ICG/PTWS-XXI Executive Summary
The Twenty-first Session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System in the Pacific (ICG/PTWS) was held in Melbourne, Australia, 3–5 May 2006 under the Chairmanship of Captain Rodrigo Nuñez. The ICG was attended by 45 participants from sixteen ICG/PTWS Member States, 10 participants from non-PTWS Member States, representatives from six organizations, and 12 observers.
The Session reviewed progress made during the inter-sessional period from October 2005 to April 2006 and drafted its work plan for the period 2006–2007. This work plan will focus on (i) continued support for the International Tsunami Information Centre (ITIC); (ii) the conduct and assessment of a Pacific-wide Tsunami Warning exercise 16–17 May 2006; (iii) support for the continued work of the inter-sessional Working Groups, and the development of a Medium Term Strategy; (iv) completion and assessment of the Assessment Questionnaire for ICG/PTWS Member States in support of PTWS capacity building; (v) completion of the Integrated Tsunami Data Base (ITDB); (vi) support for development of the TsunamiTeacher, and for translations into French and Spanish; and (vii) support for Working Groups on the Central America Pacific Coast Tsunami Warning System (CAPC-TWS) and the Southwest Pacific; (viii) support for enhanced TWS capacity in the South China Sea region.
The five inter-sessional Working Groups on (i) seismic measurements, data collection and exchange; (ii) sea level measurements, data collection and exchange; (iii) tsunami hazard identification and characterization, including modelling, prediction and scenario development; (iv) resilience building and emergency management; and (v) interoperability of regional, sub-regional and national Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Systems in the Pacific each met immediately prior to the Twenty-first Session and provided the Group with a summary of activities to date and recommendations for further work. Working Group Two on sea level measurements, data collection and exchange met jointly with the similar working group of the ICG/IOTWS to synergize and coordinate its activities across adjacent ocean basins.
The ICG requested a budget of US$ 168,000 for the biennium 2006–2007 to accomplish the work plan; noted that only US$ 58,000 is presently funded, and that Member States will provide approximately US$ 1,290,000 in Extra-budgetary Support.
The ICG also decided to form an inter-sessional Task Team to review the PTWC proposed tsunami bulletin language changes, consider additional changes, and solicit input from all Member States on the potential impact of the bulletin amendments in accordance with USA NWS standards.
Moreover, as a consequence of the Tonga earthquake 4 May 2006 the ICG acknowledged the need for continued improvements to the timeliness and clarity of messages and other communications. The Exercise Pacific Wave 06 will be the first Pacific-wide exercise and the post-event feedback received from Member States will guide the ICG/PTWS in the planning and format of future exercises.
The ICG urged the small island nations in the Pacific and Caribbean regions to exchange experiences on hazard warning and mitigation, and encouraged participation in future ICG meetings. Furthermore, the ICG encouraged Pacific Island Countries to join IOC and ICG/PTWS if they have not already done so.
The ICG expressed its support for the establishment of a framework for a global tsunami and other ocean-related hazards early warning system, and acknowledged the importance of the partnerships ICG/PTWS presently has with the IUGG Tsunami Commission, the World Data Center-A, GLOSS, WMO, JCOMM, ISDR and regional organizations such as SOPAC. In this regard the ICG/PTWS will continue to look for opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the Tsunami Warning System through existing or new partnerships.
In support of other newly established Tsunami Warning Systems the ICG/PTWS will request the IOC Tsunami Unit in Paris to produce a tsunami newsletter covering global tsunami issues and news.
The ICG decided to organize its Twenty-second Session in October 2007 and accepted the offer of Ecuador to host the Twenty-second Session.
The ICG further accepted the offer of Samoa to host the Twenty-third Session in 2009.
The ICG again recommended that on the occasion of the next election of officers, to elect two Vice-Chairmen, following the example of ICG/IOTWS.
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