Wednesday, 17 October 2018



 Rising Risk of Heat Waves in India

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 174, October 2018:

AIDMI's publication of Southasiadisasters.net is titled "Rising Risk of Heat Waves in Asia" It highlights not only the incidences and impacts of heat waves in Asia but also all the scientific and governance innovations designed to mitigate their damage. While instances of heat waves are on the rise across the world, Asia in particular seems to be reeling under an intense heat wave. According to the meteorologist Etienne Kapikian, at least seven Asian countries have already set monthly high temperature records at the end of March 2018.
All this scientific and empirical evidence points to the inconvenient truth that the incidence and intensity of heat waves will increase across Asian countries in the coming years. Therefore, there is a need to address this rising risk or mitigate its adverse impacts. This issue of Southasiadisasters.net takes stock of the best practices in governance systems (heat wave action plans), early warning and health preparedness among others to mitigate the adverse impacts of heat waves in Asia.
This issue's contents includes: (i) Heat Waves and Street Vendors: What Cities Can Do; (ii) Top Three Achievements of India to become "Weather Ready and Climate Smart"; (iii) Public Health Impact of Heat Waves in Indian Cities; (iv) Heat Wave Action Planning in Cities: A View from Gujarat; (v) Research Issues on Heat Waves in India; (vi) Heat Wave As A New Norm in Vietnam; (vii) Heating Island Paradise: Philippine Temperature Rises; (viii) Heat Wave Action Plan – Ahmedabad; (ix) Role and Results of National Disaster Management Authority in Heat Wave Planning in India; (x) Impact of Heat Wave on Vulnerable Citizens in Indian Cities; (xi) Impact of Heat Waves on Citizens; (xii) India Heading for Worst Summer and Heat Wave Across Half the Country.
Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Maya Potter, Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellow; Dr. Madhavan Nair Rajeevan, Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi, India; Vaishali Paste, Public Health Specialist, and Edmond Fernandes, CEO, Center For Health and Development (CHD), Karnataka, India; Shwetal Shah, Technical Advisor – Climate Change Department, Government of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India; Saudamini Das, NABARD Chair Professor, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, India; Thao Do, IDS, Sussex, Vietnam; and Rolando Talampas, Asian Center, University of the Philippine Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines.
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Beyond AMCDRR Ulaanbaatar

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 173, September 2018:

AIDMI's publication of Southasiadisasters.net is titled "Beyond AMCDRR Ulaanbaatar " and focuses on themes that now inform the disaster risk reduction agenda of the region post AMCDRR 2018. The region of Asia-Pacific is highly exposed to risk of many disasters. In 2017 alone, more than 6,500 people lost their lives in Asia following more than 200 disasters that affected 66.7 million people. Therefore, it is imperative to focus on all measures that can help in saving lives and assets from the wrath of disasters.
Key themes explored in this issue include climate change uncertainty; capacity building of individuals and institutions involved in implementation of Asia Regional Plan, Comprehensive School Safety and Security Programme in Asia; Early Warning Systems (EWS) for trans-boundary disasters; regional cooperation between Asian countries for achieving DRR outcomes; the role of local bodies like Panchayats in implementing Sendai Framework; and budget and personnel allocation to achieve gender inclusiveness in DRR activities.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Understanding “Uncertainty” At AMCDRR 2018: Local Perspectives for Local Implementation of the Sendai Framework; (ii) Training Needs for Asian Regional Plan: A Way Ahead; (iii) Making Schools Safer in Asia, AMCDRR 2018, Mongolia Declaration; (iv) Trans–border Flood Early Warning on Early Warning System for Last Mile Connectivity to Enhance SFDRR Target–7; (v) Asian Practitioner's Perspectives on DRR; (vi) Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan and India: Some Policy and Cooperation Imperatives; (vii) Climate Change Leadership in India: Developing Climate Smart Farmers;  (viii) Beyond Ulaanbaatar: Bettering Transboundary Early Warning System in South Asia; (ix) Role of Panchayats in Early Warning: Anand District Planning Experience; (x) Capacity Building for Humanitarian Action: Focus on Cities; (xi) Key Messages for Gender Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction; and (xii) Climate Services for Enhanced Food Security in the Hindu Kush Himalaya.
Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Sanjaya Bhatia, Head, UNISDR Global Education and Training Institute, Korea; Tomoko Minowa, and Prabhakar, Research Manager and Senior Policy Researcher (Climate Change Adaptation); Dr. Kirit Shelat, Executive Chairman, National Council for Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Public Leadership (NCCSD), Ahmedabad, India; Ranit Chatterjee, Co-Founder RIKA India Pvt. Ltd., Delhi, India; Binoy Acharya, Aditi Sharan, and Kirit Parmar, UNNATI – Organisation for Development Education, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India; Dibyashree Datta, Sinu Chacko, and Tanaji Sen, RedR India, Pune, Maharashtra, India; and Abid Hussain, Faisal M. Qamer and Maxim Shrestha, Media Officer, Knowledge Management and Communication, The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal.
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Is Air Pollution a Disaster in Indian Cities?


Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 172, July 2018:

AIDMI's publication of Southasiadisasters.net is titled "Is Air Pollution a Disaster in Indian Cities?" and takes a close look at the problem of air pollution in India. It not only highlights the underlying causes of the problem of air pollution but also discusses the possible institutional and operational solutions to address this insidious risk. It is important to remember that poverty and pollution go hand in hand. This poses a great challenge for a developing country like India which has a large population. Two-thirds of India's population still lives outside of cities, and 80 percent of these households rely on biomass like wood and dung for cooking and heating. Agricultural practices like burning crop stubble also remain widespread. Couple this with weak enforcement of anti-pollution laws and regulations in India and a clearer picture of this crisis starts to emerge. This issue also highlights success stories in addressing air pollution from different countries for. Most importantly, it shows how the triple challenges of governance, technological innovation and behavioural change need to be overcome for addressing the problem of air pollution in India effectively.
This issue's contents includes: (i) Is Air Pollution a Disaster in Indian Cities?; (ii) Air Pollution as a Disaster in Ahmedabad: A View; (iii) Early Warning Systems for Poor Air Quality: Are Poor Included in Warning?; (iv) Early Warning System for Air Pollution in Chinese Cities: A View; (v) India's Next Urban Disaster: Air Pollution?; (vi) Air Pollution: How Clean is the Air you’re Breathing Right Now?; (vii) Addressing Risk in Thermal Power Stations; (viii) Air Pollution in Urban India: City Officers and Community Views; and (ix) Waste–to–Energy from Municipal Solid Waste: Need of the Hour.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Mr. Arindam Upmanyu, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), Gandhinagar, Gujarat; Mr. Wei Shen, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton; Liuyang HE, International Master of Environmental Policy Program  (IMEP), Duke Kunshan University, Kunshan, Jiangsu, China; and Dr. Kunal N. Shah, Renewable Energy, Environment & Energy Efficiency (RE4) Research Wing, Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI), Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
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Wednesday, 10 October 2018



Towards AMCDRR 2018: Ulaanbaatar

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 171, June 2018:

AIDMI's publication of Southasiadisasters.net on ‘Towards AMCDRR 2018: Ulaanbaatar’ released at AMCDRR 2018, session on Making Schools Safer in Asia, July 5, 2018, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

This issue focuses on the AMCDRR 2018 was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. This issue spells out the different items that should be on the risk reduction agenda of Asian countries vis-à-vis the implementation of the Sendai Framework and the Asia Regional Plan. Since the AMCDRR also serves as a platform for regional cooperation among different Asian nations and stakeholders to collaborate on long-term risk reduction solutions, its leaders should primarily focus on addressing the underlying causes of much of the region's vulnerability.

Risk reduction themes as diverse as climate-smart DRR, urban flood mitigation, air pollution, universal flood protection, etc. have been discussed in detail in this issue. Addressing these themes at AMCDRR 2018 can help in achieving long-term positive DRR outcomes in Asia.
This issue's contents includes: (i) First Three Steps for India to be Weather Ready and Climate Smart: A View; (ii) The Second Avat√£rana of Ganga: Air, Water and Block Chain; (iii) Researching Floods in Mumbai: A Journey; (iv) Development of India's First Forestry Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) Concept and Lessons Learnt; (v) Kill Pollution, Save Lives; (vi) Flood Insurance in the Climate Change Era: Can Science and Technology help Women get a Better Deal?; (vii) Disasters and Decision Making;  and (viii) Reconstruction as Transformation.
Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Prof. Ajit Tyagi, President, Indian Meteorological Society, New Delhi; Dr. Seema Sharma, Assistant Professor, University of Delhi and Mr. Arnab Bose, O.P. Jindal Global University; both are members of Resilience Centre Global Network, NCR of Delhi; Johanna Roll, Bachelors Student, University of Wuerzburg, Political and Social Studies and Geography, Germany; Ashish Chaturvedi, Director, and Kundan Burnwal, Technical Advisor, GIZ India, New Delhi; Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, CEO, LEAD Pakistan, Islamabad; Dr. Anand Bijeta, National Consultant, Index–based Flood Insurance (IBFI), New Delhi; and Maggie Stephenson, Reconstruction Consultant, Ireland.


