in the ceremonies with strong determination to become experts in water-related disasters, except the one from India, who, unfortunately, will miss classes in October because of his involvement in restoration activity after a major flood his country suffered this summer. The program was designed to produce experts who are practical, problem-solving oriented and equipped with abilities to take the initiative in different situations, from planning flood management at the national level to building mutually assisting communities.

Without much time to rest after a long journey from their home countries, the students began their classes. This program provides a total of 52 faculty members consisting of experienced professors, innovative-minded postdoctoral researchers, and experts in river management, water resources planning and other relevant fields. I believe it is fair to say that this is a dream Master's program in which to study disaster reduction. An ambitious curriculum is developed around four main pillars - fundamentals, exercises, field surveys and individual study for the Master's thesis. I truly hope that after experiencing hard working days together at ICHARM, young strong-willed students will take leadership roles to reduce water-related disasters in various parts of the world, while networking and sharing information and experiences with each other.

This year the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to former US vice president Albert F. Gore and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ICHARM, too, would like to give heartfelt compliments to those prize winners. Mr. Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" has strongly impacted the progress of the global response to climate change. Subsequently addressed in Sir. Stern's report, the fourth IPCC report and the G8 Heiligendamm summit, mitigation and adaptation strategies for climate change have been commonly recognized as the most urgent issues in the 21st century. Now countries and organizations have started to globally undertake such issues. The mitigation/adaptation movement suddenly gained momentum.

On September 6 the High-level Panel on Water-related Disasters, under the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, held its first meeting in Tokyo. The panel was chaired by Mr. Han Seung-Soo, president of the Korea Water Resources Cooperation, with his vice chairs, Mr. Salvano Briceno, director of ISDR, and Mr. Loic Fauchon, president of the World Water Council. The members agreed on the importance of water-related disaster prevention for adapting to climate change. After discussing a range of issues, including indices for water-related disasters, promotion of flood forecasting/warning systems, and governance, the panel scheduled its second meeting next January in Korea.

Besides regular research and educational work, ICHARM staff members are busily preparing for upcoming events: the "Flood Hazard Mapping" training course from October 29, the "ICHARM Quick Report on Floods 2007" on November 6 commemorating the completion of the ICHARM auditorium, and the Asia-Pacific Water Summit on December 3-4 in Beppu, Kyusyu. As the autumn season steadily deepens, ICHARM is ever busy preparing for meetings and managing ongoing activities.


Dr. Kuniyoshi Takeuchi
Director of ICHARM


2. Recent Reports
i. Tsunami countermeasures in Kii Peninsula

In the coastal areas of the Kii Peninsula and San-riku district, tsunamis have caused severe damage. Two earthquakes, in particular, on December 7th 1944 (M7.9) and on December 21st 1946 (M8.0) caused many casualties and much financial damage.

Major earthquakes are predicted to hit these areas in the near future. Local municipalities along these coasts have been constructing structural measures, formulating local disaster management plans and providing disaster prevention education. In addition, many neighborhood groups have been

acting proactively for tsunami disaster mitigation.

ICHARM plans to conduct the "Comprehensive Tsunami Disaster Prevention (CTDP) Training Course" in June or July 2008. ICHARM staff members in charge of the training course visited the Kii Peninsula to learn about the latest situations of tsunami countermeasures and to have interviews in local municipalities, so that a practical as well as effective training program can be developed.

This article introduces some of the structural measures in the Kii Peninsula.

1. "Nishiki Tower" in Taiki Town, Mie Prefecture

The Nishiki district, Taiki Town, Mie Prefecture has 1000 households with a population of 2500 and is surrounded by sea and mountains.

After the tsunami damage on Okushiri Island, the Nishiki residents started to prepare evacuation routes and evacuation sites, by which they can evacuate to higher grounds within five minutes. Because it is hard to evacuate to higher grounds in the area surrounded by the Oku River, the municipality constructed an evacuation tower called


the "Nishiki Tower" in 1998. In the next year it was awarded by the Institute for Fire Safety and Disaster Preparedness.

