By Krity Shrestha based on conversation with Dr Dharam Raj Uprety, Theme Lead, Practical Action
10 October 2022
What is APMCDRR?
Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (APMCDRR) was held in Brisbane, Australia from 19-22 September with the theme “ From Crisis to Resilience: Transforming the Asia Pacific Region’s Future through disaster risk reduction”.
Convened by the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the APMCDRR is the main regional platform in Asia-Pacific for promoting coordination and cooperation on DRR and implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. It brings together United Nations Member States, intergovernmental organisations, international and national organisations, and stakeholder groups to accelerate progress on disaster risk reduction.
Nepal in APMCDRR
Nepal participated in APMCDRR under the leadership of the then secretary Mr Tek Narayan Pandey, of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) and included CEO of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority(NDRRMA) Mr Anil Pokharel, joint secretary Mr Pradeep Koirala, and experts from the government, academic institutions and non-government-sector. Many civil society representatives from various organisations working in the sector of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management participated in the event.
Nepal has delivered an official statement in the APMCDRR. It includes the disaster status, the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, COVID -19 and other climate-induced risks and pathways that Nepal has taken to build resilience. Since Nepal is exposed to various risks of hazards such as heavy rain, thunderstorm, lightning, floods and landslides it regularly affects the lives and properties, infrastructure and development actions. The statement submitted has included the learnings and experiences of post-earthquake (2015 Gorkha earthquake) reconstruction, legal frameworks developed regarding Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM), community-based initiatives in DRR and the capacity of Nepal in responding to the severity and frequency of both natural as well as hydro-meteorological disaster events. The work done by Nepal in reconstruction and resilience, international collaboration and NPDRR platforms are explained in the paper. The paper also includes the topics of strengthening understanding of risk, hazard observations, vulnerability assessments and risk mapping.
Nepal presented a position paper. The paper provides a brief overview of disaster impacts on lives, natural resources, infrastructures and the economy of Nepal and updated status on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) around the themes of the APMCDRR, including the implementation status of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the country.
Nepal also hosted a country marketplace during the conference, where the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) on behalf of the Government of Nepal showcased country efforts on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (ZRFA) also showcased its work on flood resilience in the marketplace.
Dr Dharam Raj Uprety from Practical Action, as a part of Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (ZFRA), supported the Government of Nepal in preparing the official statement and position paper in close coordination with the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) team. Dr Uprety has stressed the need for integrating a risk-sensitive land use plan and risk-informed development action in the context of the growing severity and intensity of hydro-meteorological disasters in Nepal.
Nepal members representation from Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance in APMCDRR
Dr Dharam Raj Uprety, the thematic lead for climate and DRR from Practical Action, represented the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance and Tomorrows Cities project in APMCDRR. He shared various lessons learned on climate resilience, impacts and approach of Practical Action’s work on flood resilience, Urban DRR and flood early warning systems in different forums. During the post-APMCDRR sharing event, Dr Uprety shared, “I have highlighted the importance and needs of introducing a community-centric multi-hazard early warning system and impact-based forecasting to reduce the risk of emerging and cascading disaster in Nepal.” As a pitching point from Nepal, community-centric approaches of DRR can be a powerful tool for reducing disaster risk and building resilience. I have also raised the importance of cross-boundary data sharing to provide timely early warning to the community.”, he said.
Practical Action and Mercy Corps also showcased two posters in the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance Marketplace. Dr Uprety explained our work on flood resilience during the Asia Leaders Summit which a wide range of stakeholders attended, including practitioners, government representatives, and academicians. Practical Action presented its work through Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance in the marketplace in its poster, while Mercy Corps focused on Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities (FRMC) approach in the marketplace.
Dr. Uprety expressed the following learnings as key takeaways from his APMCDRR engagement:
- Collaboration, collective action and cross-learning are essential for reducing disaster risk and help in the effective management of disaster in the context of increasing intensity and severity of the hydrometeorological disaster
- Integration of issues of disability, and gender in DRR planning is one of the important aspects of building resilience which helps build inclusive climate justice
- Parametric insurance can be an important option for risk transfer mechanisms, which can help provide quick financial support to the affected communities based on scientific data and information from authorities.
- Risk-informed infrastructure, mitigation and preparedness are essential for building back better, saving economic loss by five to seven-folds, and reducing loss and damage