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Asian Early Warning Systems: A View

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 170, June 2018:

AIDMI’s publication of Southasiadisasters.net on ‘Asian Early Warning Systems’ Launched at AMCDRR 2018 Side Event on Trans-Border Flood Early Warning System for Last Mile Connectivity, July 4, 2018 at Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

This issue highlights the various aspects of early warning systems in India and South Asia such as leveraging social media for early warning, early warning in hilly regions, community participation in early warning, etc. This issue also highlights how there are gaps in effective implementation of people-centred, multi-hazard warning systems and what can be done to seamlessly integrate risk knowledge and impact information into such early warning mechanisms.
This issue's contents includes: (i) Regional Collaboration for better Flood Early Warning and Resilience in India; (ii) Reducing the Fear of Getting Isolated during Disaster: Innovative solution by Oxfam India to ensure active participation of women in EWS for flood; (iii) Twitters and Early Warning Systems: Limits and Potential for India; (iv) Early Warning for Floods in South Asia; (v) Early Warning System (EWS) and Community Resilience to Floods; (vi) Planning Early Flood Warning Across India, Nepal and Bangladesh Rivers: A View; (vii) Role of EWS on Floods: A View from Bihar;  (viii) Community Perception Changes for Disaster Risk Reduction Management after Srinagar Floods–2014; and (ix) EWS for Floods: A View from Himalayas.
Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Amitabh Behar, CEO, Oxfam India, and Andrio Naskar, Manager, India Humanitarian Programme, Oxfam India, Kolkata, West Bengal; Puneet Agarwal, and Jun Zhuang, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering University, Buffalo, New York, USA; Mandira Singh Shrestha, Programme Coordinator: Hi–RISK, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal; Dr. Amita Singh, Professor of Law & Governance, Chairperson, Special Centre for Disaster Research, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi; Rajeev Jha, DRR Specialist, and Swati Chhibber, Partnership Development Manager, Practical Action, New Delhi; Sanjay Pandey, Executive Director, and Salony Vyas, Intern, Yuganter, Bihar; Bupinder Zutshi, Professor, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; and Dr. Bhanu Mall, Secretary, Purvanchal Garmin Vikas Sangathan (PGVS), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
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Understanding Uncertainty: Views from Kachchh, Mumbai and Sundarbans

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 169, May 2018:

Asian Ministers take up climate change related uncertainty on agenda. A special issue number 169 of Southasiadisasters.net is launched today (July 5, 2018) at the AMCDRR 2018, Mongolia by UN Women, UNFPA, JICA and Duryog Nivaran. It is titled “Understanding Uncertainty: Views from Kachchh, Mumbai, and Sundarbans”.

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is focuses on the theme of climate related uncertainty. This issue draws heavily from the work of the Research Council of Norway (RCN) funded project 'Climate Change, Uncertainty and Transformation'. This project spawned three roundtables recently held at Gandhinagar, Mumbai, and Kolkata to understand the perspectives of various stakeholders such as policy makers, administrators, climate scientists, activists and community leaders on climate related uncertainty. This issue is replete with the insights of these stakeholders on how they understand, experience, interpret and are impacted by climate change related uncertainty.
This issue's contents includes: (i) Understanding Uncertainty in the Context of Climate Change; (ii) Tackling Uncertainty in a Changing Climate: Lessons from Gujarat, Mumbai and the Sundarbans; (iii) Bridging the Gaps in Uncertainty and Climate Change; (iv) Climate Change Uncertainty in Dryland Kachchh, Gujarat; (v) Taking the Voices of the Community into the Realm of Policy Making; (vi) Climate Change, Uncertainty and Urban Development: The Case of Mumbai; (vii) Climate Change and Uncertainty in Delta Areas;  (viii) Women, Livelihoods and Climate Related Risks; (ix) Climate Change and the Challenge to Public Health in India; (x) Urban Health Focus in Climate Resilience; (xi) Development and Climate Change Mitigation; (xii) GUIDE's Initiatives for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation; (xiii) Architecture Design and Addressing Climate Change Uncertainty; (xiv) Climate Change Initiatives in Gujarat: Towards Transformation; (xv) Addressing Climate Change Uncertainty in Dryland Kachchh, India; (xvi) Transforming Urban Governance to Manage Uncertainty and Climate Change in Mumbai, India; (xvii) Bringing Together Voices to Address Climate Change Uncertainty in the Indian Sundarbans; and (xviii) Communicating Uncertainty: Key Areas to Consider.
Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dr. Lars Otto Naess, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, UK; Dr. Lyla Mehta, Institute of Development Studies, UK and Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway; Dr. Shilpi Srivastava, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, UK; Shibaji Bose, Consultant, Future Health System (FHS), India; D. Parthasarathy, Convener, Climate Studies Inter-disciplinary Programme; and Professor, Department of Humanities, and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay; Upasona Ghosh, Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR), Kolkata; Smita Bhatnagar, Manager, SEWA, Gujarat; Manasee Mishra, IIHMR University, India; Dr. Vikas Kishor Desai, Technical Director Urban Health and Climate Resilience Centre of Excellence, Surat, Gujarat, India; Shwetal Shah, Technical Advisor, Climate Change Department, Government of Gujarat; Dr. V. Vijay Kumar and Dr. Anjankumar Prusty, Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology, Bhuj; Arthur Duff, Area Chair, CEPT, Ahmedabad; and Abhijnan T. Rajkhowa, Communication Expert, ASDMA, Assam.
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Disaster Risk Reduction in Andhra Pradesh

