A ceremony took place on 12 April 2023 to launch the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the North-eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean, and connected seas Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/NEAMTWS) 2030 Strategy (Technical Series and Brochure); and two new Tsunami Ready and Coastal Hazard Ready Posters. The ceremony was organized during the ICG/NEAMTWS Steering Committee meeting, 12-13 April at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France with the participation of the ICG/NEAMTWS Steering Committee Members and Permanent Delegates to UNESCO from France, Italy, Portugal, and Türkiye (NEAMTWS Tsunami Service Provider countries). Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO provided an opening speech. The launch ceremony aimed to raise visibility and awareness of the ICG/NEAMTWS 2030 Strategy, share and promote the work and activities including the Tsunami Ready Recognition Programme of the ICG/NEAMTWS and the Tsunami Resilience Section; and strengthen connections and cooperation with NEAM UNESCO Permanent Delegations.
From top to bottom and left right: Presentation of ICG/NEAMTWS 2030 Strategy booklet by Mr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of IOC-UNESCO to Ms. Gülnur Aybet, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Türkiye to UNESCO; Mr. Denis Chang, Technical Secretary of the ICG/NEAMTWS presenting the Tsunami ready Poster; Group picture of the launch ceremony participants. Photographs credits: Tsunami Resilience Section team.
The Strategy will contribute to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), working towards a “safe ocean” where people are protected from ocean hazards. It will capitalize on the Ocean Decade societal benefits to improve monitoring, detection, and data-sharing among ICG/NEAMTWS Member States and partners. Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, the Executive Secretary of IOC, emphasized “The Tsunami Resilience Section coordinates a 24-hour service that protects the lives of people, the only operational service in UNESCO-IOC that does this, therefore it is extremely important for the lives and safety of coastal communities. My job as the Executive Secretary of the IOC is to see the ICG/NEAMTWS 2030 Strategy is well integrated into the framework of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and exploit the opportunities that arise with it”.
The ICG/NEAMTWS 2030 Strategy identifies key objectives, and foundational elements for a continuously improving NEAM Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System (TEWS) to meet stakeholder needs during the period (2021–2030), and it is supported by annual to biannual Plans of Action. It will also contribute to the new Ocean Decade Tsunami Programme (ODTP) Research and Development Implementation Plan which will be considered for endorsement by the IOC Assembly in June 2023. Dr. Denis Chang Seng, Technical Secretary of the ICG/NEAMTWS, highlighted that “The ICG/NEAMTWS 2030 Strategy together with the Ocean Decade Tsunami Programme and the Research Development and Implementation Plan will drive and define the next major milestones across all the three key pillars of a Tsunami Early Warning System in NEAM region. The five Tsunami Service Providers countries in France, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Türkiye are the torch bearers to spearhead the way forward and support the engagement and participation of other countries in tsunami risk reduction”. The ICG/NEAMTWS 2030 Strategy brochure is also designed as a communication support tool to reach out to a broader audience, including the Ocean Decade community and partners. The full version of the NEAMTWS 2030 Strategy is published as IOC Technical Series, 171 (IOC/2022/TS/171).
The two Tsunami Ready posters were conceptually designed by Dr. Denis Chang Seng, Programme Specialist, and Technical Secretary of the ICG/NEAMTWS, Tsunami Resilience Section; and Mr. Alejandro Rojas, Tsunami Resilience Section Consultant. The posters will contribute to raising education and awareness of tsunami and other sea level-related coastal hazards by highlighting key aspects (i.e. Know Your Risk, Stay on Alert during anticipated hazards, Participate in Exercises, and Go to Safe Place) to be prepared based on the 12 Tsunami Ready Indicators (Manuals and Guides 74). The posters are not limited to the NEAM region countries, but will also be distributed to all four regional Intergovernmental Coordination Groups in the Pacific Ocean (ICG/PTWS), Indian Ocean (ICG/IOTWMS); and Caribbean Sea and Adjacent regions (ICG/CARIBE-EWS). The ICG/NEAMTWS 2030 Strategy brochure is also designed as a communication support tool to reach out to a broader audience, including the Ocean Decade community and partners.
Please visit the event site for more information on the ICG/NEAMTWS SC meeting and the launch ceremony.