The tower is round and was built with consideration of tsunami power as well as collapse power of ships. The tower can accommodate 250 people, and there are three entrances. It is a four-story building and has an evacuation space on the rooftop, which is usually used for recreation.

Nishiki Tower
Nishiki Tower area

2. "Tsunami Evacuation Tower" and evacuation route in Kushimoto Town, Wakayama Prefecture

Wakayama Prefecture has prospected that in an event in which two major predicted earthquakes occur simultaneously, the first tsunami will hit Kushimoto Town within 6-14 minutes, and the height of tsunami may reach up to 4-8 meters at its highest. Considering these possibilities, the prefecture has identified areas in which it is hard for the residents to evacuate in time, and constructed four tsunami evacuation towers in those areas. The tower in the


Kushimoto district, 6 meters high with a rooftop capacity of 70 people, is one of those towers.

In 2001, the Omisaki neighborhood association constructed an evacuation route, using their own budget of 500,000 yen. The route shortened the evacuation time from 15 minutes to 6 minutes. This effort was awarded by the prime minister.

Tsunami Evacuation Tower
Evacuation route

3. "Hiromura Levee" in Hirokawa Town, Wakayama Prefecture

Hirokawa Town, Wakayama Prefecture, suffered severe damage from two earthquakes on December 23rd and 24th of 1854.

After the earthquakes, Mr. Goryo Hamaguchi, who is well known for the "Fire of Inamura (Inamura-no-Hi)," invested his own fortune to construct a tsunami dike, not only as tsunami prevention but also as a measure to counter unemployment. The dike, 5 meters high, 20 meters wide, and 600 meters long, was completed in four years and protected the town from the tsunami in 1946.

Every November, "Tsunami Festival" is held near the dike. It has been held for over a hundred years and students of the 3rd grade in junior high school and the 6th grade in elementary school join the festival and remember the contribution of Mr. Hamaguchi. This festival has been a great opportunity to teach the importance of tsunami disaster mitigation from generation to generation.


Hiromura Leeve

These structural measures are just a few examples visited by ICHARM staff for the investigation. More details will be introduced in our website in the near future.
ii. Community Based Hazard Maps in Ise City

At present, not only Flood Hazard Maps are published in 571 municipalities, but also several other kinds of Hazard Maps, e.g. land slide, earthquake and so on, are published in many municipalities. Those activities are mainly conducted by governmental and municipal organizations in almost all cases.

However, there are some examples in which residents have made Hazard Maps and prepared for disasters by themselves. In this article, examples from the towns of Miyajiri, Ominato and Higashioizu in Ise City, Mie Prefecture are introduced. In these towns, residents conducted Town Watching, investigating the places of extinguishers, evacuation routes, evacuation centers, dangerous spots, etc. based on their plans, and made their own Hazard Maps. They can be called "Community based Hazard Map," as shown on the right hand side. Target areas are smaller and the information on the maps is more detailed; residents can easily recognize each house and wide and narrow streets.


Community based Hazard Maps are made by residents to complement Hazard Maps by the government and municipalities and are a worthwhile attempt as a part of community based disaster prevention.

Community Based Hazard Map of Miyagiri Town, displaying safe evacuation routes (green), narrow routes (orange), transformers, extinguishers, fire prevention aquariums, disaster prevention sheds, etc.

iii. The Preparatory Study of the "Project for Strengthening of Flood Risk Management
in Lai Nullah Basin" (Islamic Republic of Pakistan; August 19th-September 1st, 2007)

This past August, Mr. Sugiura, researcher of Hydrological Research Team, participated in the preparatory study team of the "Project for Strengthening of Flood Risk Management in Lai Nullah Basin" of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The Lai Nulla River flows downstream through the capital Islamabad with a basin area of 234.8 km2. A flood in July 2001 caused the worst damage, accounting for the death of 74 people. Japan has helped Pakistan install a flood forecasting and waning system consisting of a set of equipment for


hydrological observation, runoff-analysis, and alarm announcement.

Utilizing this flood forecasting and warning system, Pakistan is expected to take next steps to mitigate flood disasters in the future by making an evacuation plan based on its own local needs and conditions, establishing a cooperative system among related organizations and agencies, and educating residents about the danger of floods, flood warnings and evacuation through various opportunities, such as evacuation drills.

Downstream view from Katarian Bridge
Downstream view from Ratta Bridge
3. Research
i. The 62nd Annual Academic Lecture Meeting of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers
(Hiroshima; September 12nd-14th, 2007)

The 62nd annual academic lecture meeting of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers was held from September 12th to 14th at Hiroshima University. Mr. Tanaka, leader of the International Technical Exchange Team of ICHARM, and Mr. Imamura, researcher of Hydrological Research Team of ICHARM, participated in the meeting.

Mr. Tanaka gave a presentation on a research study titled "A Study of an Evaluation Method of Runoff/Infiltration Characteristics by an On-site Water Sprinkling Experiment." In areas to which the Designated Urban River Inundation Prevention Bill, enacted in fiscal 2003, applies, maximum runoff discharges before urban development need to be estimated, which requires an appropriate runoff coefficient for each area. The purpose of this study was to develop a method to find an appropriate runoff coefficient for a given area. The sprinkling experiment revealed a simple relationship between the rainfall rate and stable infiltration rate. The study also found that a


time-series runoff change can be illustrated by means of this simple relationship and the logistic curve.

Mr. Imamura presented a research study titled "A Study of Estimate Equations for Flow Velocity Distribution in Vertical Direction." In his presentation, the applicability characteristics of three different estimate equations of Aki's, Bazin's and logarithmic distribution was introduced, using flood discharge data observed by means of an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and hydraulic pressure type current meter. At present, the coefficient of float is based on Aki's equation. The study found, however, that the conditions of water depth and river channel tended to affect the applicability of the three equations. This result suggested that the accuracy of discharge observation would be improved by selecting a most appropriate equation depending on water depth and river channel.

ii. International Seminar on Wetlands and Sustainability 2007
(Johor Bahru, Malysia; September 4th-6th, 2007)

The International Seminar on Wetlands and Sustainability 2007 was held on September 4th-6th in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, hosted by Kyoto University of Japan and the International Islamic University Malaysia. Mr. Tanaka, leader of the International Technical Exchange Team of ICHARM, participated in this three-day seminar, in which issues on mangroves were intensively discussed.

Japanese professors Shigeyuki Baba of Ryukyu University and Akira Komiyma of Gifu University delivered keynote speeches at the seminar. Professor Baba, who is also the Secretary General of the International Society of Mangrove Ecosystems (ISME), spoke informatively on various issues including ISME-led activities. Professor Komiyama lectured on the characteristics of


mangrove forests and how they would affect the CO2 level in the atmosphere. He provided a number of important insights. Mr. Tanaka gave a presentation on how coastal vegetation can help to mitigate the effects of tsunamis.

On the second day of the seminar, the participants visited Kukup Island and Tanjung Piai. Kukup Island is thickly covered with mangrove forests. Tanjung Piai is located at the southernmost tip of the Eurasia Continent and is named after the plant "Piai," which is common in this area; At Tanjung Piai, mangrove forests extend into the extremely busy Straits of Malacca and has suffered considerable erosion in recent years. Efforts are being made to prevent erosion by using a structure called a "Geo-Tube."


An eroded site at Tanjung Piai. Erosion has destroyed mangrove forests and boardwalks. Geo-Tubes are seen off shore, looking like detached breakwaters. Large ships can also be seen far off the coast, heading for their destinations.


Mangrove forests on Kukup Island viewed from the top of a 20-meter-high observation tower.

iii. The International Symposium on 2007 Basin Water Management Policy
for Chao Phray River (Thailand) and Changjiang River (China).
(Tokyo; September 6, 2007)

The International Symposium on Basin Water Management Policy for Chao Phraya River, Thailand and Changjiang River, China hosted by the Public Works Research Institute (RWRI) was held in Tokyo on September 6. The symposium was part of the Japan Science and Technology Agency's project on water policy scenarios for the Chanjiang River in China. Nihon University, studying water policy scenario for the Chao Phraya River in Thailand, co-hosted the symposium.