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 168, April 2018:

Andhra Pradesh is one of the most prosperous and economically robust states in India. However, the prosperity of the state is jeopardized by its enhanced vulnerability to multiple disaster and climate risks. It is vulnerable to cyclones, storm surges and floods. The state risks being battered by cyclones of moderate to severe intensity every two to three years. Since the 1975, the state had faced more than 60 cyclones. To protect the citizens of the state from the ravages of these risks, it is important to undertake resilience building measures. This issue of Southasiadisasters.net takes stock of the most commendable resilience building initiatives in Andhra Pradesh taken either by the government, civil society organizations or the private sector.

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is titled"Disaster Risk Reduction in Andhra Pradesh"and focuses on the theme of Safety.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Disaster Risk Reduction in Andhra Pradesh;(ii) Public—Private—Partnership in Disaster Management Vijayawada City, Andhra Pradesh; (iii) Tsunami Mock Drill in Andhra Pradesh; (iv) Disaster Risk Reduction at Sub National Level: A Case of Andhra Pradesh; (v) Disaster Management Planning in Andhra Pradesh; (vi) Implementing School Safety and Hygiene (SUCCESS); and (vii) Reaching Last Mile: A case.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Mr. J. Nivas, IAS, Commissioner, and Mr. Sattar S. Abdul, Project Officer, Disaster ManagementVijayawada Municipal Corporation,GOI–UNDP DM Project, Vijaywada; Mr. FaiselIliyash, Disaster Management Expert, APDRP, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh; Mr. AshwinLingaiah,Capacity Building Officer, APSDMA,Guntur, Andhra Pradesh; Mr. NagendraBiyani,Joint Director, Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department, Hyderabad, Government of Andhra Pradesh

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Addressing Uncertainty in NDM Act in India

The National Disaster Management Act of 2005 (NDM Act) is under discussion and countrywide inputs are being sought to make this act more result oriented on the ground. An important part of this discourse which is centred around disaster management legislation in India should focus on addressing overall risks and the underlying factors associated with it. One such underlying factor of risk is uncertainty.

Uncertainty-related to disaster and climate risk is set to increase in the coming years. This uncertainty will not only have a natural science aspect to it but also a social science one. The impacts of uncertainty across social dimensions of age, caste, gender, ethnicity, etc. will lead to greater complexity and expose a greater number of people to newer problems. This in turn will have large scale implications for the policy and practice of resilience building in India.

A four year project by researchers from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex, UK in collaboration with some other Indian researchers has tried to shed some light on this important theme. The project is supported by the Research Council of Norway (RCN) and led by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Norway. Under this project, three Round Tables were held in Gandhinagar, Mumbai, and Kolkata to discuss the implications of climate change uncertainty. Prior to the Indian round tables, the evidence from the project was shared with the global policy experts and the academia of the RCN through a round table in Oslo. The feedback from the Oslo round table was incorporated in the dissemination design of the Indian round tables.

Souce: AIDMI Sundarbans photo
The findings of the Round Tables are useful for NDM Act review. The following are some of the most useful lessons emerging from these roundt
ables that can be used as inputs to the ongoing discussion around the NDM Act revision process.

Climate change related uncertainty is understood differently by different sets of people. People from at-risk local communities experience it differently from how climate scientists, experts and policy makers represent and conceptualize it. The first lesson emerging from these roundtables is the need to bridge the gap of understanding of climate related uncertainty amongst various stakeholder groups. NGOs, academics and civil society organizations can play a major role in reconciling these disparate perceptions and priorities. Similar Round Tables among these various stakeholder groups will be useful in reviewing the Act from the top and middle and below, from policy and practice points of view.

Two, the findings on political economy of knowledge and how it gets shaped by incentives, dynamics and economic and social position tell us that the revision of Act must turn this political economy in favour of ensuring more resources to the marginalized communities at the local level.

Three, to what extent-according to project evidence on uncertainty-does the discrepancy between the understanding of uncertainty in disaster risk become a barrier to social transformation necessary for a sustainable recovery after a disaster. The NDM Act must offer opportunities to actively and directly understand all such barriers faced by at-risk communities due to climate change uncertainty.

Four, the Uncertainty mandate incorporates the idea of facilitating common spaces approach to bridge the different perspectives of uncertainty from 'above' and 'below' in order to foster more productive and socially just ways of dealing with uncertainties. The NDM Act revision must open up common spaces for all-women, tribals, minorities, daily wage labourers-to bridge the gap between their different perspectives.

Five, round table methodology as a means to co-produce knowledge inspite of its limitations and scope for fine tuning can be picked up by NDM Act as a legal and valid way to plan, monitor, operate and evaluate its processes and procedures.

The revised NDM Act may achieve faster and better results if the above and findings and lessons from the three Round Tables on uncertainty are taken up and addressed in the said Act.

—Shibaji Bose,
Lyla Mehta, and Mihir R. Bhatt
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for any further information please contact: bestteam@aidmi.org 

Understanding “Uncertainty” At AMCDRR 2018: Local Perspectives for Local Implementation of the Sendai Framework

Special issue number 169 of southasiadisasters.net on ‘Understanding Uncertainty
Asian Ministers take up climate change related uncertainty on agenda. A special issue number 169 of southasiadisasters.net is launched today (July 5, 2018) at the AMCDRR 2018, Mongolia by UN Women, UNFPA, JICA and Duryog Nivaran. It is titled “Understanding Uncertainty: Views from Kachchh, Mumbai, and Sundarbans”. Uncertainty unfolds in many ways in the desert, delta and urban areas of Asia and this issue for the first time offers ways of thinking about uncertainty in disaster risk reduction framework. While there is overwhelming scientific evidence establishing a causal link between anthropogenic activity and climate change, there is a degree of uncertainty on the precise impacts of this phenomenon on the environment and human society. The uncertainty induced by climate change poses a threat to the ecology, human settlements, biodiversity and economy Greater uncertainty makes the prediction of extreme climate events like droughts, floods and extreme temperatures tougher which in turn causes problems for preparation against such contingencies. 

This is why climate change related uncertainty has become a great challenge to be addressed by planners, policy-makers and at-risk communities.

The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) was established in 2005. It is a biennial conference jointly organized by different Asian countries (India, China,Thailand, Mongolia) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). AMCDRR aims planning and strengthening implementation of Asian Regional Plan (ARP) for implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). The ARP focuses on how to reduce disaster risk at national and local levels. ARP has longer term road map of  cooperation and collaboration, spanning the 15-year horizon of the SFDRR. Besides, ARP also has a two-year action plan to further DRR with specific and actionable activities. This year AMCDRR 2018 is organized at Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The result of AMCDRR 2018 called Ulaanbaatar Declaration argues for translating coherence of global frameworks into policy and practices to achieve resilience at national and local levels across all sectors of society. AMCDRR 2018 suggests achieving results by strengthening governance arrangements and by providing practical guidance to ensure effective and efficient management of disaster risk.

The latest issue of southasiadisasters.net on ‘Understanding Uncertainty’ is drafted by researchers from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK; Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU); Future Health System (FHS); Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai; Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR); Self
Employed Women’s Association (SEWA); Climate Change Department, Gujarat; Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology (GUIDE); Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT); Urban Health and Climate Resilience Centre of Excellence (UHRCE); Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA); and All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI).

The publication – Southasiadisasters.net – is perhaps the only ongoing initiative coordinating knowledge and capturing DRR in South Asia and Asia Pacific by the practitioners, academicians,
A special issue number 169 of Southasiadisasters.net is launched today (July 5, 2018) at the AMCDRR 2018, Mongolia by representatives from UN Women, UNFPA, JICA and Duryog Nivaran. It is titled “Understanding Uncertainty: Views from Kachchh, Mumbai, and Sundarbans”.
officials, policy makers, and governments, donors, and the United Nations system members since 2005. Southasiadisasters.net is unique because of the contribution of over 692 writers belonging to 582 organisations from India and 39 countries, covering 17 disasters, spanning over 39 themes and 15 important national and international policy discourses. Perhaps this is the longest and largest effort to capture disaster risk reduction in action in Asia. Through the publication of 169 issues of southasiadisasters.net at AMCDRR 2018, AIDMI has successfully enhanced knowledge and innovation for effective integration of uncertainty and DRR in India and beyond.

