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In India, there is a need to examine the following challenges:

1.     Urban vulnerability and disasters

Rapid urban growth, as a result of the sharp economic development, is one of the main factors contributing to increased vulnerability to natural hazards in India. Unplanned urban growth results in a generalized increase in damage in case of earthquakes, floods and similar disasters. Once a disaster occurs, its direct and secondary impacts can become enormous. It is recognized that sustainable development, whether it is a developing country or an industrialized country, has to rely also on measures to counter urban vulnerability to natural disasters. Therefore, it is indispensable to undertake risk assessments based on vulnerability indicators, to build cities with reduced vulnerability, as well as to build capacity to recover from disasters and to reconstruct the affected urban areas rapidly.

 

2.     Response to climate change

Additionally, it is necessary to respond to the effect of extreme climate fluctuations. For example, due to rise in average temperature caused by global warming, the number and intensity of cyclones and typhoons, or El Nino related disasters, such as droughts and floods, are anticipated to increase. In addition, it is pointed out that rise in sea level and temperature will increase the risk of storm surge in island and low-lying coastal countries and extend the liquefaction of alluvial lands in time of earthquakes. In this regard, it is suggested to carry out a research on the correlation between climate change and disasters with a long-term view as well as to strengthen international cooperation to establish and improve early warning systems at national, regional, and international levels.

 

3.     Multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral cooperation to address emerging challenges

In order to confront the problems mentioned above, it is vital to strengthen cooperation among various sectors, including some whose primary mandate may not explicitly include disaster reduction. Considering that social aspects as poverty and environmental degradation are the main factors to increase vulnerability, it is crucial to involve in disaster reduction actors of various fields, such as education, the media, environment, science and technology, and development planning. In addition, cooperation with academic and scientific sectors is relevant for the study on the correlation between climate and disasters and the development of improved early-warning systems.

 

4.     Enhancement of Information Management Capacity

It is necessary to improve the collection, organization and dissemination of data (statistics and other relevant data) on the human, social, economic and environmental impact of disasters in order to demonstrate to policy and decision makers that disaster reduction is cost effective and conducive to sustainable development.

The sharing of information and the networking among relevant actors in the information field is essential to ensure wider involvement and a greater impact in policy and decision making.

Recommendations

1. Urban vulnerability and disasters

-         Promotion of disaster reduction strategies at the community level, in particular, to reduce vulnerability in urban areas and to promote activities to ensure safety through the development of culture of prevention.

-         Promotion of risk assessment based on vulnerability indicators, to build cities with reduced vulnerability, as well as to build capacity to recover from disasters and to reconstruct the affected areas rapidly.

 

2.  Response to climate change

-         Promotion of research on the correlation between climate change and disasters with a long-term view.

-         Establishment of improved early warning systems to reduce disasters caused by extreme events, such as floods and droughts.

 

3.  Cooperation to address emerging challenges

-         Establishment and strengthening of cooperation between various sectors of the  community, such as education, the media, environment, development planning, science  and technology in order to reduce the negative impacts of disasters.

-         Participation of all sectors at the community level, such as the local governments, the private sector, NGOs, and other driving actors.

 

4.     Enhancement of information management capacity

-         Improvement of data collection and dissemination.

-         Strengthening of information sharing and networking.

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