Subject: Early Warning Systems Save Lives, Property Says TiLVice-PM

Early Warning Systems Save Lives, Property Says Timor Leste Vice-pm

Bernama - Wednesday, December 3

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 (Bernama) -- Early warning systems are extremly effective in saving lives and property, said Timor Leste Vice-Prime Minister Jose Luiz Guterres.

However, he said his small country which achieved independence in 2002, did not have an early warning system in place and had to instead, rely on others.

Severe weather warnings and routine weather forecasts for Timor Leste are available through the Regional Forecasting Centre in Darwin, Australia.

Currently, a Tsunami Watch Information for the Indian Ocean is available for the country through the Japan Meteorological Agency, in coordination with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.

"Timor Leste is highly prone to disasters and cannot afford to tackle all problems caused by disasters alone, without external assistance," he said in his speech at the Third Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction at the Putra World Trade Centre here today.

Guterres said within its development process, Timor Leste was facing enormous challenges ahead in disaster risk reduction which was incorporated into its national development plan.

According to Guterres, while oil and gas revenue offered a positive economic outlook for recovery, the poor state of the environment and the continued degradation and the forecasted impact of climate change needed Timor Leste to invest more in disaster preparedness, mitigation and prevention initiatives.

Mongolia's representative to the conference, T. S. Amgalanbayar, said the agricultural sector in his country - mostly affected by natural and climatic hazardous phenomena, had caused considerable damage to the country's development and economy.

During the 'dzud' and drought of 1999-2003, Mongolia lost 8.3 million out of the 33 million livestock.

'Dzud' is a Mongolia-specific winter disaster, which undermines the welfare and food security of the herding community through large-scale death and debilitation of livestock.

To reduce disaster risk in livestock husbandry, Amgalanbayar said the government initiated a campaign to shift gradually from pastural livestock husbandary to intensified farming husbandry to increase meat and diary products.



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