Living with Risks: Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Preparedness in the Himalayan Region

Global trends in natural disasters over the last two decades show that both the number of disasters and the number of affected people are increasing, resulting in major environmental and socio-economic costs. The South Asian floods in 2007, affecting Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, killed nearly 2000 people and displaced more than 20 million people in the area (Disasters and Development, Ehime University, September 2010). According to a study by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), some 373 natural disasters killed over 296,800 people in 2010 and affected nearly 208 million others, at a cost of nearly US$110 billion; 89 per cent of the people affected lived in Asia. The recent Indus floods in Pakistan that affected over two million people and caused economic losses of more than US$9.5 billion reminds us of the need for greater capacity, more resources and more effective plans and policies for reducing disaster impacts.

ICIMOD shares the growing concern about the need to improve disaster management and preparedness. ICIMOD as a regional organisation has a mandate to address disaster risk reduction (DRR) in a regional transboundary context. Over the years, we have focused on reducing risk, preventing future build up of risks, and contributing to adapting to the changing risk environment. ICIMOD has also played a significant role related to disaster risk reduction as mandated by the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), which has been adopted by almost 170 governments including the governments of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region. ICIMOD has been working on some of the HFA recommendations, which include the following:

  • Multi-hazard risk and vulnerability assessment for development planning and risk mitigation
  • Documenting and promoting best practice models for using integrated scientific and local knowledge
  • Reducing underlying risk factors through water resources management such as sustainable watershed management and conservation of high altitude wetlands.
  • Building awareness in, and capacities on, water-related disaster risk reduction through training and knowledge sharing platforms
  • Facilitating regional flood disaster mitigation through establishment of a regional flood information system, facilitating satellite rainfall estimation as a support tool for flood mitigation, and strengthening community-based early warning systems for flash flood risk reduction

ICIMOD is particularly committed to the the HFA recommendation "to establish or strengthen existing specialised regional collaborative centres, as appropriate, to undertake research, training, education and capacity building in the field of DRR".

This website is an expression of ICIMOD's commitment to knowledge sharing and creating a platform for dialogue and discussion for stakeholders in disaster risk reduction in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region.

Vision: Knowledge sharing for improving international cooperation and reducing disaster risk

Mission: Contribute to an improved understanding of disasters and DRR by increasing connectivity and through knowledge sharing

Objective

  • Provide a repository for documents for knowledge related to DRR
  • Promote information sharing by means of healthy online discussions, and knowledge exchange through sharing of papers and documents related to DRR.

Further information:

For enquiries in relation to the project, please contact

Vijay Khadgi (vkhadgi@icimod.org)