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India’s National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Shri PK Mishra addressed the Valedictory programme of the 3rd Session of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction on March 12.

Shri Mishra who has attended all three sessions of NPDRR since 2013, expressed happiness about the enlarged scope of conversation and The breadth and depth of the discussions. In its Pan India presence, The event is turning disaster risk reduction into a ‘jan andolan’ as envisaged by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

The Principal Secretary underlined the importance of the theme of the session “Building Local Resilience in a Changing Climate” as It responds to the need for localising disaster risk management at a time when disaster risks are not only increasing but new patterns of risks are emerging. Shri Mishra referred to the Prime Minister’s 10-Point Agenda that emphasizes the need for building local capacities and initiatives, and especially women’s leadership in disaster risk management. Learning from the proceedings of the sessions will go into implementation of the Prime Minister’s ten-point agenda and the Sendai Framework, he said.

Shri Mishra suggested two overarching themes for the stakeholders to pursue. First, relates to professionalizing the disaster risk management setup at the State and district levels, and, second, developing programmes and interventions which are responsive to the needs of the people.

With regard to the first theme, the Principal Secretary to Prime Minister said that “all aspects of disaster management functions at all levels – national,state, and district -- need to be supported by professionally trained staff, a fit-for-purpose structure, administrative infrastructure, modern workspace, and necessary facilities such as Emergency Operations Centers.” This professionalization needs to cover SDMSs, DDMAs both. He said disaster preparedness and disaster mitigation needs to be professionalized on the lines of professionalization of disaster response that happened with the arrival of NDRF and SDRF. States, Shri Mishra said. The states have adequate resources and they will be supported by NDMA, NIDM, and NDRF in a coordinated manner, he added.

With regard to the second theme of programme development, Shri Mishra said that Policies and programmes go hand in hand. “In the development of programmes we must work across sectors. This will require combined efforts of disaster management, environment, water resources, education, urban development, agriculture and public health sectors”, he said

The Principal Secretary asked NDMA to consider developing inter-sectoral programmes as the appropriate context for advancing the application of disaster management as mainstreaming of disaster risk management in development is not possible until we know how to apply our regular programmes for risk reduction. He also highlighted the need of prioritizing the needs of the most vulnerable.

He expressed satisfaction with the availability of resources for both the tasks of professionalization and programme development. New technologies, he continued, can make disaster management tools and practices more effective in events like cyclones, disaster resilient infrastructure. He said that the next three years are very critical, and we must pursue this with single minded focus.

The Principal Secretary concluded by alerting the stakeholders of slow progress on Sendai Framework, whose eighth anniversary falls in one week. “More than half of this 15-year Framework’s time has passed and the world is way off track from achieving the Sendai targets. We must rededicate ourselves to creating a more effective, more responsive system of disaster risk management to work towards a safer country and safer world with more resilient communities”, he added.

Background to NPDRR

A multi-stakeholders and multi-sectoral National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) was constituted by Government of India in 2013.

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. The 3rd Session of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction has now been held to review the progress made through the NPDRR.


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