New Delhi, Delhi, India
A special conference was held to focus on the setting up of a GLOBAL UNITED FUND, the world’s first $100 Million Fund to bring Government and Private Sector together for Business Sustainability through Disaster Risk Reduction.
To build up capacity of the nation in Disaster Management a strategic alliance was formed between the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and National Institute of Disaster Management in September 2004.
The approach of disaster management earlier was reactive and relief centric. India has been traditionally vulnerable to natural disasters on account of its unique geo-climatic conditions.
Since then three National Level Workshops have been conducted at New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai and an International Conference on “Spatial Data Infrastructure and its Role in Disaster Management” was held in Chennai.
FICCI Secretary General A Didar Singh said: “The need of the hour is to increase private sector involvement in the disaster risk management. Organized by FICCI, along with UNISDR, ARISE and NIDM, the first Private Sector conference being held on sidelines of AMCDRR conference with focus on private sector involvement sets out to create a concrete roadmap for implementing resilience-building measures through innovative innovations support by creation of a Global United Fund.”
Harkesh Kumar Mittal, Adviser, Member Secretary, National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), said the Government does not know how to do business, academia does not know how to do business, it only the industries which know how to do business. So, their involvement is required as disaster creates opportunities in the fooding, shelter and construction and rescue area.
JesperElsgaard, Senior Director, Global Governmental Affairs at Bavarian Nordic A/S Copenhagen Area, Capital Region, Denmark Government, spoke of the need for a wider international involvement to share expertise and participate in fund raising to address major disasters as and when they strike.
Sandra Wu Wen-Hsui, Chairperson and CEO, Kokusai Kogyo, Japan shared Japan’s experience of dealing with earthquakes and quick restoration afterwards. Japan is extremely proficient in tackling quakes and the damage they leave in their wake.
The aim of these type of workshops has been to spread general awareness and build up the capacity of the various stake holders in mitigation of disasters. The participants included not only the captains of the Corporate Sector but also from Government, Non-Government research institutions and students of colleges/universities.
In the decade 1990-2000, an average of about 4344 people lost their lives and about 30 million people were affected by disasters every year. The loss in terms of private, community and public assets has been astronomical.
The Super cyclone in Orissa in October, 1999 and the Bhuj earthquake in Gujarat in January, 2001 underscored the need to adopt a multi dimensional endeavor involving scientific, engineering, financial and social processes; the need to adopt multi disciplinary and multi sectoral approach and incorporation of risk reduction in the developmental plans and strategies.
Dr Robert Muir-Wood, Chief Research Officer, RMS said, “India has the highest number of people exposed to flood risk of any country worldwide, and the fastest increase in flood risk from development and climate change. More than half of India by area is vulnerable to earthquakes, and almost forty cities are at particularly high risk. The rapid expansion in population and development in India is moving too fast to ensure adequate standards of protection. The widespread damage from earthquake to ordinary buildings recently seen in neighbouring Nepal, could equally be the outcome in many cities in India.”
Sr Director FICCI, Nirankar Saxena said, “September 2004 was a landmark for Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, when it formed a strategic alliance with National Institute of Disaster Management to build up capacity of the nation in Disaster Management. Since then three National Level Workshops have been conducted at New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai . The aim of these events has been to spread general awareness and build up the capacity of the various stake holders in mitigation of disasters.”The speakers for the conferences were well reputed in their respective fields. The program was received well and a record number of 750 – 800 participants attended.