UK, Bangladesh, Nepal and China Discuss Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction

Dec 1, 2015

On 30 November 2015, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China, as part of the Sharing and Learning on Community Based Disaster Management in Asia Project (CBDM Asia Phase II), co-hosted a ‘Multi-stakeholder Partnership in Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) Workshop’ in Chengdu, China.

The meeting, organized in partnership with Department for International Development of the UK (DFID) and the National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC) and brought together governments, enterprises, academia, civil society organizations from China, Bangladesh, Nepal and the UK to share ideas and good practices of multi-stakeholder engagement in CBDRR and of building effective multi-stakeholder partnership to strengthen disaster management.

Catastrophic events have become more common in recent years causing heavy losses in Asian countries. China is affected by almost all types of natural disaster and its experience has great relevance to other developing countries in Asia, given their shared context: geographical diversity, pressure from a rising population and increasing public expectation of government action to mitigate risk and provide post-disaster support.

Being part of the UK-China Global Development Partnership Programme, the CBDM Asia Project strives to support resilience building via knowledge sharing and mutual learning between China and other Asian countries threatened by natural disasters, particularly Bangladesh and Nepal.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Patrick Haverman, Deputy Country Director of UNDP China, welcomed the continued mutual learning and exchange mechanism between the partner countries, ‘We at UNDP are excited, through our network of countries, to bring all partners together under this South South project.’

Mr. Haverman noted there is a lot of experience to share in disaster management from China to other countries and the coordinated efforts of cross-sectoral engagement in CBDRR in achieving the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction a great example in tackling challenges in CBDRR and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. UNDP is committed to continuing involvement in this important area of resilience building for the most disaster-prone and affected areas.

Through the first phase over the past 2.5 years with the great support of DFID and the Government of China, the Project has made sound achievements in establishing the partnership among partner countries, facilitating experience sharing through demonstration communities and exchange activities, establishing research and communication platforms for sharing and learning among different CBDM cohorts. A series of good CBDM experiences were documented and disseminated, and some learning and new knowledge were put into practices by peer communities as well.

Based on experience and lessons from the first Phase, CBDM Asia Phase II aims to further strengthen regional south-south cooperation with an applicable CBDRR focus in the evolving global context. The increasing demands for more innovative, adaptive and affordable technologies call for interactive and transformative ways of mutual learning and sharing among countries, with the engagement of both developing and developed countries. Collectively, enhanced regional cooperation between countries on disaster management will provide more possibilities and platforms for countries and communities to have dialogues, exchange ideas, work together and discuss solutions for common problems and share best practices.

The Chief Engineer of NDRCC, Dr. Yang Siquan expressed the strong support for exchanging ideas with partner countries about the development of relevant strategies as well as agreeing that CBDM work should continue to involve multi-stakeholders at all levels to exchange interdisciplinary knowledge and experiences to the common issues.

Deepak Subedi from the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development of Nepal stressed the strategic importance of south south cooperation, highlighting the positive impact such multi-stakeholder engagement will bring to local, regional and global disaster risk reduction.

Zakir Hossain Akanda from the Ministry of Disaster Management and relief of Bangladesh endorsed mutual learning and stronger partnership to improve disaster risk management among partner countries.

Following the opening, the workshop will continue with a useful exchange of knowledge and expertise and field visits to Wenchuan earthquake reconstruction communities in Sichuan.  UNDP hopes that through such international, multilateral and cross-sectoral exchange, countries will benefit from each other’s experience with more relevant case setting and advance more effective regional and international cooperation in DRR throughout the process.

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