The purpose of the symposium was to discuss the latest policy issues and to advance scenario analysis to solve those issues such as land management on retarding basins. Three experts from China, Mr. Zhang Jinhua of the Chanjiang River Commission, Prof. Fu Xiang of Wuhan University, and Prof. Wang Yicheng of the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, delivered presentations about two specific issues regarding the Chanjiang River; levee construction and management, and land use policy of retarding basins and its operation.

4. Training
i. ICHARM Launches a New Master's Program

ICHARM has set up a new Master's program called the "Water-related Risk Management Course of Disaster Management Policy Program". The program started on October 9, 2007. The launch day was chosen to coincide closely with International Disaster Prevention Day on October 10.

Water-related disasters such as floods occur all over the world. This year alone, major flood events have inflicted severe damage on different parts of the world, including southern China, Britain, India, Nepal, and parts of Africa. This only demonstrates how modern societies are vulnerable to water-related disasters. It is anticipated that disaster-inducing hazards will increase their intensity in the future as climate change progresses.

To cope with this emerging threat, there is an urgent need to build a community of experts and professionals to deal with water-related disasters particularly in developing countries, which are proven to be more vulnerable to natural disasters. Such experts are expected to acquire a broad understanding of all facets of disaster management so that from professional engineering and social scientific viewpoints, they can contribute to the improvement of disaster preparedness and can promote recovery and rehabilitation in a time of crisis.

To respond this need, ICHARM has launched this new Master's Degree Program. It is a one-year program jointly organized by ICHARM and the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) with support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Eleven students from Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, Philippines and Japan are currently studying in the program.

The inauguration ceremony of the program was held at ICHARM on October 4 in the presence of Mr. Makoto Aoki (Director General of JICA Tsukuba), Mr. Kenji Kaneko (Director of the Program Team 1, JICA Tsukuba), Mr. Akihiro Matsumoto (Program Officer of the Program Team 1, JICA Tsukuba), Dr. Tadahiko Sakamoto (PWRI Chief Executive), Mr. Akihiro Sanada (Head of the PWRI Planning and Research Administration Department), Dr. Kuniyoshi Takeuchi (ICHARM Director), Dr. Jayawardena (ICHARM Research and Trainig Advisor), Mr. Akira Terakawa (ICHARM Deputy Director), and Mr. Shigenobu Tanaka (ICHARM Team Leader).


During the ceremony, Mr. Aoki expressed a warm welcome to the students and gave a brief introduction of the course. He also emphasized the importance of being interested in nature, society and culture of Japan in addition to the required classes.

Dr. Sakamoto also greeted to the students and specifically mentioned one of the course objectives, which is to train professionals to be able to utilize state-of-the-art technology to meet societal needs and expectations so that they can demonstrate to the policy makers the importance of disaster management in national planning. He also expressed his expectation that the students should in the future be involved as leading specialists in the planning and implementation of national disaster mitigation plans.

Dr. Takeuchi followed Dr. Sakamoto, saying that he was very happy to accept practitioners as new students into the course, which is the first of its kind in the world. And he encouraged the students to work hard.

After these greetings, the students introduced themselves, and Mr. Mitra Baral ended the ceremony on behalf of all the students, expressing their collective determination to acquire strong expertise in disaster management .

The students are already participating in various lectures from top experts in the field and will undertake exercises, field surveys and individual study at ICHARM until next September. ICHARM staff members are all working hard and will continue to do so to provide the students with a training environment that maximizes their achievements. ICHARM appreciates your kind attention and looks forward to your continuing support.

Opening Address by Dr.Sakamoto, Chief Executive of PWRI
Opening Address by Dr.Takeuchi, Director of ICHARM
ii. Flood Hazard Mapping Training Course, 2007

ICAHRM started the Flood Hazard Mapping Training Course 2007 from 29th October to 30th December. This is the 4th year since the course was established in 2004.

The course usually accepts 16 participants from eight countries (China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippine), but this year two more participants from Sri Lanka and Thailand has been specially accepted and will join the 2007 training course.


ICHARM staff has been working on the course curriculum to further improve the content based on the opinions from ex-participants and the issues that came up in the staff review. Town Watching and Flood Hazard Mapping exercises are particularly enhanced in content as priority subjects. Both the subjects have been always found meaningful and practical by a number of participants in the past.

iii. Introduction of "Comprehensive Tsunami Disaster Prevention Training Course"

In December 2004 the Indian Ocean Tsunami caused about 230,000 casualties and enormous property damage. This huge loss is due to not only the great magnitude of the earthquake itself but also the lack of proper preparation for tsunami disasters from the national government level to the local level.

The fact that the word "tsunami" is used around the world implies that in Japan we have a great deal of experience with tsunamis. In fact, we have constructed structural measures such as breakwaters, tsunami gates, sea walls and evacuation towers, in addition to non-structural measures such as tsunami alert systems and hazard maps. Local municipalities along the coast have formulated local disaster management plans and provided disaster prevention education.

To transfer Japan's experience and knowledge to developing countries, ICHARM is planning to begin a "Comprehensive Tsunami Disaster Prevention (CTDP) Training Course" in 2008, which is part of a two-year project called "Building Resilience to Tsunamis in the Indian Ocean" by UN/ISDR.

This project aims at developing qualified human


resources to work for comprehensive tsunami disaster mitigation in developing countries. The trainees will learn the fundamentals as well as the most advanced knowledge and technology on CTDP available in Japan. After returning to their homelands, they are expected to share the know-how acquired through the course with other experts involved as well as to use it to educate their citizens.

The training course consists of two courses. Course A is oriented to structural measures and local disaster management plans, while Course B covers non-structural measures and disaster prevention education. Each course will be held for six weeks in June or July of 2008. The target countries are India, Indonesia, Maldives, and Sri Lanka.

Candidates should be individuals who hold a position of section chief or higher, or its equivalent, in organizations that are mainly responsible for promoting comprehensive tsunami disaster prevention in the next three to five years. For each course, two participants from each country will be accepted.
More detailed information will be available later.

5. Attended International Conferences.
i. Workshop of the ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee
(Bangkok, Thailand; September 10th-13th, 2007)

Mr. Miyake, participated in the Workshop of the Typhoon Committee (TC) held from September 10th to 13th in Bangkok. The TC was established in 1968 and composed of 14 members/countries. The three Working Groups (WGs) in TC, namely Meteorological group, Hydrological group and Disaster Prevention and Preparedness(DPP) group, are actively promoting several projects in a collaborative manner. Mr. Miyake served as the Chair of WG on Hydrology (WGH).


In WGH, current status and future directions, etc. are reviewed for each ongoing project, such as Flood Hazard Mapping (leading country; Japan), Debris flow warning project (Japan), Evaluation of flood forecasting (FF) model performance (Korea), Extension of FF systems(China), On-the-job training of FF (Malaysia). The three groups are now directed to proceed activities in a more integrated manner so that the TC can further contribute to the members/countries.

ii. Asia-Pacific UNESCO Water Centes' Meeting
(Bangkok, Thailand; September 26-27, 2007)

The Asia-Pacific UNESCO Water Centres' Directors Meeting was held at the UNESCO Bangkok Office on September 26-27. Representatives gathered at the meeting from five existing centres (International Research and Training Centre on Erosion and Sedimentation (IRTCES, China), Regional Humid Tropics Hydrology and Water Resources Centre (HTC, Malaysia), Regional Centre on Urban Water Management (RCUWM, Iran), International Center on Qanats and Historic Hydraulic Structures (ICQHHS, Iran), International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM, Japan)) and three prospective centres to be established in the near future (Asia Pacific Centre for Ecohydrology (APCE, Indonesia), International Centre of Water for Food Security (IC Water, Australia), Sustainable Water Engineering and Management Centre (SWEM, Thailand)). Experts on water-related issues also participated in the meeting from UNESCO regional offices in Beijing, Jakarta, Samoa, New Delhi, and Teheran. (The Teheran Office also sent a representative on behalf of ICQHHS.)

