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Post Sendai Initiatives and Way Forward

"March 18, 2015 was a historical day as it witnessed adoption of a 15-year plan by 188 UN Member Nations, including India. The plan termed as ‘Sendai Framework’ was adopted during the 3rd UN World Conference on disaster risk reduction, held in the Japanese city of Sendai in 2015. Interestingly, it is the first major UN agreement on the post-2015 development agenda consisting of four major priority areas and seven targets to be met by 2030. The expected outcome of the framework is to prevent creation of new disaster risks and also to substantially reduce disaster risks. The four priority areas of Sendai Framework include: 1) Understanding Risk; 2) Strengthening Risk Governance; 3) Investing in disaster resilience; and 4) Improving capacities for disaster response as well as for building back better after disasters. The Sendai Framework has set targets for substantial reduction in losses including reduction in number of deaths from disasters, number of people affected by disasters, economic losses and infrastructure losses. At the same time, it calls for increase in capacities through national and local strategies, international cooperation and improved access to early warning. The new Framework calls for concrete indicators of progress towards these targets to be measured against the disaster losses in the decade after the adoption of the 2005 Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), its predecessor. The Sendai Framework is built on elements which ensure continuity with the work done by states and other stakeholders under the HFA and introduces a number of innovations. In furtherance to its commitment to the Sendai framework, Government has taken up several important initiatives post Sendai Declaration. Firstly, as committed, India has successfully hosted the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction (AMCDRR) in November, 2016 and adopted ‘New Delhi Declaration’ and ‘Regional Action Plan for implementation of the Sendai Framework’. In line with the all-of-society approach for disaster risk reduction enshrined in the Sendai Framework, the AMCDRR also provided an opportunity for multiple stakeholders to come together and make specific commitments to the implementation of Sendai Framework in Asia and the Pacific. At the AMCDRR, Prime Minister outlined a ten-point agenda, to pursue the implementation of disaster risk reduction efforts in the region with renewed vigour. Secondly, Government of India has issued a set of priority actions to all the State Government based on the goals, targets and priorities of Sendai Framework 2015-2030. Government of India, during AMCDRR, 2016, has extended the grant of US $ 1 million to UNISDR towards effective implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Asian region. Thirdly, in line with Sendai priority 4, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is strengthened, both in terms of state-of-the-art training and equipment so as to further empower it as a professional disaster response force. Besides, Government of India has approved the creation of National Disaster Response Reserve (NDRR) through a revolving fund of Rs. 250 crore to be operated by the National Disaster Response Force. This dedicated fund would enable the NDRF to maintain a ready inventory of emergency goods and services comprising tents, medicines, food items etc., which are immediately required after any disaster. Fourthly, the government expressed keenness to share India’s expertise and help other countries in disaster response as it did during Japan Earthquake in 2011 and Nepal earthquake of 2015. The government of India is making consistent efforts to promote regional cooperation by hosting the SAARC Disaster Management Centre to reduce disaster risks in the region and promoting knowledge sharing among the SAARC countries. The Indian national Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), in Hyderabad, provides early warning not only to India but also to 28 countries in the Indian Ocean Rim. Fifthly, in an effort to augment the capacity building in the field of Disaster management, in August 2015, NIDM has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for financial assistance and academic cooperation for establishment of a center for excellence in disaster research and resilience building at JNU for promoting higher education and research within a multi-disciplinary framework. In addition to this as a part of institutional strengthening, the Government of India has constituted the National Disaster Response Force Academy at National Civil Defence College, Nagpur for training to personnel involved in disaster management and response. Further, the Government has implemented the recommendations of 14th finance commission and approved an allocation of Rs 61,220 crore (comprising of Rs 47,029.50 crore as central share and Rs 14,90.50 crore as state share) in State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to all the states for 2015-16 to 2019-20 which is significantly higher than the allocation of Rs 33,580.93 crore recommended by 13th Finance commission for 2010-11 to 2014-15. Over and above the provision of the SDRF, funding is supplemented form the NDRF in the wake of disasters of severe nature as per the requirement. Lastly, while re-emphasizing that State has a primary role in reducing the disaster risk, the Sendai framework also calls upon other stakeholders including the private sector to be involved in disaster preparedness and mitigation planning as well as relief and recovery phase. Box: A Prime Minister’s 10-Point Agenda on Disaster Risk Reduction Outlined at the AMCDRR
  1. Ensure that all development projects – airports, roads, canals, hospitals, schools, bridges – are built to appropriate disaster resilient standards.
  2. Work towards risk coverage for all – starting from poor households to small and medium enterprises to multi-national corporations to nation states.
  3. Encourage greater involvement and leadership of women in disaster risk management.
  4. Invest in risk mapping globally for all hazards.
  5. Leverage technology to enhance the efficiency of our disaster risk management efforts.
  6. Develop a network of universities to work on disaster issues.
  7. Utilize the opportunities provided by social media and mobile technologies.
  8. Build on local capacity and initiative.
  9. Ensure that the opportunity to learn form a disaster is not wasted. Establish a facility for technical support to post-disaster reconstruction of houses.
  10. Bring about greater cohesion in international response to disasters.
Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2016 The Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction was held recently in New Delhi with the aim of providing a platform to member countries for sharing best practices in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction. This was the first Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) after the advent of the Sendai Framework for DRR (SFDRR). The SFDRR (2015-2030) was adopted at the Third World Conference on DRR at Sendai in Japan in March, 2015. The next AMCDRR will be held in Mongolia in 2018  "