Because Japan, like much of Asia, is increasingly natural disaster-prone municipal governments are joining with others to highlight the importance of everyone’s actions to reduce disaster risks. At one of the best organized events – the Lake Town DRR Festival 2019 at the Aeon Mall in Koshigaya – CWS and other NGOs were active participants along with fire brigades, police and self-defense forces. Since the role of civil society, including non-profit (non-government) organizations in disaster risk reduction is not widely recognized in Japan, CWS was glad for the change to highlight its work on this issue across in Asia, including hazard mapping in eastern Afghanistan, road improvement in southwest Myanmar, landslide prevention and impact mitigation in northern Vietnam, and drought control in southeast Pakistan. Importantly CWS also highlighted its domestic disaster work with a photo display and a lesson learned booklet about civil society’s role in responding to devastating floods in Mabi-cho in Okayama Prefecture last year. Also available for those who stopped by the CWS booth were copies of the Citizen’s Guide to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Besides bringing information about the roles of civil society in both disaster risk reduction, mitigation and response, the Lake Town event helped CWS Japan build further contacts and more rapport with colleagues from the crisis management unit of local governments, with university professors, and with private sector leaders.
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