Friday, January 13, 2012

Disaster Risk Science for Disaster Risk Reduction


Ta'bir Gempa Koleksi Tarmizi A Hamid, B. Aceh
Tulisan di bawah ini sengaja saya upload, untuk dapat dibandingkan dengan teks manuskrip Ta'bir Gempa tidak terlepas dari dua pembahasan (fokus) utama, adalah Ilmu Bencana dan Teologi. Kedua saling berkaitan dan tidak terlepas dari satu dengan lainnya. Ide pemikiran yang diungkapkan oleh Jonatan Lassa tidak berbeda jauh dengan konsep naskah Ta'bir Gempa yang ditulis 200 tahun yang lalu (abad ke-19 M), bahwa ilmu kebencanaan dengan teologi (akidah) adalah dua hal yang saling terkait dan menyatu.

Berikut ini tulisannya yang saya upload dari The Jakarta Post:

The ultimate goal of disaster risk science is to understand disasters and risks. In fact, understanding disaster risks and their cause-effect chains does not necessarily benefit vulnerable communities.

Disaster risk science might be best called crowd science, because its strength lies in both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary subjects —basic sciences, engineering, social and economic sciences, philosophy and theology.

Every approach has its strengths and weaknesses. Some claim that the science consists of 20s subjects.
Some even count more than 30 to include the least-used subjects such as graph and network theory, a branch of mathematics.

In Indonesia, the systematic study of disasters through an interdisciplinary approach is just beginning. If we watch tsunami videos from Dec. 26, 2004, we witness how nature demonstrates its forces.

In many of Aceh’s coastal areas, humans and animals were swept away like debris. The event teaches us that if humans cannot make sense of the events through mitigating and adjusting to the forces of nature, our humanity will be replaced with animalistic behavior or even worse, because some animals saved themselves by following their instincts.

After the tsunami in Aceh, the province experienced a great deal of brain drain because, as many scientists and students were killed in the disasters and sorely missed.

Responding to this loss, international and national organizations made noble investment in human capital. Some of the efforts include creating a new and stronger research institution in disaster risk science, namely the TDMRC (Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center) and the establishment of the Aceh Tsunami Museum.

Today, the TDMRC is 6 years old. Many people want to know what is going on in Aceh, six years after the tsunami, especially what the TDMRC has done. Recently, the TDMRC organized the Sixth Annual Conference of AIWEST-DR (Annual International Workshop and Expo on the Sumatra Tsunami Disaster and Recovery) on Nov. 22–24, 2011 in Banda Aceh.

It was held in conjunction with 4th South China Sea Tsunami Workshop. At least 38 international researchers and 175 national participants attended and presented papers.

Based on the perspectives of its international participants, the TDMRC has made a great deal of progress in terms of the quality of the AIWEST-DR Conference and the direction of the TDMRC.

In general, national participants agreed more on the improved quality of the annual AIWEST-DR conference. However, in regards to the TDMRC, the national participants could be divided into two clubs. The first says there has been a great deal of progress.

In terms of teaching, the TDRMC has made excellent first steps, as it has recorded its first batch of 70 master’s students in the multi-disciplinary disaster risk science.

We are also happy to see hundreds of young scientists showing interest in disaster studies. In terms of the need of human resources in disaster risk governance, Indonesia needs at least 2,000 knowledgeable workers in its disaster management authorities in all 33 provinces and 500 districts and or cities.

Supposing that there is adequate support from all, the TDRMC can also help train local bureaucrats from the other 32 provinces, and Indonesia can be blessed by the TDMRC.

The TDMRC has a great deal of comparative advantages in terms of resources and facilities. It has also enjoyed a great deal of international support compared with similar research institutions in Indonesia.

Of the approximately 30 disaster related research institutions, probably 90 percent suffered from a lack of funds and poor human resources. It is therefore suggested that the central government and the higher education directorate general (DIKTI) should see the TDMRC’s strategic position as an emerging knowledge hub for disaster risk science in Indonesia.

The Indonesian Science Institute (LIPI) should also provide a clear road map of disaster risk science planning, which at present is not yet available for the public.

Tsunami science was invented for tsunami risk reduction. The question is how has investment in the science paid off? Amid the present context (quality) of disaster risk management bureaucrats, how has investment in disaster risk knowledge led to an improvement in vulnerable people’s understanding?

How has an improved understanding in Disaster and Recovery (DR) knowledge improved people’s preparedness and resilience to disasters?

How can the investment be sustained in the near future, where there will likely be donor fatigue for investment in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) knowledge and research?

There are probably more questions than answers, as people’s expectations are probably too high, and the TDMRC needs more time answer the questions.

There are already too many expectations. It is not fair to put too much burden to the still-young TDMRC. Its path to being a research based institution started in late 2009.

From a management science perspective, managing expectations of diverse stakeholders is a difficult job. However, expectations may mean different ways of expressing ownership and aspirations.

The sixth AIWEST-DR in 2011 had an added bonus for its invited participants. One of the bonuses was a visit to the Aceh Tsunami Museum (ATM).

In fact, the ATM serves more as a science museum rather than simply a collective memory manufacturing machine.

It is not exactly like the science museum in Boston, but it is quite instrumental for kids and students to learn about the science of tsunamis and other natural hazards.

The ATM, which acts as a sister institute to the TDMRC, also provides knowledge and information on natural hazards to the visiting schoolchildren. One of the kids that I interviewed at the Museum was named Zee, short for Zaklima. The 7-year-old girl explained to me what a settlement condition after earthquakes was, and explained how earthquakes and plate movements occurred.

We expect more optimistic views of the progress of disaster science in Aceh, with some realistic expectations that, apart from being relevant and sharp experts on the disaster risk science, the TDMRC can play a role in as an effective risk communicator at multiple levels and in multiple contexts. This includes creative approaches to the scientists’ roles as social and policy innovators.

The good news is that Aceh’s people have a similar spirit, which we call the “Aceh Dancers’ Approach”: It begins with slow movements in the beginning, and then it gets faster and faster and faster, and then the dancers suddenly stop.

In a dance, there are several stops, and the stops are not about being stagnant. The stops are transitional periods that mark the beginning of a new and interesting and dynamic performance.

The show demonstrates the true inner resilience of the people that needs to be explored. We wish good luck for sustainable disaster risk science development in Aceh — and Indonesia.

Jonatan A. Lassa is a disastrologist with a PhD from the University of Bonn and a research fellow at SCEE Nanyang University of Technology in Singapore. Syamsidik holds a PhD from Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan and is a research fellow at TDMRC, Syiah Kuala University in Aceh.


source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/12/06/disaster-risk-science-disaster-risk-reduction.html
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