Directives of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Opening of 2021 National Coordination Meeting on Disaster Mitigation, Wednesday, 3 March 2021 at the State Palace, Jakarta
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
Greetings of virtue.
Distinguished Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture,
Distinguished Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and the Officials who come from Sabang to Merauke, from Miangas to Rote Island;
Distinguished Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), Chief of the Indonesian National Police (Polri);
Distinguished Governors, Regent and Mayors in attendance;
Distinguished Head of the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) and the Officials;
Distinguished Heads of Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency throughout the country and all mass organizations, volunteers, representatives from private sector, and academics;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
During the past year, we have acquired extraordinary experiences and lessons. It is not only about natural disasters but also unnatural disaster, namely COVID-19 pandemic. To tackle this unprecedented disaster, it required handling from both health and economic aspects in a parallel manner, be it within the scope of a regional scale, national scale, or a global scale. Given that more than 215 countries share the same experience, we must work faster in more innovative ways, as well as collaborate with all elements, with other countries and international organizations.
On this auspicious occasion, I would like to extend my highest gratitude and appreciation to the BNPB for the dedication in working and helping mitigate and resolve the crisis. Experiences in facing the pandemic must be seized as a momentum to strengthen the country’s resilience in tackling all disasters.
Distinguished Guests of the National Coordination Meeting,
I want to remind you that our country, Indonesia, is among the 35 countries with the highest disaster risk in the world. Pak Doni Monardo, the Head of BNPB, told me that Indonesia was hit by 3,253 disasters last year, or at least nine disasters occurred each day. The figure is quite high, nevertheless we must face these challenges, both the hydrometeorological hazard and geological disasters. Once again, we are among the most disaster-prone countries. Due to Indonesia’s large population, we have higher risk of casualties when a disaster hits us.
I learn that the key to minimizing disaster risks is mitigation and prevention measure. I have mentioned about the aspect of prevention over and over again, don’t be late in taking action, don’t be late! Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that we put aside other aspects of disaster management. We just cannot take actions only when a disaster hits us. We have to prepare ourselves with anticipation measures in a planned and detailed manner. Therefore, national policies and regional policies established must be sensitive to disaster vulnerability. Don’t be in great hurry and blame others during a disaster. We cannot let that happen.
We have established a Master Plan for Disaster Management (RIPB) for the 2020-2024 period in Presidential Regulation Number 87 of 2020. The fundamental point is not about the grand design in a long term, but adopting the grand design into policies and planning, including that spatial planning will be made by taking into account disaster vulnerability aspects. This will be followed by audits and management of policies and spatial planning on the ground, not on a paper. I have raised this issue many times.
I want to highlight several points of note. First, we do not only issue regulations, but we must also pay attention to the implementation on the ground. It is because the people will see it, they will see it. The most important thing is aspects of control and enforcement of implementation standards. For instance, regarding the earthquakes; earthquake resistant building standards, public facilities and social facilities. All of these things must be guarded in the implementation, followed by a building resilience audit so that they can comply with the standard. Therefore, if a disaster occurs again in that location, in that area, in that province, the number of victims can be minimized and immediate corrections and reinforcement can be made if any discrepancies are found on the ground with existing standards. Do check it again and make correction.
Second, policies to minimize disaster risks must be integrated from upstream to downstream. There should be neither sectoral egos nor regional egos. All of us should be integrated, should be complementary. We should back up each other. Nobody should think that this is not their job. Stay alert, this is a disaster. It is not a normal situation.
Third, regarding emergency response management and the ability to carry out immediate rehabilitation and reconstruction. This is really important in post-disaster management; thus, the speed must be improved. The speed regarding rehabilitation and reconstruction will be seen by the communities. We must fulfill our promises no later than one year after we made it to the public.
Early warning system must function properly and should be checked, so that it can work quickly and accurately. The speed in responding to these early warnings must also be improved. All contingency plans and operational plans during emergency response must be implemented quickly. And once again, speed is the key to saving and reducing casualties. Speed is the key to saving and reducing casualties. It is really important.
Lastly, we must constantly improve education and literacy efforts for the communities related to disasters, starting from the family as the smallest unit of society. Do perform routine disaster simulations in disaster-prone areas, so that residents are better prepared to face any disasters.
And that concludes my remarks. By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I declare the 2021 National Coordination Meeting on Disaster Mitigation officially open.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.