24.01.2013 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Press Release: Training Course on "Integrated Flood Analysis System" in Jakarta, Indonesia

A need to assess the state of the art in countermeasures against flood disasters in Asia and the Pacific region is of paramount importance. This is also supported by the increase in flooding events in recent years attributed to climatic change and global warming. Countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, China, Korea, and Vietnam suffer continuously from unpredicted flooding events. Therefore it is timely to look at the effectiveness of the present flood forecasting, early warning, control and management systems put in place in these countries in terms of non-structural measures. The impacts of floods on social and economic are severe enough and require countries affected to continuously seek for more effective countermeasures against flood disasters in order to minimize losses incurred.

In order to address such issues, UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme, in particular its Regional Steering Committee  for Southeast Asia and Pacific (IHP RSC SEAP), as the platform for IHP activities in the region, in its 16th session in 2008 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, agreed to carry out the Assessment on Flood Forecasting and Warning System Project in order to understand the different  mechanisms and systems used to provide effective forecasting, warning and countermeasures to the general public affected by floods, in the different countries of the region.

With support from the Japanese MEXT (Japanese Funds-in-Trust), assessments were successfully conducted in ten countries (Australia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao P.D.R, Malaysia, Philippines, Rep. of Korea, Thailand and Vietnam) in collaboration with UNESCO Category II Water Centers i.e. Humid Tropics Center in Malaysia and the International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM) in Japan from 2009 to 2011.

As a continuation of such comprehensive study on Flood Forecasting and Warning System (FFWS), the project together with ICHARM, will focus on the organisation of “in country training courses” on the Integrated Flood Analysis System (IFAS) and FFWS data interpretation.

IFAS is a concise flood-runoff analysis system developed by ICHARM as a toolkit for more effective and efficient flood forecasting in developing countries. This system is called "Integrated Flood Analysis System (IFAS)" and provides interfaces to input not only satellite-based but ground-based rainfall data, as well as GIS functions to create river channel network and to estimate parameters of a default runoff analysis engine and interfaces to display output results. ICHARM aims at conducting training seminars for users to utilize IFAS and to do a co-operative study with local governments, organizations, etc. ICHARM and UNESCO hope that IFAS will be widely used as a basic tool for preparing flood forecasting and warning systems in insufficiently gauged basins.

The first training course, sponsored by the Japanese Funds in Trust and UNESCO was organized in Vietnam. The second training course was organized from 15 to 17 January 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia in collaboration with the Indonesian IHP National Committee and Asia Pacific Center for Ecohydrology (APCE) – LIPI. The training course gathered approximately 25 participants from government institutions, research organizations and universities involved in flood forecasting in Indonesia.

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