2nd International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure-2019 (IWDRI), the 2nd  IWDRI, organised by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), and in partnership with the Global Commission on Adaptation, United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank on 19 & 20 March 2019 in New Delhi, had participation of experts from 33 countries representing a wide variety of development and disaster risk contexts, multilateral development banks, the private sector, academia, policy think tanks and other stakeholders, with the following aims:

  • Identify good practices of disaster risk management in key infrastructure sectors,
  • Identify specific areas and pathways for collaborative research on DRI (Transport, Energy, Telecom and Water),
  • Discuss and co-create the broad contours of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) as well as a notional roll-out plan for the next three years, and
  • Build a forum for members to work on areas of common interest and make specific commitments.

IWDRI’s inaugural address was delivered by Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog of India, in which he said, “As millions of people will continue to move to towns and cities in the near future, urban resilience will be the key for sustainability”, and added, “it is the States where all the action happens and urged working in collaboration with State Governments for better results”.

  1. K. Singh, Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission of India, in his special address, called for collective action on resilient infrastructure so that people-centric solutions are found.
  • IWDRI identified good practices of disaster risk management in key infrastructure sectors such as Transport, Energy, Telecom and Water.
  • It also discussed emerging technologies and nature-based innovation in the context of climate change and its impact on creation, operation and maintenance of infrastructure.
  • It had discussions on the need and practical issues concerning finance and insurance for infrastructure.
  • It set the stage for taking the dialogue on the proposed Coalition for DRI (CDRI) forward at the global level.
  • CDRI is envisaged as a knowledge exchange and capacity development partnership.
  • India had announced the creation of a CDRI soon after the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which was held in New Delhi in 2016.
  • Three mantras for achieving sustainability in Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (DRI):
    • Need to focus on the poor and the vulnerable;
    • To follow an inclusive approach of collaboration with multiple stakeholders;
    • To ensure proactive connectedness with other Global Processes in DRR.

There are long-term benefits of investing in resilient infrastructure as has been reiterated in various international agreements:

  • Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030, 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.
  • Goal 9 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) similarly, recognizes disaster resilient infrastructure as a crucial driver of economic growth and development.

Disaster resilient infrastructure will also help achieve targets pertaining to reduction in mortality, number of affected people and economic losses due to disasters, besides reducing infrastructure losses.

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