During the SAM 2 meeting in Ararat, held from Wednesday the 5th till Friday the 7th of December, local stakeholders were invited to discuss the status quo of disaster risk management in the city and help the focal points with their DRM self-assessment.
All important policy fields and agencies were represented during this meeting. After an introduction about the goal of the meeting and explanation of the self-assessment framework the stakeholders were asked to give their opinion about the different topics in the framework. After discussion it was concluded that, within the current governance framework of Armenia, the priorities for the DRM strategy of Ararat should be to develop a Disaster Risk Assessment to show the need for DRM actions and to develop and implement a structured DRM planning process (led by the focal points), in order to show that Ararat is capable enough to work on DRM. These basic capacities should ensure donors that Ararat is capable to implement structural DRM policies, so that funds can be acquired for targeted prevention and preparedness actions. The results of this discussion will be reflected in the self-assessment report.
In general, the stakeholders were very enthusiastic about the session and their involvement in it. They are willing to learn about EU approaches to DRM. The stakeholders asked the Core Team to provide a training in multi-hazard risk assessment during the next SAM.
They also suggested the focal points to involve them more often during the project and as a more permanent committee after the project. They stressed the importance of a more structural governance of DRM in Ararat, using a focal point to coordinate the work.
Spitak 30 International Conference
The stakeholder meeting was not the only activity during this SAM. Focal point Hripsime Aghagulyan and Core Team members Ruud Houdijk en Nico van Os also participated in the “Spitak 30 International Conference” in Yerevan. Beside the useful information as provided during the different presentations the team members benefitted from their presence because of the fact that the focal point of Ararat met a lot of people from national level of Armenia and from the scientific community. These new contacts will help Ararat in future to build their DRM network and capabilities.
During a two hour poster presentation session the team presented the Capacities project as foreseen in the Dissemination Work Package of the project. The project was explained to several interested participants and a flyer was spread among the participants. The conference syllabus included an abstract of the CapaCities project about seismic retrofitting.
Participation activities related to commemoration of earthquake victims
During the Friday morning the focal points and Core team members participated in the local commemoration of the Spitak earthquake victims from 1988. During a short ceremony flowers were brought to the Spitak earthquake monument. This ceremony was followed by an impressing ceremony at the school in Ararat. At the end of this ceremony there was an opportunity for the team to discuss with the students about Disaster Risk Management.