Japan to assist in disaster risk reduction, sustainable development

Global loss from natural disasters  to reach  USD 414 billion by 2030


by Zacki Jabbar

Following considerable damage to life and property due to the recent floods and landslides in many districts, Japan has pledged to work closely with Sri Lanka, in   Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development.

The assurance is contained in a report that the  team of Japanese experts in the field of  disaster relief  submitted to President Maithripala Sirisena, Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Wijayamuni Soysa, after visiting the  affected areas of Eheliyagoda, Kalutara and Ratnapura recently.

The Japanese  experts assessed the  damage caused and provided technical advice for responsive measures, including secondary disaster preventive measures. They  were  accompanied on their field visits by officials of the Ministry of Disaster Management, Irrigation Department and the National Building Research Organization.

Their recommendations include the implementation of measures such as early warning and dissemination, promotion of resettlement away from potential risk areas, proper land use plan and regulation with risk profiling, hydro-meteorology and landslide observations, risk profiling and basin based  Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategy and investment in DRR for sustainable development.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction says that the global average annual loss from natural disasters is estimated to increase from an annual average of USD 260 billion in 2015 to USD 414 billion by 2030. "There has been a sustained rise in the number of climate related disasters such as storms and floods over the last twenty years and they now count for well over 80 percent of all disasters linked to natural hazards."

The Global Platform for DRR held in Cancun, Mexico last month, announced that monitoring of progress in achieving agreed global targets for reducing disaster losses, would get underway early next year,based on a data readiness review undertaken by 87 countries.

The UN  Secretary General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Robert Glasser said that the first cycle of monitoring progress on implementing the Sendai Framework for DRR, would be launched in early 2018.

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