Mr. Terakawa, deputy director, attended the meeting representing ICHARM. He gave a presentation on the outline and recent activities of ICHARM and called for the embodiment of mutual


collaboration by taking advantage of the network of UNESCO centres. As one of the conference agenda, Ms. Yamaguchi of the Japan Water Forum informed the participants of the framework of the Asia-Pacific Water Forum and the first Asia-Pacific Water Summit scheduled to be held in Beppu Oita, Japan on December 3-4 this year.

To promote the 7th phase (2008-2013) of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), it is much anticipated that collaboration would be strengthened among UNESCO centres as well as between those centres and UNESCO regional offices.

At the entrance of the UNESCO Bangkok Office
6. Report from Costa Rica.
(Ms.Tsuruta, former coordinator of FHM training course)

It's a pleasure to write for the ICHARM news letter. My name is Toyomi TSURUTA, who is working as a rural development extensionist of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), in Ca?as, Guanacaste Province in Costa Rica.

Before joining the JOCV program, I had worked as a training course coordinator of JICA Tsukuba, and was in charge of the Flood Hazard Mapping (FHM) course at ICHARM in October 2006. The FHM course left me great impression, as it put emphasis on participatory disaster-preparedness such as conducting two times town watching. While I was working for the FHM course, JICA was recruiting the overseas cooperation volunteers, among which I found a position in Costa Rica to work for the enhancement of disaster prevention at the community level. It attracted my attention, so I applied and got the position.

Leaving for Costa Rica at the end of June, I have had 6-week language training in the capital, San Jose, and another month's training at disaster


prevention agencies. After those trainings, finally I moved to my city Canas on Sept 4th. It is a relatively large city with a population of about 20,000. Many rivers and tributaries run around the city, and high precipitation in upstream area often causes inundation in the communities in downstream area. In order to comprehend the current situation, I and my colleague are visiting those communities everyday. Also we are planning for the activities at our municipality and schools for October 9th to 12th, which is the designated national week of education of disaster prevention in Costa Rica.

As I have just moved in to Canas, it will take a while more to draw up my activity plan for 2 years. I will continue the investigation of the area in this year to find priority issues, and from the year 2008, will start working on the issues.

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with abundant nature. I would love you to visit this country.

Beaches in Manuel Antonio National Park

The photo was taken at a district of hotels, a community where its safety committee is the most active around Canas. In the past, the committee organized a workshop using a disaster imagination game with help from the National Committee for Urgent Disasters.

7. Coming Events

ICHARM will hold a symposium entitled "ICHARM Quick Report on Floods 2007" at the ICHARM auditorium on November 6. In this symposium, a collection of quick reports on the most serious floods occurring so far this year will be presented by top local experts responsible for national flood research and management in China, and U.K. The reports will be followed by a panel discussion on global climate change and countermeasures each country is taking to mitigate flood disasters.


The Asia-Pacific Water Summit will be held in Beppu, Oita, Japan, on 3rd -4th December 2007. The grand theme of the summit meeting is "Water Security: Leadership and Commitment." ICHARM is designated as the lead organization of Theme B "Disaster Management."


"East & Southeast Asia Regional Seminar on Flood Hazard Mapping 2008" will be held early February in China. Seminar period will be 3 days.



ICHARM newsletters are distributed via e-mail. They can also be downloaded from our website. To subscribe or unsubscribe to our mailinglist, please contact us via e-mail. We welcome any comments or requests from you to help us make this newsletter more effective and informative.

Issued by: International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management
(ICHARM) under the auspices of UNESCO

1-6 Minamihara, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8516 Japan   
Tel: +81-29-879-6809   
Fax: +81-29-879-6709
e-mail: icharm@pwri.go.jp   URL: http://www.icharm.pwri.go.jp/