Global Status of Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems: Target G
- 19 Oct 2022
- 7 min read
Why in News?
Recently, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released a report titled Global Status of Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems - Target G, which warns that half of the countries globally are not protected by Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems (MHEWS).
- The report has been released to mark the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (13th October).
- The analysis was made with data from the targets outlined in The Sendai Framework (2015-2030). The framework is a global blueprint for disaster risk reduction and prevention.
- Of the seven targets in the framework, Target G aims to “substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030.
What is International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction?
- The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction was started in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction.
- In 2015 at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, the international community was reminded that disasters hit hardest at the local level with the potential to cause loss of life and great social and economic upheaval.
What are the Early Warning Systems?
- Early warning systems are a proven means to reduce harm to people and damage to assets ahead of impending hazards, including storms, tsunamis, droughts, and heatwaves, to name a few.
- Multi-hazard early warning systems address several hazards that may occur alone, simultaneously, or cascadingly.
- Many systems only cover one type of hazard - like floods or cyclones.
What are the Findings?
- Failure at Investment:
- The world is failing to invest in protecting the lives and livelihoods of those on the front line.
- Those who have done the least to cause the climate crisis are paying the highest price.
- LDCs (Least developed countries), SIDS (Small Island Developing States), and countries in Africa, require the most investment to increase early warning coverage and adequately protect themselves against disasters.
- Pakistan is dealing with its worst recorded climate disaster, with nearly 1,700 lives lost. Despite this carnage, the death toll would have been much higher if not for early warning systems.
- Significant Gaps:
- Only half of the countries globally have MHEWS.
- The Number of recorded disasters has increased five-fold, driven in part by human-induced climate change and more extreme weather. This trend is expected to continue.
- Less than half of the Least Developed Countries and only one-third of Small Island Developing States have a multi-hazard early warning system.
- Humanity is in the Danger Zone:
- As ever-rising greenhouse gas emissions are supercharging extreme weather events across the planet, climate disasters are hurting countries and economies like never before.
- Increasing calamities are costing lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in loss and damage.
- Three times more people are displaced by climate disasters than war and half of humanity is already in the danger zone.
What are the Recommendations?
- Called on all countries to invest in early warning systems.
- As climate change causes more frequent, extreme, and unpredictable weather events, investment in early warning systems that target multiple hazards is more urgent than ever.
- This is because of the need to warn not only against the initial impact of disasters, but also second and third-order effects. Examples include soil liquefaction following an earthquake or a landslide, and disease outbreaks following heavy rainfall.
What are India's Efforts in Managing Disaster?
- Establishment of National Disaster Reaction Force (NDRF):
- India has increasingly mitigated and responded to all types of disasters, including with the establishment of its National Disaster Reaction Force (NDRF), the world’s largest rapid reaction force dedicated to disaster response.
- India’s Role as a Foreign Disaster Relief:
- India’s foreign humanitarian assistance has increasingly included its military assets, primarily deploying naval ships or aircraft to deliver relief.
- In line with its diplomatic policy of “Neighbourhood First,” many of the recipient countries have been in the region of South and Southeast Asia.
- Contribution to Regional Disaster Preparedness:
- Within the context of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), India has hosted DM Exercises that allow NDRF to demonstrate for counterparts from partner states the techniques developed to respond to various disasters.
- Other NDRF and Indian Armed Forces exercises have brought India’s first responders into contact with those from states in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
- Managing Climate Change related Disaster: