In the present era, the efficacy of the infrastructure is the synonym for the economic growth and development of any given area. Consequently, more natural topographical regions including hazard prone areas are being and will be transformed in built environment. This spatial expansion of built environment in hazards prone areas will expose greater number of population and infrastructure entities to the window of disastrous phenomena. The insatiable craving of the escalating population for growth and enhanced lifestyle will entail enormous amount of monetary investment on infrastructure sectors. According to a research on international platform, it is estimated that globally, during the period of 2016-2040, an investment of USD 94 trillion will be endowed for sustainable development of infrastructure sectors including transport, communication, energy, water and other social infrastructure (IWDRI, 2019). The developing countries of the Asian Continent alone will require an investment of USD 26 trillion from 2016 to 2030, or USD 1.7 trillion per year to achieve and maintain their targets of growth, poverty eradication and response to climate change.
The colossal human and economic losses are incurred by disasters across the globe. To an estimate, a whopping economic losses of USD 2-2.5 trillion was caused by the disasters from 1995-2015 (CDRI, 2020). Further, the researchers across the world have authenticated the adverse impacts of climate change in altering the frequency, intensity and location of various hazards. Thus, enormous monetary investment on infrastructure sectors will be exposed to existing risks of hazards as well as forthcoming risks due to vagaries of climate change. Due to cross-sectoral characteristics of infrastructure entities they have macro-economic national, regional and global implications. The glimpses of adverse impacts of disasters on any sectors of infrastructure can be observed at micro-level. The devastation of infrastructure sectors can result in fatalities and loss of livelihood, thus, hampering the progress and prosperity of households, environment and whole area. The population living below poverty line is the worst sufferer of such devastation as they often don’t have adequate resources to cope the miseries of disasters. Therefore, there is an urgent need to foster and forge the culture of disaster resilient infrastructure for ensuring safer sustainable socio-economic, physical and environmental development.
The apprehension of infrastructure safety from the adverse impacts of the various disasters has been reiterated by a number of international agreements like Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Paris Climate Agreement (COP21) and New Urbanization Agenda. The SFDRR (2015-2030) with its four priorities for action and seven targets emphasized to strengthen the resilience against the disasters, especially of infrastructure for the robust and sustainable development. Mainstreaming the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in infrastructure sectors will enhance the resilience of infrastructure and will result in reduction of damages and losses beside diminution in mortality, number of affected population, disruption in provision of basic social services and economic losses.
The target 9.1 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) also envisaged developing quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all. Similarly the Paris Climate Agreement and the various IPCC reports have also deliberated upon climate sensitive safer development.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi in his address at an event on “Disaster Risk Resilient Infrastructure for Sustainable Development” during Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) held at New Delhi during the year 2016, declared that India would commence necessary interventions for reduction of the damages and losses of critical infrastructure sectors. Subsequently, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, announced the launch of a global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 held in New York City, USA, on September 23, 2019. The Coalition has been envisaged to focus on developing resilience in ecological infrastructure, social infrastructure with a concerted emphasis on health, education, social, economical and physical infrastructure with special attention to transportation, telecommunications, energy, and water.
To address the issues of critical infrastructure sectors with reference to DRR and climate change at all levels, Government of India in collaboration with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR, formerly UNISDR), and in partnership with the Global Commission on Adaptation, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank (WB) hosted two International workshops on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) during 2018 and 2019 respectively. The workshops have endeavored to harvest the expertise and wisdom of wide range of stakeholders from various partner countries representing their disaster risk management agencies, key infrastructure sectors, multilateral development banks, UN agencies, academia and research institutions, the private sector and policy think tanks. The third workshop of the series has been scheduled to be held during 19th – 20th March 2020. The objectives of third IWDRI is to develop greater understanding of gaps and advancements made in knowledge and capacities through enhanced inter-country and inter-agency partnerships; to identify needs of regional and sectoral infrastructure; available mechanisms, resources and capital investment needs and lessons learned from past experiences.
National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India with an endeavor to carry forward the interventions of Government of India for disaster resilient infrastructure, would be organizing a thematic session on “Mainstreaming DRR & R in Infrastructure Sectors (Road, Ports, Aviation, Bridges, Water Supply, Irrigation, Communication, Transport and Power)” during the day-2 of the 3rd National Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction on 6th May 2020 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
The key issues to be discussed in the plenary session will include existing status and gaps in infrastructure safety and resilience within the country. The session will deliberate upon various potential indicators and factors that may be considered for evaluating and assessing the degree of resilience in infrastructure sectors. Some case studies will also be presented to highlight good and bad practices in infrastructure sectors, particularly education, health, transport, communication, power, water resources, Railways, Ports, Aviation, Energy and Built Environment. As several different stakeholders will be participating in the conference, an initiative will be taken to discuss about possible collaboration, networking and strengthening strategies for disaster resilient infrastructure.
The plenary session is expected to provide following outcomes:
The target delegates for this thematic session will be professional, practitioners, experts, resource persons, relevant functionaries and disaster management officials from the respective infrastructure sectors / departments of Central and State Governments, international agencies, academics and research institutes.
POTENTIAL PARTNER INSTITUTIONS
The potential partner institutions will be primarily those ministries, departments, organizations and agencies who are involved with infrastructure planning and development as well as those involved with disaster risk reduction and resilience including disaster management authorities, revenue and disaster management departments, disaster management institutions / centre, and other relevant stakeholders. These may include NDMA, SDMAs, IITs, NITs, AICTE, UGC, CSIR, DST, GSI, CWC, NIH, NIC, CDAC, BMTPC, DTU, MoRTH, Railway Board, CPWD, NBCC, Power, Communication, GAIL, ONGC, PGCL, NABM, AIR, DD and so on.
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