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Taiwan, Philippines sign MOU on landslide research cooperation

05/06/2024 06:47 PM
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Taiwan's representative to the Philippines Wallace Chow (left) and his Filipino counterpart Silvestre III Hernando Bello (right) on Monday display their signed MOU to enhance exchange and experience-sharing on landslide and debris flow disasters between Taiwan and the Philippines. CNA photo May 6, 2024
Taiwan's representative to the Philippines Wallace Chow (left) and his Filipino counterpart Silvestre III Hernando Bello (right) on Monday display their signed MOU to enhance exchange and experience-sharing on landslide and debris flow disasters between Taiwan and the Philippines. CNA photo May 6, 2024

Taipei, May 6 (CNA) Taiwan and the Philippines on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance bilateral exchange and experience-sharing on landslide and debris flow disasters.

The MOU, titled "Partnership on Landslide and Debris Flow Disaster Research," was signed by Taiwan's representative to the Philippines Wallace Chow (周民淦) and his Filipino counterpart Silvestre III Hernando Bello.

Bello is the chairman and resident representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), which represents Philippine interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties.

During the signing ceremony, Chow said due to the geographical proximity of two countries, both face similar natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes and landslides.

A recent example is the magnitude 7.2 earthquake on April 3 that left at least 18 people dead and widespread damage in Hualien County, his hometown, Chow said.

It is therefore imperative for both governments to strengthen collaboration in the field, he said.

The MOU is expected to facilitate future joint research and development on investigation, monitoring and early warning systems, as well as remote sensing technology, Chow said.

The collaboration will educate and empower communities in response to natural disasters and enable the building of more resilient technology, he added.

Bello said the latest MOU signing marks another milestone in the Philippines-Taiwan relationship that will help both sides address critical issues in relation to mitigating landslide and debris flow disasters.

The MOU will facilitate wider cooperation "transcending national and local boundaries."

The deal was sealed during a half-day workshop held on Monday at the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in Taipei that featured experts from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) in Taiwan to exchange techniques and share experiences on landslide and debris flow disasters.

According to the MOA, it has worked closely with PHIVOLCS over the past few years and jointly organized international seminars to conduct in-depth discussions on natural disaster management issues, share valuable experiences and develop closer ties.

The possibility of signing an MOU was first raised in 2022, the MOA said.

According to the MOA, the MOU signed Monday covers cooperation on soil and water conservation technology, geological disaster research, climate change impact assessment and adaptation strategies, and the application of high technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence to disaster management.

In the future, the two parties will jointly organize seminars, workshops, and education and training, based on scientific research and technological innovation, to jointly improve their ability to handle landslides, it added.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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