The fifth Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference, GAREC-2009, hosted by the Japan Amateur Radio League in conjunction with their Ham Fair took place on 24 – 25 August attended by 29 representatives from 14 countries. The event provided an ideal opportunity to exchange ideas and practical experiences with other emergency communications groups.
Interesting presentations were made by Australia on their responses to Wildfires, and detailed reports from China and Italy on their responses to the Earthquake disasters in their areas. Also of note, the DARES group representing the Netherlands reported on their achievements through the year including involvement in an EU sponsored flood exercise next month which will include international participation. Francois Botha ZS6BUU provided an interesting presentation covering not just the activities of HAMNET in South Africa but also IRESC the International Radio Emergency Support Coalition.
The IARU also announced the completion of an emergency communications ‘handout’ which will be used to promote our work to regulators and international bodies.
All Radio Amateurs were congratulated for performing so well in meeting emergency communications needs. As far as GAREC goes, thanks go to Alberto IK1YLO, Joop PA1JAV and Francois ZS6BUU for their excellent presentations and representing the Region so well at this conference.
Seppo OH1VR and Risto OH3KX worked hard in bringing this conference together and the JARL were excellent hosts !
More information can be found at http://www.rientola.fi/oh3ag/garec/ and the presentations made can be downloaded from http://www.rientola.fi/oh3ag/garec/material2009.html .
The venue for the next GAREC in 2010 has still to be decided but Francois ZS6BUU did announce that the event in 2011 will take place in Sun City South Africa, following the IARU Region 1 conference in that year.