7 PM | Will India’s idea on disaster management gain global support? | 24th July, 2019

Context: creation of Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and its significance

  • Infrastructure is the term for the basic physical systems of a business or nation—transportation, communication, sewage, water, and electric systems are all examples of infrastructure. These systems tend to be high-cost investments and are vital to a country’s economic development and prosperity.
  •  The term “resilient” refers to the ability of such infrastructure systems (including their interconnected ecosystems and social systems) to absorb disturbance and still retain their basic function and structural capacity.

What is the need for Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI):

  • Economic losses: according to UN office for disaster risk reduction report, from 1998 to 2017 direct losses from climate induced disasters totalled around $ 2.9trillion.
  • Urbanisation: according to the report, titled natural disasters: saving lives today, building resilience tomorrow the trend of global urbanization shows that 75 per cent of the world’s population would be living in towns and cities by 2050, with 95 per cent of this expansion being anticipated in developing countries
  • The movement of more and more people into less resilient areas like coastal regions, flood plains and earthquake-prone zones has been cited as one of the factors responsible for more natural disasters. Along with that degradation of natural environment is another reason for increasing calamities.
  • Infrastructure: the global annual investment in transportation, power, water, and telecom sectors is around US$2.5 trillion. By 2030, this annual investment is estimated to reach US$53 trillion, an average of 2.5 percent of the world’s GDP. This investment should be made cautiously to build resilient infrastructure.
  • Sustainable development goals (SDG): SDG 9 states that building resilient infrastructure throughout the world with focusing more on coastal states and least developed countries and developing countries.
  • Sendai framework: The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), 2015-2030, which is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, identifies investing in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for resilience and to build back better in reconstruction as priorities for action towards reducing disaster risk.

India and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure:

  • The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) held in New Delhi, India in November 2016, and the conference included a featured event on “Disaster Risk Resilient Infrastructure for Sustainable Development”, which highlighted the need for stronger collaboration and cooperation in the area of disaster resilient infrastructure. 
  • CDRI was first suggested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Hamburg G20 meet in 2017 and then again at the Buenos Aires and Osaka G20 meetings in 2018 and 2019.
  • Taking the dialogue on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure forward, National Disaster Management Authority, India in collaboration with the UNISDR will host an international workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) in New Delhi in January 2018.
  • Giving a major diplomatic push to the proposed global ‘Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure’ (CDRI), New Delhi has pledged Rs 480crore for setting up of a secretariat here for the new grouping.

India as a global leader in promoting Disaster Resilient Infrastructure:

  • In 2005, at least $3.3 billion was committed by the Indian government after the Kashmir earthquake and the Indian Ocean tsunami, which is equivalent to a quarter of the total $13.5 billion spent on Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in all countries over a period of 20 years.
  • Building regulation: The National Building Code of India (NBC), a comprehensive building Code, is a national instrument providing guidelines for regulating the building construction activities across the country. NBC guidelines are in sync with international practices and Building Regulation for resilience guidelines.
  • Human deaths: India is a world leader in preventing in human deaths in disasters. Example, the massive effort to evacuate around 1.2 million people before cyclone Fani made landfall in Odisha
  • Soft power: international solar alliance (ISA) was launched in 2015 to accelerate the historic energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables. ISA has enhanced india’s soft power by positioning it as a contributor of solutions to the most pressing global problems.
  • Bilateral efforts: India successfully implemented the ISA with taking France on board. India maintains a good relation with Japan and considering its experience in dealing with disasters. CDRI will also a successful initiative like ISA.

Way forward:

  • As the infrastructure systems are globally interconnected, disruptions in one part of the world can cause havoc in another part of the world. It is, therefore, important that all stakeholders come together to address the challenges and devise solutions to create resilient infrastructure.
  • It was found that few concrete initiatives work at the intersection of the Sendai Framework, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, Climate Change Adaptation with a focus on critical infrastructure.
  • While the global discourse has focused on the need to bridge infrastructure investment gaps, the discussion on the need to protect these investments from disaster risks and to ensure that unplanned infrastructure does not create new risks, has not gained adequate attention.
  • Thus, a global initiative such as the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) has a clear niche and will address concerns that are common to needs of developing and developed countries; small and large economies; countries at early and at advanced stages of development; and countries that have moderate or high disaster risk.

Source: https://www.livemint.com/news/india/will-india-s-idea-on-disaster-management-gain-global-support-1563910265773.html.

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