ICIMOD participates in the roundtable meetings on DRR in New Delhi, India

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ICIMOD participated in roundtable meetings to discuss ‘Innovations in Technologies for Disaster Rescue Efforts in Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM)  Countries’ on 4-5 December 2014 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, India. The two-day event was organized by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, inaugurated the event by launching a Virtual Knowledge Portal (VKP), a web based tool to share knowledge and best practices related to natural disaster risk assessment, mitigation and response, among EAS countries. The meetings were attended by delegates from 26 member countries, along with 10 international organizations and representatives from various industries.

The meetings laid the groundwork for building partnerships among ASEM member countries and promoting public private partnerships for enhancing the capacity for disaster rescue and relief. Participants discussed technological innovations for disaster prevention and rescue efforts in ASEM countries and explored opportunities to promote multilateralism in cross border assistance in the event of disasters. They also discussed how innovations in technology can be utilized to save lives and reduce effective response time on the part of the governments.

During the session on regional and international practices in disaster risk reduction (DRR) chaired by Ms. Sneh Lata Kumar, Secretary (Border Management), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA),  Dr Mandira Singh Shrestha, senior water resources specialist at ICIMOD, stressed the importance of transboundary collaboration in flood risk reduction, the role of advanced technologies in risk reduction, and the need for early warning systems with the last mile connectivity to reduce the adverse impact of disasters and increase community resilience.

The meeting participants emphasized that technological innovations and their applications are integral to capacity building and planning for disaster risk reduction and effective response to natural or human induced disasters, including disaster related implications of climate change and other environmental emergencies.