Project 53 activities have also turned to preparedness, response and mitigation of biological emergencies. Consortium member VERTIC is preparing a report on possible regional emergency intervention schemes for biological events, focusing on the key operating principles and practices of the Common Alert Protocol (CAP) and Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC). CAP is an international communication standards for public warning, designed to work for a broad range of hazards and to connect to different media, from radios and locally installed sirens to cellular phones and internet communications. Standards and best practices for Civil-Military Cooperation and Coordination are crucial to facilitate the work of military forces in operations other than war (such as disaster relief), while safeguarding humanitarian principles. Several international and regional organisations, including NATO and the UN, have produced guidance on CIMIC. VERTIC’s report aims to identify areas of strength and expertise as well as common challenges among countries in Central Asia, and will highlight possible approaches for regional cooperation in the area.
VERTIC has concluded a series of initial reports on each project country’s practices and institutional framework surrounding emergency readiness and response. The initial reports are confidential, and VERTIC will use them as a basis to build in-depth engagement on the topic with regional countries, with the aim to get their perspectives and experiences. In addition, VERTIC has drawn a preliminary list of common challenges and of opportunities for cooperation at the regional level, which Programme Director for National Implementation Measures Scott Spence will present on at the upcoming 2nd P53 Regional Meeting in Tahkent, Uzbekistan on November 2, 2017.