A two-day meeting of BRICS Ministers on Disaster Management ended in Udaipur, Rajasthan today with the adoption of the Udaipur Declaration. The meeting laid bare the common thread of challenges on disaster issues faced by all the BRICS nations.
The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju termed the meeting as a new milestone in collaboration and cooperation among BRICS countries in the field of disaster management. He said that the Udaipur meeting has successfully adopted the Udaipur Declaration whereby we have resolved to set up a dedicated Joint Task Force for Disaster Risk Management for regular dialogue, exchange, mutual support and collaboration among BRICS Countries.
The roadmap for implementation of the three-year Joint Action Plan (JAP) for BRICS emergency services (2016-18) was also finalised. The JAP was agreed upon at the first meeting of BRICS Ministers for Disaster Management at St. Petersburg in Russia earlier this year. Shri Rijiju said that this meeting has agreed on a road map for implementation of the Joint Action Plan where all of us have resolved to work together on exchange of Information/ experiences on disaster management, research & technology exchange on forecasting and early warning for floods and extreme weather events and capacity building of stakeholders for disaster management.
A technical session on Disaster risk in a changing climate was held today. The session focused on emerging disaster risks as a result of climate change and evolving practices in the area of Disaster Risk Management. It began with a presentation followed by discussions on the implications of changing climate on disaster risk.
BRICS nations have made a clear move from relief-centric to a holistic approach to disasters with a greater emphasis on prevention, mitigation and preparedness. This highlights the importance of forecasting and early warning systems to help authorities in alerting the communities as well as responding swiftly to a situation. The meeting discussed the advances in technology and knowledge sharing amongst member countries to enable them leverage it to reduce disaster risk.
Summing up the takeaways from the meeting, Shri R.K. Jain, Member, National Disaster Management Authority, said that it came out clearly during the meeting that all member countries face similar challenges. Mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction, use of advanced technology in providing early warning, need for adequate funding to deal with rehabilitation and reconstruction after a disaster and the impact of climate change on disasters are common challenges faced by all of us. The deliberations have been very useful and we got an opportunity to learn about the disaster management structure, system and processes followed in other BRICS countries.
India, the current BRICS chair, will host the 8th BRICS Summit in Goa in October, 2016.