March 8, 2019
Building on the success of the Program since its establishment in 2014, the Government of Japan approved in December 2018 the renewal of the Program for another 5 years with support from Japan’s Ministry of Finance. The renewed Program will be implemented with a thematic focus on: i) Resilient Infrastructure, ii) Risk Identification, Risk Reduction, and Preparedness, and iii) Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI).
To commemorate the renewal of the Program, the Tokyo Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Hub hosted the 20th Public Seminar “Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries (the Program): Partnership between Japan and the World Bank in mainstreaming disaster risk management”.
The public seminar provided a strategic overview of how the partnership between the Government of Japan and the World Bank is expanding efforts to mainstream DRM in developing country strategies and investments. In addition, the event featured a panel discussion on resilient infrastructure, inviting Japanese and World Bank experts to discuss recent trends and opportunities in resilient infrastructure investment.
Importance of Resilient Infrastructure
After welcome remarks by Mr. Masato Miyazaki, the World Bank’s Special Representative of Japan, Mr. Hideaki Imamura, Director of the Japan Ministry of Finance’s Multilateral Development Banks Division, International Bureau, underlined the importance of the Program’s continued focus on mainstreaming DRM in developing countries and the alignment of the renewed Program’s focus to G20’s priority on quality infrastructure through support for resilient infrastructure. Ms. Bernice K. Van Bronkhorst, Director of the World Bank’s Climate Change Group, highlighted in her keynote speech that there is a strong demand for investment in resilient infrastructure – the G20 estimates $94 trillion in infrastructure investments are required by 2040 to meet the global demand for access to lifeline services. In response to these challenges, the Program will continue to partner with World Bank teams across the various sectors to strengthen resilience throughout the lifetime of an infrastructure investment, from designing, construction, to maintenance, and for contingency programming and emergency management. Lastly, Ms. Megumi Muto, Director General, Global Environment Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) presented JICA initiatives in disaster risk reduction and emphasized the importance of the partnership with the World Bank in promoting resilience in development projects and infrastructure.
Panel discussion on Resilient Infrastructure
The panel discussion was opened by Ms. Julie Dana, Practice Manager of the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Ms. Dana highlighted the need to invest in resilient infrastructure to protect life and property and expedite recovery and minimize disruptions to economic activity. She also highlighted Japan’s leadership in promoting resilient infrastructure in development work.
Against this backdrop, three panelists: Mr. Shigeo Araki, Nippon Civic Consulting Engineers Co., Ltd; Mr. Yoshihiro Yamashita, Japan Water Agency (JWA); and Mr. Atsuhiro Yorozuya, Public Works Research Institution, were invited to present on how the Program leveraged Japanese knowledge and expertise in resilient infrastructure to mainstream DRM in developing countries during the Program’s first phase. (Please refer to the agenda for the profiles of the panelists.)
First, Mr. Araki shared his reflections from his technical assistance mission to assist the Lima Peru Metro Line 2 and Quito Ecuador Metro Line 1 projects, during which he provided technical expertise in the establishment of seismic standards and designs of underground metro structures. He highlighted that the sharing of the Japanese seismic standards for underground structures enabled the counterparts to add supplementary elements to strengthen their existing standards.
Next, Mr. Yamashita, who has been supporting the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) in India since 2017, shared his experience in contributing to the development of the post-earthquake inspection manual for Ichari Dam. The common practice in Japan is to install seismometers in dams so that operators immediately implement relevant responsive measures according to the scale of earthquakes. The challenge was that Indian dams lack seismometers, which was overcome by establishing in the manual a new communication route with the Meteorological Agency, which was able to send monitoring results from their seismometers to dam operators in case of earthquakes.
Lastly, Mr. Yorozuya, shared challenges the Government of Sindh faced in tackling accumulation of sediments in the main canals and barrages, as the region is the most downstream province of the Indus River. Through a joint workshop in Japan with the Irrigation Department of the Government of Sindh on sediment monitoring and analysis of the lower Indus River, technical assistance focusing on capacity building of government officials on sediment hydraulics was provided. This workshop also included a field-based training in Hokkaido’s Ishikari River and introduced Government of Sindh officials to a range of sedimentation monitoring methods and equipment used in Japan.
This event signified the strong and continuous partnership between Japan and the World Bank towards the common goal of supporting developing countries in mainstreaming disaster risk management. Resilient Infrastructure will be one of the Program’s main thematic focus areas to respond to the strong global demands, and to strengthen resilience of lifeline infrastructure critical to our lives. As Japan has some of the most innovative and resilient infrastructure systems in the world, Japanese leadership and expertise have been and will continue to be a critical source of knowledge and experiences informing WB operations.
20th Disaster Risk Management Seminar "Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries Program: Partnership between Japan and the World Bank in mainstreaming disaster risk management"
Knowledge Exchange Workshop on Seismic Resilience and Underground Metro Structures
Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) in India
Support to Government of Sindh, Pakistan on sediment monitoring and analysis of the lower Indus River