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Day long SAARC Regional Workshop on Sharing Best Practices on "Disaster Risk Reduction" concludes


Day long SAARC Regional Workshop on Sharing Best Practices on "Disaster Risk Reduction" concludes 
The SAARC Regional Workshop on Sharing Best Practices on "Disaster Risk Reduction" concluded, here today. After a four-day intensive interaction through tabletop and joint simulation exercises during the South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx) from November 23-26, 2015, all the 8 SAARC member countries got together to discuss and deliberate upon the best practices on disaster risk reduction.
This Regional Workshop was hosted by Government of India and was coordinated by the National Disaster Management Authority and National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India, Dr. P.K Mishra has inaugurated the Regional Workshop in the morning, today. During his inaugural address, Dr. Mishra stressed upon the need for a more coordinated effort to deal with disasters amongst member countries of the region. He further reinforced that it would be important to systematically invest in disaster risk reduction and preparedness activities and therefore there is an important need to quantify the targets enumerated in the Sendai Framework to achieve greater degree of risk resilience.

This was followed by technical sessions where issues pertaining to best practices on disaster risk reduction and strengthening regional disaster response in the backdrop of Sendai Framework were deliberated in detail by member countries. The member countries appreciated the efforts of Government of India in organising the first exercise of responding to simulated situations jointly by response teams from SAARC countries in the region as well as the conduct of regional workshop, in particular the efforts of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in planning and making them successful and impactful. 

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SAARC Regional Workshop on Sharing Best Practices on "Disaster Risk Reduction" inaugurated

Disaster Risk Impact assessment required at the time of appraisal of a project: Dr P. K. Mishra

Targets and outcomes need to be quantified 
A day-long SAARC Regional Workshop on Sharing Best Practices on "Disaster Risk Reduction" was inaugurated here today by Dr P. K. Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, in the presence of Mr. Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Secretary General of SAARC , Shri R.K Jain, Member Secretary, NDMA , Shri O.P. Singh, DG, NDRF , Shri Santosh Kumar, Director, SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC) and other senior officials of the concerned ministries, participants and delegates from the member countries. The aim of the Regional workshop is to provide a platform to member countries for sharing best practices in the field of disaster risk reduction, experience sharing on Nepal Earthquake April 2015 as well as deliberating upon the outcomes of the South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx -2015). The first 4 day SAADMEx, hosted by Government of India, in the National Capital Region, concluded here yesterday.

During his inaugural address, Dr P. K. Mishra said that this initiative is a milestone in our endeavor to have cooperation between the countries to manage disasters effectively. He said that this exercise should not be limited only to response, but should address the entire spectrum. He said that risk reduction is no longer a local phenomenon; global targets, regional plans, local strategies and implementation is required in this regard, he added. He said that countries responding collectively are more important than responding individually. This exercise is an outcome of the directions by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, to have regional exercises for response, he added. This will help in coordinating efforts and showcasing solidarity, he said. He also expressed concern that there is always a huge gap between the discussions and implementation. In this regard, he said that we have been talking about DRR, but in practice we have not been able to show successful examples. We have not been able to replicate the success, he added. He said that efforts should be made to quantify the outcomes, targets should be defined in numbers. He also said that fund- mobilization is not an issue these days, which used to be for decades earlier.. Now different countries pledge funds in case of disasters, he said. He also said that at the time of appraisal of a project, Disaster Risk Impact should be done along with the environment and social impact assessment. Our target should be to prevent the future risk and mitigate the existing risk. If the ‘recovery and reconstruction’ issue is addressed, less efforts will be required in future for response, he added.

Shri R.K Jain said that this workshop is important platform to discuss the lessons learnt and to deliberate upon the larger issues of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in context of Sendai Framework. He said that each country has gone through its unique experience of handling the disasters. There have been successes and failures in this regard, but it is important to share knowledge and experience, he said. He said that four technical sessions are important particularly in the light of Nepal earthquake experience as this will help the member countries to set national and regional priorities.

Mr. Arjun Bahadur Thapa said that SAARC since its inception has focused on regional cooperation for various issues including management of natural disasters. This exercise will help in the direction of ratification of SAARC Agreement on Rapid Response to Natural Disasters signed in 2011. He also said that various regional centers have also been established and constitute an important framework of SAARC institutions, which address diverse aspects of environment, climate change and natural disasters. These centres are: SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre (Maldives), SAARC Forestry Centre (Bhutan) and SAARC Disaster Management Centre (India). He said that disasters know no boundaries and affect more than one country. This workshop will provide invaluable inputs with respect to disaster response, he added.

The workshop is being coordinated by the National Disaster Management Authority and National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. During the workshop, four technical sessions are being organized on sharing experiences on Nepal earthquake, Disaster Regional Response Mechanism – Sharing of experience of SAADMEx 2015, Best practices on DRR: Lessons Learnt and Recovery and reconstruction. 


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