For more information please visit www.aidmi.org and/or Email to knowingrisk@aidmi.org. 

Air Pollution: How Clean is the Air you’re Breathing Right Now?

http://indiatogether.org/air-quality-index-colour-coding-in-india-cities-environment

Air pollution has emerged to be one of the greatest environmental and public health risks in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that air pollution contributes to approximately 800,000 deaths and 4.6 million lost life years annually.1

The threat and impact of air pollution is even more severe in developing countries like India. India’s Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has proclaimed Gujarat as the most contaminated State in the nation. Similarly, Gujarat also tops the list of the seven states that account for 80% of the aggregate waste in country followed by Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

Air pollution is a more critical issue, especially for developing nations like India. In highly industrialized states like Gujarat, there appears to be a critical increase in air pollution levels in the recent years. As per the figures shared by Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in its annual report 2015-16, the ambient air quality (PM10) has degraded not only in industrial clusters like Vapi, Ankleshwar and Vatva, however has additionally in private and business zones of Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Rajkot.

Similarly, the GPCB has also classified Ahmedabad (Gujarat’s chief city) as one of the most polluted urban centres in the world. The degradation in Ahmedabad’s air quality has additionally brought about genuine health concerns, including unexpected life losses, allergic effects, fibrosis, microbial contamination and increased emergency room visits for respiratory illness. All these adverse impacts have led to a serious demand for an air pollution response plan.

Realizing the need to address the rising threat of air pollution in the city, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has taken a revolutionary step. The AMC has collaborated with many stakeholders to unveil and implement the city’s Air Information and Response Plan. This plan has been created utilizing the recommendations and best practices endorsed by civic experts, medical practitioners and community leaders, both national and international (Mexico City, Beijing and Los Angeles).
  
Consolidating the efforts of local government, scientists and NGO’s, eight new air quality checking destinations in Ahmedabad are creating a day by day Air Quality Record (AQI) that is accessible to citizens through 11 LED screens across the city, as a feature of what is known as the Air Information and Response (AIR) plan.

The Air Information & Response Plan is one of its kind in India and Ahmedabad is the first city that has introduced the air action plan and has taken a small but progressive step towards mitigating the impacts of air pollution. This small step carries the potential of saving millions of lives from the adverse impacts of air pollution.

“Cleaning up the air we breathe prevents non-communicable diseases as well as reduces disease risks among women and vulnerable groups, including children and the elderly,” says Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General Family, Women and Children’s Health.2 

1  World Health Organization, “World Health Report 2002: Reducing risk, Promoting healthy life”,World Health           
    Organization. Geneva, Switzerland. Available from www.who.int/whr/2002/en/
2  http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/


or any further information please contact: bestteam@aidmi.org


—AIDMI Team  

Addressing Risk in Thermal Power Stations

Taking a serious note of the occupational health hazards associated with work in coal-fired thermal power plants (CFTPPs) the Honorable Supreme Court of India has asked High Courts to examine – the safety standards, rules and regulations with assistance of the State Governments after calling for necessary reports from CFTPPs situated in their respective States.
Tackling the health burden of air pollution in South Asia
 http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/

A thermal power plant uses coal as fuel for their working. Coal after burning leaves ash. Disposal of this ash is also one important task. Ash is than exposed to open environment and has adverse effects on health of Living beings. And people working under such environment may suffer from various health problems like skin diseases, breathing problem etc. Thermal power stations are also prone to hazards and accidents while maintaining and operating large scale machineries such as boiler, turbine, generator, material handling etc. This work emphases on identification of various occupational hazards and injuries, health risks associated with the manpower working in a thermal power plant.

Thermal power plant can cause environmental impacts at all stages of the process to society. It can also causes various occupational diseases and injuries to the workers working. Each Occupational disease and injury has a major effect on economy due to loss of productive hour, man-power losses, compensation to the victims. Therefore, there is a need to address all occupational diseases, injuries/fatalities through corrective and preventive measures.

There are several kinds of ailments that were recorded in a thermal power plant. These included Allergic reactions that interfered with breathing, asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, Lung cancer, pneumonia, tuberculosis, wheezing, stroke, Chest pain, shortness of breath, cough, irregular heartbeat, swelling in legs and feet (not caused by walking), skin allergies, High B.P, anxiety, eye irritation and fatigue. In addressing the risk, there are several legal measures which are proposed and regulated by the government and other safety organizations. These measures are essential to be followed up for safe working operation and conditions.

