Improving Early Warning Systems, Enhancing Cities Resilience Against Climate Disaster
- Category: News
- Published: Wednesday, 15 December 2021 16:18
- Written by Maria Serenade
The planet has witnessed the paralysing impact of extreme weather on our lives throughout 2021. The Global Climate Report has documented the increase of climate-induced disasters from the Eastern to Southern hemisphere. At a national level, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) sounded the alarm of the extreme weather incidents that will take place until mid-December 2021. Improving early warning systems is one of the key strategies for Climate Resilient and Inclusive Cities (CRIC) in the three pilot cities, Pangkalpinang, Bandar Lampung, and Ternate, to prepare cities and communities to anticipate imminent disasters.
The World Meteorological Agency reported that floods had forced at least 557,000 people to leave their homes in Indonesia in the first semester of 2021. Flood incidents -triggered by climate factors- exacerbated because of decreased environmental carrying capacity in runoff absorption due to deforestation, urbanisation and land degradation. In the same year, Cyclone Seroja struck Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara and Flores, claiming 230 lives.
What about CRIC's pilot cities? In Pangkalpinang, floods are likely to increase due to rising sea levels. The City was heavily flooded in 2016 during high-intensity rainfall season and its 30-year hydrological cycle. In Bandar Lampung, the City Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) identified eight sub-districts and nine urban villages prone to floods. Meanwhile, in Ternate, tidal waves and high tides destroyed infrastructure, residential areas and tourism sites. It is critical to strengthen early warning systems to save more lives, reduce losses and increase urban resilience.
Enhancing disaster risk map with climate change components
Professor Youssef Diab, a Université Gustave Eiffel's early warning system (EWS) expert, said in the "Early Warning System and Flood Management in Pangkalpinang" webinar, October 1, 2021, that the EWS development needs to consider five crucial elements. "We need to look at the needs of the targeted community, the specificity of the area that will determine the type of EWS to be developed, the level of risk and the local culture in dealing with risks," he said.
In the EWS development, cities also need to strengthen other EWS sub-systems. Within the context of flood and landslide EWS, there are seven supporting and interconnected sub-systems, which are (1) risk assessment, (2) dissemination and communication, (3) emergency response team, (4) evacuation guidelines, (5) Standard Operating Procedures, (6) monitoring, early warning, evacuation rehearsals, (7) local commitment and authorities.
Learning from CRIC's cities, developing an integrated EWS from upstream to downstream is needed. In the upstream, the need is to improve data, information and web-based Geographical Information Systems. In the middle, CRIC will push for communication tools and information dissemination. In the downstream area, building community capacity is required to anticipate disasters through the existing programme, Desa Tangguh Bencana (Disaster-Resilient Village). Moreover, it is urgent to have "a disaster risk map supported by climate change components and enhanced by extreme weather information that is relevant 50 until 100 years ahead.”
Spatial planning and community engagement
EWS development is crucial, in line with other flood management initiatives at a city level. “In Pangkalpinang, we have to ensure that urban development aligns with the Spatial Planning. Furthermore, we need to engage local communities and promote new income-generation opportunities to reduce mining activities and curb deforestation,” said Maman Sudirman from the Watershed Management Office of Baturusa Cecuruk.
Weighing in the discussion, Pilot4Dev’s Pascaline Gaborit mentioned a couple of solutions that cities can develop to complement the EWS tool, such as flood-adaptive infrastructure and nature-based solutions. In Ternate, mangrove is a natural barrier protecting coastal communities against coastal abrasion. Mangrove ecosystem also provides an alternative source of income from a fishery sector.
CRIC collaborates with Université Gustave Eiffel and Pilot4Dev to develop the EWS tool in Pangkalpinang, Ternate dan Bandar Lampung from 2021 to 2022. Tool testing, followed by tool adoption, will take place in 2023-2024.
 State of Climate in 2021: Extreme Events and Major Impacts, World Meteorological Organization, 2021, https://library.wmo.int/doc_num.php?explnum_id=10859, p.34
 Summarised from the Urban Analysis Reports of Pangkalpinang, Bandar Lampung and Ternate, Climate Resilient and Inclusive Cities, 2020.
 Summarised from the CRIC FGD Report: Thematic Sector and Tools Development, Climate Resilient and Inclusive Cities, 2021.
 Putra Dwitama in the “Early Warning System and Flood Management in Pangkalpinang” webinar, October 1, 2021