Editorial: Share All Lessons, but Don’t Forget to Learn
Just as the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu is recovering from a devastating storm, world leaders are gathered in Japan for a United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. Indonesia is represented at the Sendai conference by Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who wisely called for greater international cooperation to anticipate and mitigate the effects of future disasters.
The vice president said that Indonesia is willing to share the lessons it learned from disasters like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake. Indonesia as a disaster-prone country has plenty to share in this field, but also plenty to learn. In terms of risk reduction, every disaster provides new lessons. Every disaster lays bare mistakes that should not be repeated.
The vice president was also quoted as saying, by Antara news agency, that Indonesia has invested in boosting the skills and capacities of rescue workers and in empowering local communities as the first line of support in the event of a natural disaster.
However, “we must understand that these are all long-term efforts, which require international cooperation at all levels so that we can increase the capacities of all developing nations,” Kalla said.
Better international cooperation to more efficiently help those in dire need after disasters like the one that just hit Vanuatu is of great importance, just like making sure that people are well-prepared for times of catastrophe.
What we should not overlook, however, is the importance of educating communities about how they can help prevent disasters that are often part natural and part man-made — such as the yearly floods that hit Jakarta and other parts of Indonesia, and deadly landslides across the country.
There are already plenty of lessons out there, just waiting to finally be learned.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe