Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Inauguration of the 2022 National Coordination Meeting on Disaster Management, Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java Province, February 23, 2022

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 23 Februari 2022
Category: Remarks @en
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Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

Good afternoon,

May peace be upon us all,

Om Swastiastu,

Namo Buddhaya,

Greetings of virtue,

Distinguished Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Minister of State Secretary,

Distinguished Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), Chief of the Indonesian National Police (Polri) and all ranks,

Distinguished Speaker of Commission VIII of the House of Representatives (DPR),

Distinguished Head of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) and the Officials,

Distinguished Governors, Regent, Mayors, and all Heads of Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) throughout the country,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First and foremost, I would like to express my highest gratitude and appreciation to all ranks of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) and the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) throughout the country for your contribution and hard work in helping people all over Indonesia in facing every natural disaster, including COVID-19 pandemic.

As a country located in the Ring of Fire and with a huge area, our country often experiences disasters. Indonesia is one of 35 countries that has the highest disaster risks in the world. Almost every day, several regions of Indonesia are hit by disasters. We suffer big losses caused by disasters, including casualties and material losses.

To that end, disaster management must be carried out properly and systematically. The Masterplan for Disaster Management (RIPB) for 2020-2024 must be implemented with full commitment and responsibilities. All steps of disaster management must be taken in a disciplined and consistent manner. Indonesia must be a resilient nation to face disasters.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As one of the main pillars of disaster management, the BNPB must always improve itself.

First, the BNPB must have an alert, anticipative, responsive, and adaptive work culture. This work culture is vital because disasters come unexpectedly. They come suddenly, even disasters that were unimaginable before, one of which is the COVID-19 pandemic. We have to handle all the unexpected to reduce the risk to the communities, nation, and state.

Second, the BNPB must be disaster prevention-oriented. We are aware that some types of disasters, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions cannot be prevented, but many types of disaster risks can be reduced, can be partially prevented.

Floods can be prevented by planting vegetations. Also, landslides can be prevented (by planting vegetations). It can be carried out in several regions including West Java, Central Java, Sulawesi, and West Nusa Tenggara. Vetiver growing, environment preserving, dam building, river and waterway dredging must be fostered. This must be done in synergy between the BNPB and related ministries / institutions, including regional governments and the communities.

Third, infrastructure to reduce disaster risk must be improved. This must be jointly done between the Government and the communities. The infrastructure, for example, is vegetation bio shield for tsunami or typhoon mitigation. We are aware global climate change will be even more dire. All countries have also experienced disasters that they never experience before because of climate change.

In addition to tsunami, I think mangroves and associated plants such as nipa palm, coastal pine, casuarina which are associated with sea hibiscus, ketapang (Terminalia catappa), nyamplung (calophyllum inophyllum), and coconuts should be planted more in coastal areas where there are many potentials of tsunamis or typhoon disasters. We must continue to grow them.

Evacuation routes must be ready; early warning instruments must be upgraded and checked regularly. This is where we often overlook. Please check them regularly. I know that not all of these instruments are procured by the BNPB, but I order the BNPB to get involved and to remind related ministries / institutions to carry out their duties considering it concerns the safety of the people.

Fourth, the BNPB must actively call on all central and regional government officials so that all development programs must be disaster-resilient oriented. Business permissions issued by the Government also must consider the disaster risks, infrastructure development must reduce disaster risks, not increase disaster risks.  We often build but we forget about this. The mainstreaming of disaster-resilient policies must continue to be improved.

Fifth, the BNPB must establish sustainable disaster education system, especially in disaster-prone regions. It is vital. Once again, it is vital. Disaster education and a culture of disaster awareness must start from an early age; from every individual, family, school, to community. Explore every local wisdom in the communities, train the communities to respond to disasters. Carry out disaster mitigation simulations every time. Do not wait until disasters strike.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The big agenda on disaster resilience of Indonesia must be carried out by all components of the government and all components of the nation. We have to join hands and optimize all potentials of the people to realize a resilient Indonesia to face disasters.

That concludes my speech on this auspicious occasion.

By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, this morning I officially inaugurate the 2022 National Coordination Meeting on Disaster Management.

I thank you.

Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

Om santi santi santi om.

(AP/EP)

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