India, China plan disaster management agenda


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Apr 20, 2013
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I think it will be a good move on the part of like minded Asian countries to get together to form a joint task force to manage disaster.


NEW DELHI: India is working closely with China and other countries of the Asia-Pacific region in setting the agenda for the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction (DRR) that will replace the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) at the UN's conference on DRR starting next week in Sendai, Japan.

New Delhi is taking a lead role in the region with home minister Rajnath Singh co-chairing the Asian ministerial conference ahead of signing of the new UN framework. The Asian meet will be co-chaired by UN head of DRR, Margareta Wahlstrom, and will have ministers from China, Malaysia, Korea, Indonesia and Thailand as other members.

The UN framework will set ambitious targets for member countries to make a paradigm shift towards a new development model that prevents and reduces disaster risk and strengthens resilience.

Wahlstrom said the post-2015 UN framework will set "action-oriented guidance to governments, private sector and civil society in general on how best to tackle the underlying drivers of risk such as poverty, climate change, poorly planned urban growth, land use and the decline of protective eco-systems." The Sendai declaration will act as a policy framework to be adopted by signatory countries and commitments from governments towards DRR initiatives.

It is important for New Delhi to have the framework agreement modelled to its needs as it could impact infrastructure projects worth $1 trillion targeted to be built in the next five years.

India has already shifted its focus towards DRR initiatives by making a provision of over Rs 55,000 crore (about $9 billion) towards disaster management fund for states as part of the 14th finance commission grants. In the new devolution plan, states will be free to spend on building resilience based on local needs.

Wahlstrom said: "Climate-related disasters account for over 80% of all disaster events and contribute enormously to economic losses and short and long-term population displacement." She emphasized on stricter building guidelines as at least 70% of all disaster-related deaths are caused by earthquakes alone. More than 155 million people have suffered displacement since 2008, she said.

"We now have ten years of experience in implementing the HFA which has guided global efforts to reduce disaster risk since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami," the UN head of DRR said.

"Despite many successes and greatly improved performance in disaster management it is sobering to note that 7,00,000 people have died in disaster events over the last ten years," Wahlstrom said, expressing concern at economic losses in major disasters, estimated at more than $1.4 trillion in the last decade.

At the inter-governmental meeting in Bangkok last year, India had agreed on the development of an Asia-Pacific regional implementation plan and committed specific actions to enhance resilience at local levels; improve public investments; and enhance private sector role and Public-Private Partnership to build an enabling environment and partnerships for resilient business and risk-sensitive investments.

India China plan disaster management agenda - The Times of India


Wise ol' monkey
Feb 6, 2011
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Okolona, KY
Asia-Pacific region needs to establish disaster relief fund...

UN: Rising Natural-Disaster Costs Leave All at Risk
October 27, 2015 — A United Nations regional economic commission says the Asia-Pacific region faces rising human and economic costs from natural disasters in the coming decades, unless regional governments take steps to invest in disaster mitigation.
The human and economic toll from natural disasters affecting the Asia-Pacific is rising, with rapid economic growth, rising populations and urbanization leaving all societies at risk. The Asia-Pacific is the most prone to natural calamities in the world, having faced more than 1,600 disasters over the past decade, claiming an estimated half a million lives at a economic cost of over $520 billion. A special report Tuesday by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) says those numbers will keep rising unless governments have the political will to invest in disaster-risk mitigation. The report "Disasters Without Borders" says the risks from natural disasters are exacerbated by rapid growth, rising populations and the spread of urban development.

More intense disasters

Shamshad Akhtar, a U.N. under-secretary-general who is executive secretary of UNESCAP, said more frequent, much larger and more intense disasters are a grave concern. This was highlighted by this week's Himalayan region earthquake that claimed hundreds of lives. “The threats are increasing, but more so trans-boundary threats, because disasters do not respect borders." said Akhtar. "It could be seismic fault lines — as we have just witnessed in what happened in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and across from Afghanistan to the China borders — tropical cyclones, which we experience very much sitting in the center, and droughts and floods also.” By 2030, the U.N. report predicts, disaster losses in the region could average $160 billion a year, up from just over $50 billion annually now. Growing urban populations, often faced with inadequate basic services, such as roads, water supplies and sewerage disposal, leave poorer populations especially at risk.

High risk

Asia-Pacific map[/ce4nter]

The report says that about 740 million city dwellers in Asia and the Pacific are at extreme to high disaster risk, often vulnerable to cyclones, earthquakes, floods and landslides. The region’s once robust natural environment offering a defense against natural disasters has also been weakened. Drought is highlighted along with the challenges of rising demands on food production and resources. The U.N. is calling on regional governments to show the political will to invest in disaster mitigation measures and reduce future human and economic costs.
Fiji’s minister responsible for national disaster management, Inia Batikoto Seruiratu, said his government has increased spending in a bid to reduce the future impact from natural disasters, especially cyclones. “We have been allocating funds on disaster risk reduction and of course I have been told that there’ll be the allocation for next year, probably doubled or tripled, which is good," said Seruiratu. "We need that political will and commitment. As I have stated DR [disaster risk] is an investment. It’s not an expense, and we need to invest in DR so that we can sustain sustainable development. “ The U.N. report calls on governments to build resilience into their disaster-management planning, along with better information systems, and for improved regional cooperation.

UN: Rising Natural-Disaster Costs Leave All at Risk

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