Some common safety rules and regulations that are essential in the power plant to follow up:

•  Factories Act 1948 & M.P. /C.G. Rules 1962;
•  The Indian Boiler Act 1923 & Regulations, 1950 (Amendment 2007)
•  Water Act -1974
•  Hazardous Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1989.
•  Indian Electrical Act 2003 & Rules 1956
•  IS Standards
•  OSHA Standard 1970
•  Third Schedule (See section 89 and 90), List of Notifiable Diseases, The factories Act,1948

Breaches of these laws and regulations generate hazards which can cause the harm by generating; 
•  Unsafe activities
•  Unsafe conditions
•  Behavioural mishaps.



Disaster Risk Management: GIS Mapping and Governance

Reducing disaster risk in vulnerable areas and situations is vital to minimizing the adverse impacts of disasters. Thus, disaster risk management is altogether the application of risk reduction policies and strategies, to prevent new disaster risks, reduce existing disaster risks, and manage residual risks, contributing to the strengthening of resilience and reduction of losses.1 GIS is an effective tool in DRM to tackle the disaster issues using advance technology. It is a computer system used for capturing, storing, querying, analysing and displaying geospatial data. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) incorporate the roles and functions of GIS. Last year, an international conference of information and communication technologies highlighted the current scenario on GIS and e-Governance, some of the highlights from the conference are given below.

Source: http://www.innovativegis.com/basis/mapanalysis/Topic30/Topic30_files/image019.png.
Disaster risk information is considered spatial in nature when it comes to geographical context. The use of earth observation (EO) products and GIS has become an integrated, well developed and successful tool in disaster risk management. Till today the local governance system is dependent on traditional method of data collection to resolve the disaster situation which creates discrepancies with actual situation. Thus, making efficient decisions would be possible using different GIS layers.

Digital India
Under Digital India, Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology has started National Centre of Geo Informatics which gives the current and live spatial information by GIS maps to sector wise, state wise and hazard wise. For example the state of Telangana displayed the heat wave information in specific location within the state using multiple layers in GIS.

South Asia Satellite (SAARC Satellite)
The SAARC satellite benefits South Asian countries for providing communication and disaster support and connectivity among the state. The satellite will help in management and conservation of water resource by GIS driven watershed development. This will help in weather forecasting and preventing natural disaster.
Road Map of Raipur District with Black spot of Accidents.

UNISDR
The UNISDR also provides GIS training and assistance for Disaster risk management, the objective of training is to provide the participants with skills that help them to describe and utilize spatial data through manipulating it in the phases of pre-disaster, during disaster and post disaster.

Governance in DRM:
Risk governance is risk communication, which is the interactive exchange of information about risks among risk assessors, managers, news media, interested groups and the general public. An important component of that is the visualization of risk. Since risk is spatially varying phenomenon, the integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is supported and used in production and presentation of risk information.

With advancement in science and technology, the time has never been better to capitalize upon the innovative technologies, for making disaster assessment faster, evidence based, monitored and early preparedness to save lives and livelihood. To strengthen the capacity towards holistic approach in collating and consolidating information system for disaster risk management.


for any further information please contact: bestteam@aidmi.org


– AIDMI Team


Conducting Situational Analysis for Comprehensive School Safety Program: An Experience of Observing 65 School Safety Indicators through Score Card

The school safety is one of the significant measures in the national disaster management plan. School Safety is important because students, teachers, parents and school authorities can concentrate on developing and maintaining better  and safe learning environment within school premises where everyone feels safe and secure.  AIDMI under the aegis of Education Department, Government of Gujarat and Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management with support of UNICEF conducted Situation analysis of 250 School of 10 vulnerable district of Gujarat.

Vipul Nakum from AIDMI coordinated this situation analysis. The following piece of highlights Vipul Nakum’s experience about this situational analysis. In this research and study Vipul covered  namely Ahmedabad, Surat, Jamnagar, Bharuch, Patan, Devbhoomi Dwraka, Kachchh, Dahod, Banaskantha and Sabarkatha. Each district has its own hazards including  Earthquake, Flood, Drought, Cyclone, Lightening and Heat Wave. Rajdeep Bansod of AIDMI interviewed Vipul Nakum.


Question 1: Every year the Govt. of Gujarat celebrates school safety week to create awareness among students and teachers. What are your views on school safety and why SitAn is important for Gujarat?

Vipul: SitAn for CSSP acted as a key tool to critically observe the current scenario of education facilities in relation to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Safe School Facilities and Child Protection. SitAn has provided a room to find out gaps, challenges and opportunities to develop further actions. UNICEF has made the entire exercise possible through continuous and coordinated support and guidance of all levels.

Question 2: How school safety and child protection are integrated and have you covered this educational aspect in your SitAn?

Vipul: Yes, SitAn is focused on three pillars. One of the factor, safe school facilities have shown good result, as the school infrastructure in Gujarat is in worthy condition in most locations.

Question 3: How your research and study will further help to reduce the risk in school and to gain good learning environment in the schools of Gujarat?

Vipul: Result of SitAn will help the departments and related stakeholders in developing future action plan for making more appropriate safety measures for schools in Gujarat.

Question 4: Government of India envisioned to implement National School Safety Guidelines in each state successfully. What progress is made in the state of Gujarat?

Vipul: The Gujarat government is taking keen interest in implementation of each aspect of National School Safety guidelines in the state and has made considerable efforts to implement it. Government in support with UNICEF and concerned other stakeholders, developed a school safety score card along with state specific action plan and also issued necessary guidelines for the implementation in each school.

Question 5: Do you have any approach or plan to study situation of school safety and security in other states and what is your opinion on CSSSP?

Vipul: Based on current experience of conducting CSSSP activities in five states of India similar activities will be developed and enhanced in other states as well. The challenges is to facilitate the needs of school safety and security in most vulnerable states of Himalayan region and costal region of India.

In concluded remarks Vipul Nakum also mentioned the contribution by Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (GIDM). He stated that GIDM has provided a platform where departments and stakeholders came together and promised to leverage their support in making schools safer in the Gujarat.

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for any further information please contact: bestteam@aidmi.org  
 
– AIDMI Team

Disaster, Raksha (Safety) and Shakti (Resilience)


Reducing disaster risk is everyone's business. All sections of society have to come together to make India safe from such risks. The police and security forces can play a unique role in the pursuit of disaster resilience. The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), Ahmedabad is making a modest contribution in enhancing the capacity of security and police forces to effectively respond to disasters and other emergencies. The following is one such example.

On April 03, 2018 AIDMI organized an orientation programme on Local Level Disaster Management Planning for eight stud
ents and a faculty of Raksha Shakti University, India's first internal security/police university. The objective of this programme was to introduce the participants to key issues and best practices of disaster risk reduction. Some of the key themes highlighted in the discussion that followed were:

1) Practical exposure and experience in the field.
2) Organization working style.
3) How organization is dealing with government  authorities at local to national level.
4) Role in Sustainable Development Goals.
5) AIDMI Contributions to society.
6) Planning and process at local level.

Local Level Disaster Management Planning - orientation at AIDMI office with Raksha Shakti University participants and faculty.
The participants also shared their experiences from the field. For instance, they highlighted how local government institutions especially those in rural areas lack proper water management and utilization methods.

The strengthening of disaster management mechanisms through understanding and inter-linking the roles of various departments in a disaster scenario at various level is very much required in India. The approach of working in the field and dealing with government authorities should owned by the agency, the support must come from the government and stakeholders for better implementation. Nature of work at policy level or the operational level should be demand driven to handle   governance issues from local level to national level.


Other programmes like school safety, local level planning like DDMP, City DMP, Departmental DMP, Office DMP etc. were explained with roles and responsibilities of the local government and concern agencies also discussed in orientation. At present, hazard orientated and specific aims for crowd management, heat wave and hospital safety are the need of the hour.

The role of police and security forces is crucial in every phase of disaster management as first responder or proximal at incident sites and relationship with the people. Some specific tasks can only be done by police and security forces like search and rescue of the affected people in disaster, they have well developed communication systems which could be used in emergency for information dissemination and liasoning between other stakeholders in the emergency.

The Standard operating procedure for the police and security forces during emergency operations should be evolved and followed. The SOP is the major documented guidelines for the Police in Pre, during and Post Disaster operations. The participant spoke on these aspects of the orientation at length.

As mentioned earlier, the key issues discussed by the participants covered topics such as heat wave action plans and road safety action plan. In discussion participants also drew attention to road accidents and security issues with respect to the city of Ahmedabad. The discussion ended with a detailed feedback from the participants wherein they appreciated the efforts of AIDMI and suggested that more of such orientation programmes be organized in future but of longer duration. 


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for any further information please contact: bestteam@aidmi.org    

– AIDMI Team

Disaster Risk Reduction in World Economy

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 179, December 2018 AIDMI's publication of Southasiadisasters.net is titled "Disaster Risk Re...