After the conclusion of the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Dr. Bindu N. Lohani, VP of Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) published an article in China’s main English language newspaper “China Daily” under the title “Sendai meeting key to fighting disasters”. Recalling the increase in disasters and vulnerability, he stresses the importance of scientific progress in disaster preparedness and reduction.
Lohani quotes the examples of successfully implemented early warning systems: “The provincial government of Albay in the Philippines, which routinely faces coastal flooding, volcanic activity and typhoons, has set an excellent example. Through risk-mapping software, early warning systems and innovative knowledge initiatives such as its Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Academy for local government units, it is already reducing the damage from disasters.”
He says: “Scientific tools such as satellites, remote sensing technologies and advances in disaster modeling have also opened up huge opportunities for better management of disaster risk through supporting measures such as risk-sensitive land use planning.” However, he also cautions: “On other fronts, progress has been more disappointing. In many Asian countries, enhanced disaster risk information and disaster risk management legislation have not yet translated into significant action on the ground to strengthen resilience. Fiscal management of disaster risk remains weak in developing Asia. Less than 5 percent of disaster losses are insured.”
Lohani was a panelist speaker at the recent IRDR Conference on the role of science and technology in disaster risk reduction and sustainability held in Tokyo.