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Governance

Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

  • 25 Jul 2019
  • 6 min read

This article is based on “Will India’s idea on disaster management gain global support” that appeared in the Livemint on 24 July, 2019. It talks about the prospects of Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

Indian Prime Minister, at the Hamburg G20 meet in 2017, proposed Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). It may be taken up at the G7 meet next month in Biarritz, where India has been invited by hosts France, along with Australia, Chile and South Africa.

What is the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)?

  • Each time a natural disaster occurs anywhere in the world, countries try to provide immediate relief, but there is no focus on building disaster-resilient Infrastructure.
  • In this context, Indian PM proposed CDRI which will act as a convening body that will pool best practices and resources from around the world for reshaping construction, transportation, energy, telecommunication and water, so that building in these core infrastructure sectors factors in natural catastrophes.
  • According to Sendai framework, every $1 spent in disaster risk reduction leads to gain of $7. But developing countries face the dilemma of balancing economic investment for development vs disaster resilient infrastructure.
  • CDRI could fill this gap of funds and technology and help developing countries to build disaster-resilient Infrastructure.
  • For instance, India is a world leader in preventing human deaths due to disasters. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has praised India’s zero casualty approach and playing a pioneering role model for global community for drawing up a national and local strategy to reduce disaster losses and risks.
    • But India is not so adept in protecting property and infrastructure from extreme weather havoc. In India, the World Bank had estimated that the economic losses due to disasters during the late nineties and early years of this century were close to 2% of the GDP.
    • This is where CDRI can help.
    • Japan has expertise in disaster management, rehabilitation and reconstruction, making it the world’s safest and most disaster-resilient country.

India’s Zero Casualty Policy

  • It refers to Indian Meteorological Department’s “almost pinpoint accuracy” of early warnings that helped authorities conduct a well-targeted evacuation plan and minimise the loss of life against extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani
  • India’s zero casualty approach to managing extreme weather events is a major contribution to the implementation of the Sendai framework and the reduction of loss of life from such events.
  • Apart from it, CDRI will complement India’s efforts to bring together a coalition of countries harnessing solar power under the International Solar Alliance framework
    • ISA has enhanced India’s soft power by positioning it as a contributor to solutions to the most pressing global problems.
    • CDRI could be the next major foreign policy innovation in the Indian foreign policy to enhance India’s status by serving the needs of the rest of the world.

What is Disaster risk reduction?

  • Disaster risk reduction means identifying the underlying hazards and vulnerabilities, natural or anthropogenic, and taking necessary measures to prevent the creation of disaster from the beginning.
  • Disaster risk reduction is very critical as disasters are intertwined with development in a three-dimensional nexus.
    • Disasters eat away hard-earned gains of development of years and decades
    • Lack of development exposes vulnerable communities to the risks of disasters.
    • Development creates new risks of disasters, as without proper compliance and due to unregulated development may destroy the natural buffer to disasters.For eg: fossil fuel-based production may give rise to climate-related disaster

India’s initiative for Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure will help in the development of appropriate infrastructure to face the least developed and developing countries with natural calamities. Also, CDRI will boost India's soft power, but more importantly it has wider connotation than just economics, as synergy between disaster risk reduction, SDG and Climate Accord provides for sustainable and inclusive growth.

Drishti Input

Prevention is better than cure. Discuss the statement in the context of disaster risk and reduction. Also, highlight the role that can be played by the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure?
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