Two years after the adoption of the Sendai Framework, we have come together to take stock of progress towards its implementation. I have the honour to present a brief overview of steps taken by India over these two years.
I am happy to inform that in June 2016, Prime Minister of India launched the National Disaster Management Plan which aligns with the Sendai priorities. Just last week we held the second session of the National Platform that brought together more than 1200 stakeholders from all the administrative levels of government, civil society organizations, academia and the private sector. In order to enlarge the discussion on disaster risk management, the National Platform was preceded by 14 pre-events in all parts of our country on topics ranging from school safety, hospital safety, resilient infrastructure, to managing risks to cultural heritage.
Through strengthening of statistical capacity, we are putting in place systems for monitoring progress and taking practical steps towards achievement of Sendai targets.
With regards to Target A, we are analyzing the patterns of disaster mortality, both spatially and temporally, for different hazards and taking focused, urgent steps to reduce preventable deaths. In addition to reduction in cyclones related mortality, we have taken urgent steps to reduce heat-wave related deaths. Working across the entire chain of stakeholders, we have improved heat wave early warning and its application at the local level. This has helped us achieve significant reduction in heat wave related deaths in just a couple of years. For low-frequency, high-impact events, such as earthquakes, reducing mortality risk is a longer term endeavor but the beginnings have already been made. Among other things, it requires improvements in risk governance arrangements at the national and local levels to ensure a safer built environment. Our National Plan addresses these systemic issues.
We are on course towards achieving Target E of the Sendai framework pertaining to development of plans and strategies by 2020. In addition to the National Plan, all our states and 90% of our districts have completed their disaster management plans.
I am extremely happy to inform that on 7 May 2017 India launched South Asia Geostationary Communication Satellite with an aim to support and improve communication, weather forecasting, natural resource mapping, disaster information transfer etc. among the South Asian countries which demonstrates India’s strong sense of commitment towards Target F and G. We are also mainstreaming Sendai principles in the national flagship programmes.
At Regional level, India hosted the first Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction after the adoption of Sendai Framework. The conference brought together more than 50 countries from the Asia-Pacific and adopted the Asia Regional Plan for the implementation of Sendai Framework. Its intended spirit is to provide a sense of urgency and establish specific milestones on the road to 2030.
During the event, Prime Minister highlighted a ten-point agenda, emphasized all-of-society spirit enshrined in the Sendai Framework and announced that India will work with other countries and stakeholders towards establishing a Coalition on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure which impacts all targets including; reducing disaster mortality, number of affected people, economic loss, damage to critical infrastructure, and disruption of services. This is an area where we all can benefit from working together. We are committed to building partnerships and are holding informal consultations with partners in this regard. A round table on the subject was organized in the margins of the New Development Bank Annual Meetings, a month back in April in New Delhi. We are also planning an international workshop at New Delhi in the coming months.
In conclusion, I want to say that DRR is a work in progress and in this respect we look for opportunities to collaborate with other countries, learn from their experiences and share what we have learned through ours work.