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Internet Society advances Asia-Pacific dialogue on role of ICT in disaster relief

17 March 2016

INET Kathmandu highlights need for resilient networks; increased collaboration between stakeholders

[Kathmandu, Nepal] –The Internet Society will host a two-day conference on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for disaster management, risk reduction and recovery. Bringing together governments, technology firms, service providers, technical experts, disaster management specialists and other stakeholders, INET Kathmandu, 17-18 March, focuses on resources and best practices in disaster response, highlighting the impact of of ICTs in Nepal following the 7.6 magnitude earthquake last year.

INET Kathmandu -- part of a series of events throughout Asia Pacific organised by the Internet Society -- takes place amidst the rising intensity and frequency of natural disasters in Asia-Pacific. The UN ESCAP’s 2015 ‘Disaster without Borders’ report noted that countries in Asia and the Pacific region have experienced over 40 per cent of the 3,979 disasters that occurred globally between 2005 and 2014 with more than 1.4 billion people affected, representing 80 per cent of victims globally.

ICTs have become critical in disaster preparedness and relief, from monitoring environmental conditions to coordinating post-crisis services and supplies.

“The year has just begun and we have already been hit by devastating weather systems -- last month’s Cyclone Winston in Fiji was the worst storm recorded in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Rajnesh Singh, the Internet Society’s Regional Bureau Director for Asia-Pacific. “Such emergencies underscore the need to promote increased collaboration between all stakeholders involved, and joint coordination especially among vulnerable countries. The Internet and ICTs play an instrumental role during such times, and events such as INET Kathmandu are key in facilitating this knowledge and information exchange.”

With communications systems and infrastructure susceptible to damage from natural calamities, the conference highlights the need for redundant, robust and resilient networks. It will look at low-cost and easily deployable equipment that can maximise the utility of ICTs and the Internet in providing early warning and on-time assistance to affected communities before and after a disaster strikes.

The conference is being organized in conjunction with the Internet Society Nepal Chapter. To view the complete program , please follow this link. You can also watch the live webcast and follow INET Kathmandu on social media using the Twitter hashtag #INETKTM.

About the Internet Society

The Internet Society ( www.internetsociety.org) is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. It is also the organizational home for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and other organizations. Working with its members and Chapters around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone.

Media Contact: Noelle de Guzman, deguzman@isoc.org, +65 6407 1470