Representatives from South and Southeast Asian nations meet in Bangkok on Wednesday, to discuss flood risk management in urban areas.
Learning how to survive in Asia\’s flood prone disaster areas (Credit: ABC)
The two-day meeting will allow experts and participants to share knowledge on building resilience in flood-prone delta regions of the Mekong, Chao Phraya and Ganges-Brahmaputra.
Presenter: Sen Lam
Speaker: Dr Bhichit Rattakul, former governor of Bangkok and currently, special advisor to the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre
BHICHIT: Well, the conference taking place today will be an exchanging of experience and learning the lessons from each other among the four deltas. This is very important, because these four deltas — one in Vietnam, in Thailand, in Myanmar and in Bangladesh — are the delta that there are more than 100 (word indistinct) inhabitants around these deltas living people, and almost 70 per cent of the rice volume exported to the world came from this four deltas. And it\’s also very interesting that the international climate change organisation, has been point out that these four deltas are very highly vulnerable to the climate change impact, both the water from the north from part of this delta, and the water from the ocean, which is called a storm surge.
LAM: As you say, I\’m sorry to interrupt. But as you say, it\’s an information sharing meeting. Now, Thailand has suffered quite bad flooding in recent years. What lessons will you be taking to the meeting?
BHICHIT: Well, the most important message from Thailand is that the lesson that we have learned from 2011 flood and also the same thing happened in Vietnam of the Mekong Delta as well. They have flood as well in 2011, but the casualty taking place in those delta of Mekong in Vietnam only about 10 per cent of the life lost in whatever happened in Thailand and this is because of the Vietnam delta, the Mekong Delta has prepared themselves for almost 8 or 9 years about the flood way, about the irrigation, and about the prevention of the storm surge by plantation of lots of mangrove. So I think very good experience from both Thailand and Vietnam could be share among these four deltas, and we could eventually become the network of the deltas.
And these network of delta could not be formed if we don\’t have the support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Norwegian government who host this conference.