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Face of Disasters 2019

Topics covered:

  1. Disaster and disaster management.

 

Face of Disasters 2019

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: key observations, concerns and need of the hour.

 

Context: The Face of Disasters 2019 report was recently published by Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS). The 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.

 

Eight key areas have emerged that will be critical to consider as we look ahead, as per the report:

  1. 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.
  2. No disaster is ‘natural’: Risks lurking under the radar slip through the cracks because they don’t meet the idea of a ‘natural disaster’.
  3. The silent events: The disasters that go unseen leave those affected at even greater risk.
  4. 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.
  5. The complexity of disaster impact: Beyond official ‘damages’, the long-term and uncaptured disaster impacts have life-changing consequences for affected communities.
  6. The urban imperative: Risk is rapidly urbanising and will affect everyone.
  7. Transformations in the third pole: Himalayan glaciers are melting, with serious implications for the whole region.
  8. Planning for what you can’t see: Earthquake risk is looming large under the radar, but are we prepared?

 

Concerns:

2019 will see unusual flooding, as well as heatwaves and drought that are already ongoing. 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.

 

Need of the hour:

The complexity of disasters today requires a proactive and multi-pronged approach. Current trends are reinforcing that disasters have multiple facets and complexities. There is a clear need for comprehensive understanding of risks, and hyper-localised plans and allocation of resources to reduce them.

 

About 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.
  • Functions: 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. 

 

Sources: the Hindu.

Mains Question: “The relationship between disaster and development depends on the development choices made by the individual, community and the nation”. Discuss.