National implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) through early warning systems

Mandates for domestic early warning.

Domestic Early Warning Systems are an Essential Building Block for Regional Cooperation on EWS

​National early warning systems are an important part of ASEAN MS capacity to respond to disasters in their own territories. They are also an essential building block for MS to become part of ASEAN regional early warning systems.

DRM laws can be a source of powers and responsibilities to set up early warning systems (EWS). So the analysis of the laws looked for the types of mandates on EWS that are included in the national DRM laws.

Five of the national DM laws include general provisions for the establishment of early warning systems, and three of these require that the EWS include risk assessments and engage with communities. These are not detailed provisions, and all are supplemented by more detailed policies and plans. At least another three AMS establish warning systems under policy and plans alone, and the remaining two may also have mechanisms that were not identified by the desk-based research methodology in English.

Both, the documentary research and the feedback from the Regional Consultation highlighted that EWS systems are less often based in the DRM system laws and policies, and are developed through a range of policy or regulatory mechanisms. They are frequently established under ministerial mandates or laws governing ministries of natural resource or the environment, especially national meteorological or hydrological services, which undertake EWS as part of their general responsibilities.

Types of early warning systems

DRM laws are not the main way that the ASEAN MS are authorizing their early warning systems.

In practice, EWS are often set up through the national meteorological and hydrological agencies, under their normal operating powers.

Some are established through international donor projects. This means they are not necessarily required to link with the DRM system, or to engage with stakeholders and communities.

Example for peer learning - EWS enabled by law in Myanmar

Myanmar’s National Disaster Management Law is more specific than most regarding EWS (in Articles 5, 14 and 15). This law requires:

  • Establishing a Natural Disaster Management Centre for monitoring and screening information relating to disasters and prompt dissemination of early warnings.
  • Ensuring that all the government agencies assigned agencies roles under the DRM system include improvement on early warning systems for natural hazards.
  • Creating public awareness and knowledge of the natural hazards, maintaining the EWS, and EWS drills.
  • Issuing timely warning information to the public to enable them to evacuate and move their belongings and livestock properties to the safe areas.