Last week saw the Asian Broadcasting Union (ABU; http://www.abu.org.my) hold its second Media Summit on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Krabi, Thailand. The event was hosted by Thai PBS, the national public broadcasting service of Thailand, and brought together media executives, reporters and DRR stakeholders from the UN and civil society in Asia.
DiDRRN was invited to attend the event on behalf of stakeholders concerned with disability within the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (ISDR) coordination mechanism. Dr Alex Robinson, from ASB represented DiDRRN at the event. The summit included two sessions that directly addressed disability-inclusion. The first was a stakeholder dialogue alongside representatives of civil society; science technology and academia and gender. A full session was also dedicated to inclusion and 'reaching the unreached' moderated by Dr Robinson.
Key messages from the inclusion sessions concerned positive representation and wider acknowledgment of the contribution of persons with disabilities, and other highly at-risk individuals, to reducing, preventing and managing risk. The need to shift thinking away from vulnerability and towards emphasising the capacities of individuals to contribute to making their communities and societies safer. Access to information was also stressed as crucial and the important role the media can play in widening access to information for all.
Participants agreed that providing information in multiple formats and media is essential to ensuring all are safe in hazard prone areas. Providing information in multiple and easily understandable formats not only benefits persons with disabilities, but also migrants and tourists. The latter being particularly on participants' minds as they reflected on the damage and loss in Krabi during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
The Summit adopted the Krabi Media Action Plan in which broadcasters from across Asia committed to provide DRR information to persons with disabilities and other highly at risk groups.
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