The Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog, Dr. Rajiv Kumar
inaugurated the First India-Japan Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction here
today. The two-day workshop is being jointly organised by the Ministry of Home
Affairs, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Government of Japan,
says an official statement.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog
underlined the synergy between the two ancient Asian civilizations of India and
Japan, both of which have frequently witnessed the fury of natural catastrophes
and are investing proactively on mainstreaming risk reduction into development.
He said that this workshop “marks the beginning of formal implementation of the
initiatives agreed under the Memorandum of Cooperation signed between the two
countries on Disaster Risk Reduction in September 2017”.
While underlining the impact of disaster on
development, Dr. Rajiv Kumar stated that uncontrolled development without
proper disaster risk assessment has increased the risk of losses from
disasters. He added that climate change has further aggravated the disaster
risk. “Therefore, disaster risk management can no longer remain isolated from
the overall strategy of sustainable development”, he said.
Recalling commitments made in Sendai on Disaster Risk
Reduction, in Paris on Climate Change and in New York on Sustainable
Development Goals, Dr Rajiv Kumar emphasized the role of country leadership for
implementing the commitments particularly in the field of Disaster Risk
Reduction, as returns to investment are not easily visible. He said that “Disaster
Risk Reduction should be seen not as a cost to economic growth, but rather as a
valuable asset for the country”.
Dr. Rajiv Kumar talked about reducing disaster risk by
strengthening resilience, through a six-pronged approach of Risk Identification,
Risk Reduction, Preparedness, Financial Protection, Resilient Reconstruction
and Societal Awareness. He highlighted the role of education and schooling in
preparing citizens for catastrophic natural disasters. He also emphasized the
role of building partnerships with stakeholders for promoting risk informed
investment. In this regard, he said “reducing the risk and losses of disasters
is a collective effort” and therefore, this workshop is “indeed a very defining
step towards mutual sharing, learning and enhancing the capacities of our
people and communities in disaster risk resilience”.
The Vice Minister for Policy Coordination in the
Cabinet Office, Japan, Mr. Mamoru Maekawa, thanked the Government of India for
hosting this Workshop, which is the first outcome of the Memorandum of
Cooperation regarding Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). He shared the Japanese
experiences of DRR policies, including legal and planning framework, and
discussed how Japan is preparing against mega-scale disasters, in collaboration
with government, academia, private companies and citizens. He concluded that
Japan and India could collaborate for the implementation of the Sendai
Framework so as to contribute to Disaster Risk Reduction globally.
Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister
of India, Dr. P. K. Mishra talked about the unparalleled contribution of Japan
to global Disaster Risk Reduction. He appreciated their consistent global
leadership in this area from the early days of the International Decade of
Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) to Yokohama Strategy, to Hyogo Framework to
the current Sendai Framework. Dr. Mishra lauded Japan’s lead in technology and
its all of society approach in DRR. Dr. Mishra stressed the need for imbibing
the principles of Disaster Risk Management in all development sectors so as to
prevent economic losses. He mentioned that in line with the Prime Minister’s
announcement during the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
held in 2016, India is working towards a global coalition on Disaster Resilient
Infrastructure. He complimented Japan for their active cooperation on this
initiative and also emphasized long standing collaboration between the two
countries in DRR at various levels.
Ambassador of Japan to India, Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu,
expressed his gratitude to the people of India for sending the team of National
Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to Japan, who extended their unstinting
assistance in the aftermath of the Great East Japan earthquake in March 2011.
He also mentioned about the various cooperative projects related to Disaster
Risk Reduction (DRR) which are currently ongoing between Japan and India; and
emphasized the importance of people's awareness and precautionary measures for
In his welcome address, Shri R K Jain, Member, NDMA,
highlighted the expertise of Japan in the field of Disaster Risk Management,
particularly in the field of earthquake risk reduction and resilience. He said
that the workshop will help to learn from the experience of Japan in earthquake
safety and early warning system.
Union Home Secretary Shri Rajiv Gauba, all Members of
NDMA and senior officers from MHA, NDMA and NDRF were also present during the
Fifty delegates from Japan including experts from
government, technical institutions, private sector and 70 delegates from India
including experts from Central Government, State Governments, NDMA, SDMAs,
IITs, NIDM, National Centre for Seismology, INCOIS, NRSC, IMD, National
Geophysical Research Institute, TERI, BISAG, Wadia Institute of Himalayan
Geology, IIHS, SAARC Disaster Management Centre, NIUA, SPA, Research and
Information System for Development Countries, Infrastructure Companies, Private
Sector and NGOs are participating in the Workshop.
Deliberations at the
workshop will take the dialogue on India-Japan Cooperation on Disaster Risk
Reduction further with particular focus of earthquake safety. The workshop will
identify possible areas of cooperation of India with Japan in the field of
Disaster Risk Reduction.