Participants with Dolores Foley (front row, 4th from left) and Karl Kim (left of Foley).

A dozen faculty members from Indonesian universities have come to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa this summer to learn about disaster risk management training and how it can be applied to save lives in their country.

Indonesia is one of the most natural-disaster prone countries in the world. In the last decade alone, it has been affected by more than 160 disasters, including over 60 floods, more than 40 earthquakes, approximately a dozen volcanic events and several wildfires.

In response to the growing need for disaster risk management training, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the federal agency that administers aid and U.S. foreign development assistance, awarded a $327,295 grant to the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) at the College of Social Sciences AT UH Mānoa. The principal investigator is Professor Karl Kim, who also directs the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center. The grant will develop a cadre of academically trained personnel in disaster risk reduction for the region.

This summer, the first year of the pilot program, 12 faculty members from Indonesian universities are participating in DURP’s Urban and Regional Planning’s Disaster Management Humanitarian Assistance (DMHA) graduate certificate program. Year one participants come from the Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Islam Indonesia, Institut Teknologi Bandung and Bakrie University.

“We are delighted to work with our Indonesian partners who face similar hazards that we have in Hawaiʻi, such as volcanoes, tsunamis, coastal storms, as well as threats from ground subsidence, sea level rise and challenges from climate change,” said Kim.

The final year of the program will result in the establishment of an Indonesian graduate certificate in disaster management, similar to the DMHA offered by UH Mānoa. In addition, the group will identify the resources required to sustain the program and deploy it to other natural-disaster prone areas such as Malaysia.

For more, check out the UH Mānoa news release.