Armenian-Japanese Cooperation on Landslides Disaster Management Gets New Impetus


On September 25, the second meeting of a joint coordinating committee of the “Landslide Disaster Management Project’ was held at the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations, which was attended by the RA TAES Minister Armen Yeritsyan and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Armenia Eiji Taguchi.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the joint activities in the landslide disaster management carried out with Japan in 2014-15, as well as activities scheduled for 2015-16 in the sphere of the landslides management in Armenia.

In his welcoming speech, E. Taguchi noted, that Armenia and Japan have combined experience in the field of disaster risk management and the fight against natural disasters. According to him, the joint 3-year program started from February 2014, and implemented by the RA MTAES and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on “Landslide Disaster Management” was still in successful process, as the previous ones.

-The close cooperation between Armenia and Japan has been established after the RA President S. Sargsyan and TAES Minister A. Yeritsyan visited Japan. This year, the Japanese Government has opened an Embassy in Armenia, and I, as the Ambassador, will do everything possible to deepen our cooperation. I am confident, that the friendship between the two nations would further deepen. In conclusion, I would like to congratulate the Armenian rescuers on the occasion of passing the qualification of the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group of the United Nations.

Welcoming the guests, Minister A. Yeritsyan noted, that Armenia attaches great importance to the support of Japanese partners to combat various disasters, and the technical assistance provided to the MTAES Rescue Service by Japan will always be remembered with pride.

-During the Sendai conference in Japan, I told, that there were no large or small countries in DRR sphere, here joint efforts should be combined. Both countries have seen many disasters, therefore, I think, that Armenian-Japanese cooperation should always be at the highest level, as it is at this stage. 4-5% of the territory of Armenia is landslide and 165 landslides of 3000 - are active. The landslide in Ayrum is another incentive for us to develop measures in combating landslides. Serious work is also being implemented in the sphere of seismic service, for which, I would like to thank You, Mr. Ambassador and your team as well, - concluded his speech A. Yeritsyan.

During the meeting, a protocol on the evaluation of landslide movement was signed between TAES Minister and the Japanese side, which ushered the launch of the 2nd phase of the “Landslide Disaster Management” program.

Note that, since February 2014, the RA Ministry of TAES and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are jointly implementing a three-year program “Landslide Disaster Management in the RA”, which planned to undertake a monitoring of hazardous areas of the territory and update the databases, conduct site specific studies and zonation mapping. To improve the efficiency in dealing with landslides, by TAES Minister A. Yeritsyan’s order, an interdepartmental group was created, which included experts from various concerned departments. In the first phase of the program, 2 hazardous landslide areas -Getahovit and Arap were selected from 11 ones -, as a pilot projects.

In the above communities geological studies had already been carried out, based on which deep and surface sensors were installed in landslide zones. This allowed to record both the horizontal and vertical movement of the landslides. At the current stage, a group of Armenian experts, with the help of Japanese experts, studies the Japanese anti-landslides modern methods and rich experience, performs the correct organization of land and water drainage works, etc,. Armenian experts passed training courses in Japan.

Japanese experts, who arrived in Armenia under the program JICA, believed, that Armenia could achieve great success in the fight against landslides. According to them, Armenia’s primary and key objective should be the development of mechanisms and technologies against landslides, and the popularization of the problem will rather help Armenia.

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