International Workshop on 
Disaster Resilient Infrastructure


Infrastructure has shaped human civilization for millennia. Various traditional infrastructure systems, from the drainage system of Indus valley civilisation cities to the system of interconnected lakes in Udaipur, clearly show that our ancestors had a lot of foresight in building resilient systems that have served us for centuries. The way a generation builds its infrastructure either builds risk or resilience for its future generations.

The world will see an unprecedented infrastructure growth in the coming decades and the responsibility of ensuring resilience of this infrastructure lies with our generation.

To take the agenda of disaster resilient infrastructure forward, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) organised a two-day International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) on January 15-16, 2018) in New Delhi.

"We need to bring to bear tremendous foresight and rigour to ensure that all our new infrastructure is built to withstand the hazards of the present as well as the future," said Shri Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister, while inaugurating the workshop.

During a disaster, poor quality, weak infrastructure results in loss of lives, livelihoods and causes significant economic loss. It is, therefore, extremely crucial that the new (as well as existing) infrastructure is strong enough to withstand the impact of any disaster. Urging everyone to come together, Shri Singh said that no country can address the challenges involved in creating disaster resilient infrastructure alone. He added, “As the infrastructure systems are globally interconnected, disruptions in one part of the world can cause havoc in another part of the world. It is, therefore, important that all stakeholders come together to address the challenges and devise solutions to create resilient infrastructure.”

Various international agreements have also reiterated the importance and long-term benefits of investing in resilient infrastructure. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), 2015-2030, which is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, identifies investing in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for resilience and to build back better in reconstruction as priorities for action towards reducing disaster risk. Similarly, Goal 9 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognizes disaster resilient infrastructure as a crucial driver of economic growth and development.

The workshop brought together representatives from 21 countries from across the world - Australia, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Chile, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Norway, Nepal, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States - with different socio-economic backgrounds and geographical features. This translated into a great opportunity to learn from their unique experiences in their efforts towards building disaster resilient infrastructure.
  
The workshop began with a broad discussion on infrastructure development, risks to which the current assets are exposed to, the direct and indirect socio-economic impact of the disasters, the investment ecosystem, regulatory standards, sectoral roles and opportunities of building resilience in key projects of the future.

During technical sessions, best practices as well as key issues in existing practices in the infrastructure sector and ways to address them were discussed in great detail.

Need to rank States in terms of their progress in Disaster Management to ensure that disaster awareness spreads rapidly and widely in society - Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog

 Resilient infrastructure is important not only for the aggregate economic growth but also for ending poverty - Shri Kiren Rijiju, MoS, Home Affairs
Besides reducing infrastructure losses, disaster resilient infrastructure will also help achieve targets pertaining to reduction in mortality, number of affected people and economic losses due to disasters.
Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Dr. P.K. Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister; Shri Kiren Rijiju, MoS, Home Affairs; Dr. Robert Glasser, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction; Members and senior officials of NDMA; multilateral development banks, the United Nations, the private sector and academics also participated in the workshop.

For details, visit http://ndma.gov.in/iwdri/index.html

Sessions:
  • Risk Management of Key Infrastructure Sectors
  • Risk Assessment, Standards, Design, and Regulation for Infrastructure development, Operation and Maintenance
  • Financing Disaster Resilient Infrastructure
  • Reconstruction and Recovery of Critical Infrastructure after Disasters

Quick facts:
  • By 2040, world needs $100 trillion for infrastructure
  • By 2030, Asia alone needs $26 trillion investment in infra
  • More than 70% of infra that our cities will have by 2050 is yet to be built

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