New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai, said on Wednesday August 25 that the impact of climate change can result in many losses to nature and humans in the future.
Virtually addressing the ministerial panel on disaster, climate and health resilience of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Rai said that we all have been in the middle of natural disasters like tropical cyclones, floods, landslides and the Covid-19 pandemic has multiplied the hardships and sufferings of people, particularly the poor and the vulnerable groups.
Sharing a few key lessons and experiences from India that may help build a resilient future in the Asia-Pacific region, he said that India’s achievements in ‘Disaster Risk Management’ in the last two decades have been satisfactory and there has been a need to direct more efforts towards reducing the risk of losses from known disasters as well as for the lesser known or unexpected disaster risks.
Referring to Covid-19, he said the pandemic has shown people the power of uncontrolled disasters.
Sharing India’s experiences in handling the challenge of Covid-19, Rai said the country is actively engaged in addressing this global challenge and will continue to stand with the international community.
The minister also said that India has a predictable way of financing all the aspects of a disaster risk management cycle.
“We now have dedicated resources for the entire complement of disaster mitigation, preparedness, relief and rescue, as well as recovery and reconstruction,” he added.
Rai also referred to UNESCAP’s Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2019 that highlights a substantial increase in flood-related losses, with the problems expected to become worse by 2030.
The report informed that under the severe climate change scenario in Asia, India will be the worst-affected, with annual losses of nearly $50 billion.
Calling upon the UNESCAP to take some steps for managing floods in a changing climate, Rai said that the regional platform for the management of floods and droughts in multi-hazard risk hotspots has been a part of the UNESCAP’s core mandate.
He also suggested developing a regional cooperation mechanism for managing trans-boundary floods and assured that the government of India will extend all necessary support for this endeavour.
The minister highlighted an urgent need to protect communities and natural habitats as a key agenda item for the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26).
The conference was also attended by ministers from Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, the Maldives, Papua New Guinea and Thailand.