-2006 Dec, Philippines

Name/Title The 39th Session of the Typhoon Committee
Venue: Country,City Manila, Philippines
Date Dec. 4-9, 2006

1. About Typhoon Committee
The Typhoon Committee (TC) was co-founded by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) with an aim to reduce disasters caused by typhoons in the Pacific Rim countries. The TC is a research institute which proposes measures to share data and reduce damage, and discusses the direction of these measures. The member countries are China, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, and the U.S. China includes mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, and they are treated as three different countries in the Committee.

The Typhoon Committee Secretariat (TCS) is located in Manila, the Philippines, and workshops are held in fall, and a general assembly meeting is held around December every year in the member countries in turn. The Committee consists of three components, the Meteorology Component, Hydrology Component, and Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Component. The sediment-related disaster prevention project is placed under the control of the Hydrology Component. From Japan, members of Japan Meteorological Agency take part in the meteorology session, members of River Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport take part in the hydrology session, members of Disaster Management, Cabinet Office take part in the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness session every year. Regarding Sabo, Japan takes in charge of the sediment-related disaster prevention project.
The 39th general assembly meeting was held in Manila, the Philippines from December 4 through December 9, 2006. (See Photo 1.)

2. Overview of Meeting
Date: December 4 - December 9, 2006 (6 days)
Place: Manila Hotel, Manila, the Philippines
Participating countries: U.S., China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Japan. Total 10 countries. (No participation of North Korea, Cambodia, and Laos)

  • Indonesia participated as an observer.

Participants from Japan:
[Hydrology Session]

Minoru Kuriki, Executive Coordinator for International Affairs, Public Works Research Institute
Katsuhito Miyake (moderator of hydrology session), Director, Research Department, Water Resources Environment Technology Center (WEC)
Naohiko Shioi, Deputy-Director, Sabo Department, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
Hideaki Mizuno, Senior Researcher, National Institute of Land and Infrastructure Management, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
Hideki Araki, Senior Researcher, Infrastructure Development Institute
Masaki Hiruma, Chief, International Affairs Division, Planning Department, SABO Technical Center
[Meteorology Session]
Kunio Sakurai, Director-General, Forecast Department, Japan Meteorological Agency
Nobutaka Mannoji, Head, National Typhoon Center, Forecast Division, Forecast Department, Japan Meteorological Agency
Tomoaki Ozaki, Senior Scientific Officer, Office of International Affairs, Planning Division, Japan Meteorological Agency
[Disaster Prevention Session]
Eiji Aoki, Director for Planning (Mitigation), Cabinet Office (Disaster Management), Government of Japan
Shingo KOCHI, Researcher, Asian Disaster Reduction Center

Table 1 Program

Mon, Dec. 4, 2006 AM: Opening session, Individual sessions
PM: Report on activities in 2006 (Overall activities, respective activities of Meteorology Component, Hydrology Component, and Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Component, activities of related organizations)
Tue, Dec. 5 Report on activities in 2006 (by participating countries)
Wed, Dec. 6 Report on activities in 2006 (by participating countries)
Discussion of the strategic plan for 2007 - 2011
Thu. Dec. 7 Discussion of the budget for 2007
Signing ceremony for relocation of the secretariat
Discussion of the structural reform
Fri. Dec. 8 Academic lecture
Inspection tour to facilities in Manila
Sat. Dec. 9 Academic lecture
Collection and distribution of reports
Closing session

3. Overview of Discussions
One of the noteworthy points of this meeting is determination of the Strategic Plan 2007 - 2011. While the Typhoon Committee has carried on with its activities based on the joint action plan (RCPIP) in the member countries so far, there is a difference in the progress between the countries. To further advance the activities, the Strategic Plan 2007 - 2011, of which necessity had been discussed for a long time, was worked out and discussed in the 37th and 38th general assembly meeting in Shanghai and Vietnam, and the details of the activities and concrete goals were determined to reduce typhoon-related disasters in the member countries.

This Strategic Plan, with seven Key Resulted Areas and Strategic Goals, aims at addressing the problems of loss of human lives, social and economical loss, risk management, development of community, distribution and sharing of information, etc.
The following is a sediment-related disaster related activity.

  • Key Resulted Area - 1: Reduction of human damage caused by typhoon disasters
    Nonbinding Goal: To reduce the death toll by typhoon related disaster in 10 years from 2006 - 2015 by half from the death toll during the period from 1990 - 1999.
As one of the projects for the above activity (each component carries out several projects), a project of “establishing a flash flood warning system for flash floods including debris flows, landslides, and collapse” was included in the Strategic Plan.

4. Others
In November 30, 2006, just before the general meeting was held, Typhoon Durian (international name; called Typhoon No. 21 in Japan) hit the Philippines, and a large-scale mudslide disaster occurred in the surrounding areas of Mayon Volcano, Luzon, Philippines. Emergency reports on this disaster were made by Ministry of Science and Technology and Meteorological Agency of the Philippines or Meteorological Agency. (See Photo 2.) An intensive question and answer session was held, correlating with vivid coverage of local newspapers and TV news.
Incidentally, the Typhoon Committee Secretariat, which has been located in Manila for long time, is going to be relocated to Macau in 2007. During the meeting, a signing ceremony for the relocation was also held by the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines and the chairman of the Typhoon Committee. (See Photo 3.) I hope that the Typhoon Committee will carry out vigorous activities with this fresh start.

Conference room for the general assembly meeting

Emergency report on Typhoon Durian by Ministry of Science and Technology, Philippine

Signing ceremony for relocation of the secretariat