ICEM experts facilitate seismic risk assessment workshop in Paro, Bhutan

Paro, Bhutan – 11th December

A small landlocked country, Bhutan is highly susceptible to natural hazards due to unstable geological conditions, steep terrain, elevation differences, variable climatic conditions and proximity to the seismically active Himalaya mountain range. Hazards include floods, heavy rainfall, landslides, earthquakes, glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF), forest fires, droughts and earthquakes. Several strong earthquakes above magnitude 6.0 have occurred over the past century.

Through the Disaster Preparedness Pilot Project (DPPP), funded by the Swiss Red Cross, ICEM is supporting the Department of Disaster Management address these challenges by improving the country’s capacity and systems on contingency planning and preparedness for earthquakes and seismic risk. Specifically, ICEM will facilitate the development of a contingency plan and standard operating procedures for the operation of the national Emergency Operating Center, the initiation and termination of international assistance, and post-earthquake recovery mechanisms.

On 11th December 2018, ICEM experts facilitated a workshop on risk analysis in Paro, Bhutan. Through a range of participatory working sessions, disaster responders and managers from various government departments developed a detailed hazard, vulnerability and capacity assessment for seismic risk in the country. They also brainstormed various earthquake scenarios, plotted on a risk matrix presenting the different scenarios’ likelihood and potential impact. Both the Seismic Hazard, Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment and the scenarios are major inputs for the national Seismic Risk Contingency Plan, to be developed in the first half of 2019.

View the Disaster Preparedness Pilot project page 

View reports from this project 



By |2020-01-10T15:21:38+07:00December 14th, 2018|Bhutan news, News|0 Comments

ICEM hosts session at Annual Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy in Yangon

Yangon, Myanmar – 6th December 2018

On the 4-6th of December 2018, the Inya Lake Hotel in Yangon hosted the 6th annual Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy. This year, around 30 organizations held sessions on a diverse range of topics, from smart innovations for better decision making in Deltas from the Delft University of Technology, Improving Forest-Fungi Systems Agroforestry from the Kunming Institute of Botany, to cross-border water cooperation through sub-national and community-led initiatives in the Ganges and Mekong basins from Oxfam.

Hydropower was a recurring theme – from Oxfam’s session about civil society perspectives of the Strategic Environmental Assessment of Hydropower in Myanmar to a session from Spectrum SDKN about Gender and Resettlement at the Upper Paunglaung Relocation Villages in Myanmar.

This year, ICEM hosted a session under the sub-theme ‘innovative water governance’ on the role of environmental assessment tools in achieving sustainability and resilience in river basin development. Three studies were presented: the SEA of hydropower in Myanmar, SEA of the Lancang-Mekong river development plan, and the ESIA of river training works on the Ayeyarwady, downstream of Mandalay and a panel debate with three regional experts. The presentations aimed to answer three key questions: what lessons can be drawn from these studies to guide future SEA/ESIAs, what are the outstanding issues for resolution and concern, and what are some priority developments which would benefit from these assessment tools. There was great audience participation and enthusiastic discussion, with a key takeaway being the need for greater, and meaningful participation of local people.

ICEM also presented case studies of climate change impact and vulnerability at seven wetland sites on the Mekong at the ‘ShareFair’ poster exhibition space. The case studies are part of the “Basin-wide Climate […]