Mandalay – Myanmar is prone to multiple hazards due to its geophysical terrain and location. The country is also experiencing more severe hydro-meteorological events such as severe flooding – induced by heavy rainfall and drought due to extreme temperatures. Because of this, the management of risks and disasters is now more challenging and disaster managers need to have better understanding of risk information and its integration in disaster preparedness and response. It is also vital to ensure that quality climate risk information/early warning is provided in a timely manner, so that response mechanisms are deployed appropriately to save lives and assets.
UNDP with the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) is organizing a two-day training on Climate Risk Information Management and Dissemination for 51 media personnel from the Dry Zone of Myanmar (covering Sagaing, Mandalay and Magwe regions). The training aims to enhance knowledge of media personnel on climate related risks and climate information services and products – so they are able to disseminate timely and accurate climate risk information to stakeholders.
“The training is the first of its kind and I am very happy that the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology is collaborating with media. Media plays an important role in informing the people, especially during extreme events and we really value the collaboration” – said U Kyaw Lwin Oo, Director, Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.
During the training, DMH officials briefed the media personnel on hydro-meteorological and geological hazards, their drivers, recurrence/manifestations and impacts. They were also briefed on how to interpret climate risk information of various timescales and the implications of these information in the local context. The participants were also introduced to the Adaptation Fund Project by the UNDP Project Team.
Among others, the project has helped DMH in the development of a mobile application that disseminates location-specific, multi-timescales climate information and services that will enable farmers to adapt to and cope with extreme events.
“The role of media is vital in climate risk information dissemination. This is particularly crucial during extreme events/disasters. A slight mistake in information dissemination will result in costly response measures – which are often irreversible. UNDP is pleased to assist Department of Meteorology and Hydrology in their efforts to enhance resilience of communities in Myanmar.” – said Mr. Peter Batchelor, Country Director of UNDP.
The training is provided as part of the project “Addressing Climate Change Risks on Water Resources and Food Security in the Dry Zone of Myanmar.” The project aims to benefit more than 250,000 people living in five townships - Shwebo and Monywa in Sagaing Region, Myingyan and Nyaung Oo in Mandalay Region, and Chauk in Magway Region.
The project makes freshwater available to communities during the dry season and provides skills and tools for climate-resilient agricultural and livestock practices and climate risk information management.
The USD 7.9 million, four-year project, the first in Myanmar to receive funding from the Adaptation Fund, is being implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC), and specifically the Dry Zone Greening Department based in Mandalay. The project started in 2015 and will conclude in 2019.
Following the training, media personnel will visit project sites in the dry zone and interview beneficiaries to report success stories from the field.