Side Event at World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku
3 Jul 2012 - 4 Jul 2012
Sendai, Japan

The World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku took place on 3-4 July in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. UNCRD organized a booth at a side event to disseminate the information materials from the UNCRD Tohoku Workshop, entitled “Reconstruction towards Sustainable Communities: Promotion of Locally-based Industries with All-Stakeholder Approach”.

The Great East Japan Earthquake which struck on 11 March 2011 wreaked devastation across many areas of northern Japan. The process of recovery is well underway, and the focus has been shifting to the reconstruction phase, however, the reconstruction efforts have only just begun. It is necessary to address challenges in employment in the Tohoku region for the future and promote business opportunities -- another challenge that has to be urgently tackled.

Against this backdrop, UNCRD organized workshops and site visits in three prefectures in the Tohoku region (Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures) from 27 February to 2 March 2012, financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. UNCRD engaged experts from Japan and abroad visited local government and communities. The workshops were intended to share the experiences of community reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and to exchange information and experiences among representative of local communities and experts. Practical ideas were also exchanged to support the economic activities of local communities, particularly community-based eco-friendly industries. In addition, exchange of information was made regarding the role of NGOs and NPOs in reconstruction efforts. UNCRD compiled the information derived from the workshops in this report, with the aim of disseminating relevant information to the rest of the world.

The side event of the Conference was an opportunity to disseminate to an international audience the information materials. The report was displayed at UNCRD’s booth, where the Centre had invited Ishinomaki Senshu University and Iwaki Meisei University, two partners involved in the Tohoku workshop, to also display posters, publications, and even prototypes (for instance, a soil decontaminating device) developed through their respective social and engineering work and programmes adapted to respond to the needs of the affected communities of the region.

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