What did we learn and what can we share with others through the experience of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011? With the slogan "Save more lives in less time," Civic Force put effort in developing a disaster response system to prepare for possible disasters in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Strengthening tie-up with NGOs acting in the quake-prone Asian countries, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan Laying the groundwork to support NGOs through financial assistance from business communities and governments of each county Establishing the disaster response system for disaster management led by NGOs acting in the Asia-Pacific Region
Civic Force is a solidarity body of NPOs/NGOs, private companies, central government and local governments and it aims to quickly respond to large-scale disasters in Japan.
Since our establishment in 2009, we have made an effort to provide a smooth and effective support system by sharing and making use of the information, people, capital and goods of each body. To prepare for possible disasters, a conference in Hiroshima was held with specialists of disaster management in April 2009. In accordance with the result of the Hiroshima Conference, we organized the "Asia-Pacific Relief Summit" in September 2011 at the United Nations University Building in Tokyo, inviting NGOs' representatives of disaster relief networks, business communities and government officials from Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan. The opening forum of the multilateral summit gathered over 170 participants.
In the face-to-face meeting, opportunities to deepen exchanges between business leaders who are promoting disaster relief activities in the Asia-Pacific Region, and NGO representatives who manage disaster relief network were made possible. As a result, participants were able to build not only a friendly network but also a mutual support system, which enables them to provide financial support and needed information quickly and effectively, in case of emergency.
The idea of the "Asia- Pacific Disaster Relief Platform Initiative" aims to create and strengthen mutual support among the National Platforms of each country; cooperate to promote social awareness; conduct fund-raising; work together quickly in case of disaster, based on the agreement.
We held a preparatory meeting, which aims to build National Platform in each country by June 2012, in accordance with the discussion and agreement of the "Asia-Pacific Disaster Relief Platform Initiative" of September 30, 2011. We disclosed the project at the 5th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) which will be held in October 2012. Civic Force believes that this platform initiative, which has promoted mutual, cross-border, and cross-organized tie-up, will contribute to save more lives and we hope to continue to do our best to establish this network. This project is supported by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.