The Second International Conference on Early Warning (EWC-II) took place in Bonn, Germany, from 16-18 October 2003, at the Internationales Kongresszentrum Bundeshaus. It was hosted by the Government of Germany and supported by the UN Inter-Agency Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). Over 300 participants attended, including ministers and government officials, representatives of UN and other multilateral organizations, assistance agencies, technical and research institutions and non-governmental organizations.
EWC-II built on regional consultations and workshops undertaken between May and July 2003, and served as a follow-up to the International Conference on Early Warning Systems for Natural Disaster Reduction, held in 1998 (EWC’98).
Participants at EWC-II heard statements from high-level officials, and attended a number of presentations on good practices in early warning and on emerging issues. Panel discussions were held on solutions for integrating early warning into public policy, new technologies and low-technology solutions for early warning systems, the responsibilities of policy makers in the context of early warning and urban risks, and early warning as a decision tool for emergency management. Additional sessions were also held to discuss flooding, the use of hazard maps for effective early warning, integrated approaches to reduce societal vulnerability to droughts, integrating early warning into public policy processes, the implemention of transboundary early warning systems for floods, and new technologies and scientific networks.
Three working groups discussed elements of a future international early warning programme, on the basis of which two conference documents were drafted. One includes specific recommendations from EWC-II, and the other is the Conference Statement. The drafts were to be left open for comment for a week following the conclusion of the Conference.
The website for the EWCII: http://www.ewc2.org/.
The website for the first International Conference on Early Warning Systems for Natural Disaster Reduction: http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/ewc98/.
ISDR website: http://www.unisdr.org/.
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