Global Disaster risk is increasing worldwide, threatening development gains, owing largely to mix of unplanned urban development, vulnerable livelihoods and ecosystem degradation. It is now widely realized that many disasters are avoidable, as they are consequences of unmanaged risk. Development without adequate incorporation of DRR could worsen existing risks and has the likelihood of introducing new risks, increasing the negative impact of potential disasters. During the period of 1998-2017 disaster-hit countries reported direct economic losses valued at US$ 2,908 billion. India suffered USD 79.5 billion economic loss due to climate- related disasters in the last 20 years. India’s average annual economic loss due to disasters is estimated to be $9.8 billion, including $7 billion loss on account of floods.
However, for the last 15 years a paradigm shift has taken place from the relief centric approach to a holistic approach with emphasis on prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Government of India has established improved institutional arrangements and DRR mechanisms to deal with any threatening disaster situation or disaster with the enactment of The Disaster Management Act, 2005 and by setting up an apex authority National Disaster Management Authority under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister. National Disaster Management Plan is prepared in consultation with all the stakeholders. The present institutional framework in India gives roles to every Ministry/ Department of the Union Government and to every State/ Union Territory Government to prepare and implement a holistic disaster management plan, with adequate financial provisioning.
These efforts are aimed to conserve developmental gains and also minimize losses to lives, livelihood and property. Integrating disaster risk reduction into investment decisions is the most cost-effective way to reduce these risks; investing in disaster risk reduction is therefore a precondition for developing sustainably in a changing climate. Thus, it is desirable that the development initiatives and DRR are dealt with concurrently in a seamless manner into all the relevant policies, planning and implementation. Climate change impacts act as risk multipliers in respect of the hydro-meteorological hazards. All development initiatives must factor in the likelihood of greater risks and increase in climate change-induced vulnerabilities. This requires incorporation of risk management and climate adaptation as an intrinsic feature of all developmental efforts, especially in the areas where hazards are known to be high. Thus, mainstreaming of DRR becomes an essential practice, fully institutionalized within each sector’s regular planning.
The Government of India recognizes the need to evolve a participatory process of decision making in disaster management with active involvement of the Central & State Governments and stakeholders including people representing different interests in the field of disaster management. An institutional mechanism to address this need will not only strengthen the disaster management structure and institutions all over the Country but will also strengthen the federal polity and democratic governance in the larger interest of its people.
Accordingly, a multi-stakeholders and multi-sectoral National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) was constituted by Government of India vide resolution dated 26th February 2013 and amended vide resolution no 47-31/2012-DM-III on 17th January, 2017 for wider participation of different stakeholders. NPDRR is chaired by the Union Home Minister and Minister of State in- charge of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs is the Vice Chairperson of NPDRR. The other members of NPDRR are 15 Cabinet Ministers, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, Minister of each State Government/ UT dealing with the subject disaster management, representatives of Local Self-Governments and Parliament, ex-officio members, Heads of institutions of national importance, persons representing industry, media representatives, civil society organizations and international representatives. NPDRR is, thus, characterised by a process that facilitates dialogue, sharing experiences, views and ideas, present findings of research and action and explore opportunities for mutual cooperation in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction.
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