ICIMOD Session at the International Disaster and Risk Conference Emphasizes Regional Cooperation and Integrative Risk Management


ICIMOD recently conducted a session on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region during the Fourth International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC). Speakers and participants in the session included representatives of various donor agencies and international NGOs as well as researchers and development experts from Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. 

Presentations covered topics such as earthquake risk in the Himalayas, disaster issues in the northwestern Pakistan and national policies, interagency coordinated disaster risk reduction (DRR) experiences in Bangladesh, ecosystem-based DRR, and decision support systems and regional cooperation for DRR. 

Following the presentations, participants held a lively discussion on key DRR issues with a focus on the opportunities and challenges of DRR in mountain areas. Participants agreed on the following suggestions that have been shared in the overall report of conference outcomes:

  • There should be greater international efforts to promote an integrative approach to DRR. Greater capacity building is required to help decision makers and policy planners internalize the concept of DRR and to make it an integral part of planning and the development agenda.

  • Decision support systems, GIS tools, and satellite-based DRR techniques should be promoted through greater international cooperation and funding to reduce the time needed to fill gaps in the national and global capacity to deal with growing risks and the increasing frequency of disasters. 

  • There should be a global push for enhanced regional cooperation in dealing with transboundary disasters irrespective of political relationships between nations. Activities related to the Hyogo Framework for Action need to focus on this, and global organizations, including the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Global Risk Forum, need to increase cooperation with regional intergovernmental institutions like ICIMOD, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), etc.
Organized by the Global Risk Forum, the IDRC was held in Davos, Switzerland, 26–31 August 2012 with the theme of Integrative Risk Management in a Changing World – Pathways to a Resilient Society. Participants at the conference included risk management experts, practitioners, and scientists as well as key players from civil society, NGOs, and the private sector. The ICIMOD session, which was conducted by Hari Krishna Nibanupudi, Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist at ICIMOD, was held 30 August 2012.