From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : The Face of Disasters 2019 Report
Mains level : Multiple facets of Disasters in India and thier effective management
- The Face of Disasters 2019 report was recently published by Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS).
The Face of Disasters 2019 Report
- The ‘Face of Disasters 2019’ report released by SEEDS as part of its 25th anniversary, analyses past trends, looking at disasters from a broader perspective to capture their varied facets.
- The report talks about the need to look at disaster vulnerabilities that lie under the radar, waiting to strike.
- Eight key areas have emerged that will be critical to consider as we look ahead:
- Water and the changing nature of disaster risk: A ‘new normal’ of rainfall variability is bringing challenges of too much and too little water, often in parallel.
- No disaster is ‘natural’: Risks lurking under the radar slip through the cracks because they don’t meet the idea of a ‘natural disaster’.
- The silent events: The disasters that go unseen leave those affected at even greater risk.
- Land becomes water (and water becomes land): Changes to the coastline are already affecting livelihood sources and will be hotspots for vulnerability in the future.
- The complexity of disaster impact: Beyond official ‘damages’, the long-term and uncaptured disaster impacts have life-changing consequences for affected communities.
- The urban imperative: Risk is rapidly urbanising and will affect everyone.
- Transformations in the third pole: Himalayan glaciers are melting, with serious implications for the whole region.
- Planning for what you can’t see: Earthquake risk is looming large under the radar, but are we prepared?
Significance of the report
- Analysis of past trends shows us that 2019 will see unusual flooding, as well as heatwaves and drought that are already ongoing.
- The complexity of disasters today requires a proactive and multi-pronged approach.
- A single mega-disaster can wipe out hard-won development gains and recurrent small-scale stresses keep vulnerable families in a cycle of poverty.
- While this multiple event pattern is repeated every year, only a few really capture the public attention. Other risks continue to intensify under the radar.
- Current trends are reinforcing that disasters have multiple facets and complexities.
- In 2018, India witnessed nearly every type of natural hazard, except a major earthquake and related events.
- Floods, droughts, heat and cold waves, lightning strikes, cyclones and even hailstorms, a wide range of disasters impacted most of the country.
- This poses some critical questions and issues and also points to risks that lie ahead. At the core is the idea that disasters cannot be seen in isolation anymore.
- There is a clear need for comprehensive understanding of risks, and hyper-localised plans and allocation of resources to reduce them.
Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS)
- SEEDS, a non profit voluntary organization, is a collective endeavor of young professionals drawn from development related fields.
- It originated as an informal group of likeminded persons, getting together for the purpose of creative research projects of academic interest.
- The group was later formalized in early 1994 and has been active in the field ever since.
- It is involved in research activities in Community Development, Disaster Management, Environmental Planning, Transport Planning, and Urban and Regional Planning.
- Activities are carried out on behalf of government, semi – government and international development agencies. Independent programs on vital issues are also taken up.