MoS (Home) Shri Kiren Rijiju inaugurates the BRICS meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction in Udaipur
Inaugurating the two-day BRICS meeting on Disaster Management in Udaipur, Rajasthan today, Shri Rijiju said India was willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with other BRICS nations and explore all possible areas of collaboration. He added that DRR is a high priority area for the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
Shri Rijiju emphasized that it is time that we move away from "a static understanding of risk", and that we must realise that "Tomorrow’s risk is being built today." He said that there is a strong need to focus on Urban disasters keeping in mind that by 2050, nearly two-third of the world population is expected to live in urban spaces. He said that we need to move towards an all-society approach to tackle disasters. While governments have to pay a central role, they cannot do it by themselves. They have to take everybody along. The Government action must be geared towards empowering and supporting communities and individuals to be more and more self-reliant in their quest for resilience.
Earlier in his key address, Additional Principal Secretary to PM, Dr. P.K. Mishra, noted that all BRICS nations face common problems in terms of developing robust Early Warning Systems, involvement of communities and building their resilience and finding resources for rehabilitation and reconstruction. He added that it was essential to share success stories, case studies, innovations, low cost technology, joint exercises and mutual capacity building to reduce risk. He said that DRR is the back bone of Good Governance.
The event has been organized by the Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority.
All the five BRICS countries are parties to the adoption of the Sendai Framework for DRR in March, 2015 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. A number of SDGs have specific targets related to Disaster Risk Management (DRM).
Key government functionaries working in the area of Disaster Management, including senior officials and technical experts from member countries, are participating in the event. The meeting will focus on two distinct but inter-related themes of Flood Risk Management and Forecasting of Extreme Weather Events in the context of Changing Climate.
Two technical sessions – a) Challenges for Disaster Risk Management and b) Forecasting and Early Warning on floods and other extreme weather events were held today. The technical sessions were preceded by a presentation each to set the context for further discussions on possible areas of collaboration.
South African Minister, Mr. Des Van Royeen, suggested that it was important to introduce cost-effective and life-saving measures for reducing losses and effective recovery after a disaster. Mr. Oleg Manuilo, Director of Russia's Civil Defence, said reducing socio-economic losses is the purpose behind disaster management. He further said that effective forecasting is bringing about a change in disaster risk management. Mr. Pang Chenmin, Director-General of the Department of Disaster Relief of China, highlighted the importance of technology and research in key areas of Disaster Management. He also emphasized upon knowledge sharing among member countries. Brazil's National Secretary for Civil Defense, Mr. Wesley De Almeida Felinto said that he was hopeful that the meet will result in a solid outcome on collaboration among BRICS nations.
The first technical session discussed the mainstreaming of DRR in key development sectors, apart from capacity building at the local level and strengthening of response mechanisms.
Key challenges and recent developments in Early Warning Systems were discussed during the second session. Member countries shared their experiences and lessons learnt for ensuring last mile connectivity and community level action on early warning.
Issues concerning "Emerging Disaster Risks And Evolving DRM Practices" in a changing climate will be taken up for discussion tomorrow.
This is the second meeting of BRICS Ministers for Disaster Management. It is a follow up of the first such meeting convened by the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg earlier this year. The focal points of the two-day meeting are:
• Flood Risk Management and Early Warning Systems major focus areas
• Collaborative efforts towards DRR the need of the hour