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Building a disaster resilient Asia

Jan 31, 2013

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has come up with two reports which deal with green growth and disaster resilience for the Asian region. The reports were launched at the ongoing Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS 2013).

Natural hazards continue to cause significant loss of life and property in Asia and the Pacific region. According to the United Nations ESCAP’s Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2011, Asian and Pacific countries have a high vulnerability to the impacts of disasters.

During the past decade, on an average more than 200 million people were affected and more than 70,000 people were killed by natural disasters annually. These figures represent 90 per cent and 65 per cent of the world total, respectively.

Building disaster resilience and achieving green growth continue to be a challenge for the region. In this context, Asian Development Bank (ADB) has introduced two studies on these issues that concern the whole world. But the studies primarily focused on Asia and the Pacific region.

The first report ‘Investing in Resilience’ recommends solutions for achieving disaster resilience. Another report ‘Low-Carbon Green Growth in Asia: Policies and Practices’ talks about investment opportunities for low-carbon development.

“Asia and the Pacific region must ensure disaster resilience and low carbon green growth. These reports will provide insights on how to achieve these,” said Haruhiko Kuroda, President, ADB, Philippines, in a special session on creating a sustainable Asia through disaster resilience and green growth that took place on Thursday at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) 2013 organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi.

With increasing urbanisation, migration patterns and population growth in general, people are occupying high-risk areas in greater numbers than ever, increasing their vulnerability to disaster impacts, expressed Dr Bindu N Lohani, Vice President, Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, ADB, Philippines.

Lohani asked for increasing regional cooperation and scaling up of investment in disaster resilience equipment. “Disaster loses are not inevitable, but the preparations are not enough,” he said.

“We have great challenges ahead to achieve a disaster resilience Asia, but these can be overcome,” Kuroda said.

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