New EU Project Aims to Improve Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Build Disaster Resilience in Coastal Communities in Asia


Over 20 experts from across Europe and Asia met in Colombo, Sri Lanka on March 17 to launch CABARET (CApacity Building in Asia for Resilience EducaTion), a new project funded by the European Union to foster regional cooperation for more effective multi hazard early warning (MHEW) and increased disaster resilience among coastal communities. The De La Salle University Social Development Research Center (DLSU_SDRC) was represented at the kick-off meeting by Dr. Marlon de Luna Era, who has been appointed as the Country Coordinator of the CABARET Project, and by Dr. Maria Caridad Tarroja, SDRC Director.

The aim of CABARET, a 36-month action project, is to build capacity for international and regional cooperation between Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) in Asia (Region 6) and Europe, and among Asian HEIs themselves. The project focuses on a subject area and a world region not sufficiently addressed by projects already being funded under previous schemes.

CABARET will strengthen the ability of partner HEIs to respond to their research needs in disaster resilience.  The project will empower individuals and organizations with the skills, competencies and credentials needed to  continue to pursue research, and to lead research at institutions in partner countries that is aimed at reducing the impact of disasters. It will enhance the capacities of the partner HEIs in Asia to meet (match) the challenges and specific needs that characterize with Research & Innovation within the context of disaster resilience.

The four-day meeting provided the basis for a three-year work plan. Experience over recent years of the impacts of coastal hazards such as tsunamis, storm surges, sea level rise and coastal erosion has shown that inadequate preparation for and response to emergency situations have contributed to widespread damage and the avoidable loss of lives and livelihoods. These hazards set back economic development in both developed and developing economies, and tend to disproportionally affect the most vulnerable in society. This situation, together with the increasing globalization of risk, calls for strengthened multi-hazard early warning systems at all levels. It also calls for an integrated and holistic approach to early warnings for multiple hazards and risks tailored to user needs across sectors. In this regard, international and regional collaboration as well as multi‐stakeholder partnership at all levels is critically necessary, given the transboundary nature of most coastal hazards. 

The CABARET project is co-funded by an EU Erasmus+ programme grant and is led by Professors Richard Haigh and Dilanthi Amaratunga of the University of Huddersfield’s Global Disaster Resilience Centre, based in the UK. They are joined by a group of experts from a consortium of 14 European and Asian higher education institutions that also include those from Bulgaria, Indonesia, Latvia, the Maldives, Malta, Myanmar, Spain, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Era will be responsible for the Philippines’ different project outputs, in close coordination with the Ateneo de Manila University counterpart.


In the photo, Dr Era presents Work Package 6. The objective of WP6 is to develop the capacity of partner HEIs to explore, promote and initiate opportunities for fruitful partnerships with social and economic actors to enhance MHEW and ensure wider social and economic benefits.