Experts called for certification of disaster management plans for projects in all sectors, and educational courses on dealing with disasters.
The recommendations were part of the 2016 Bhopal Declaration framed during deliberations by 175 experts at a two-day national conference on ‘emergency response and disaster management plan’ that concluded in Bhopal on Friday.
As October 13 is observed as the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, the meet was held in the context of the Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030), an international treaty approved by the UN members in March 2015 at a conference in Sendai, Japan.
“As India is a signatory to this framework, there is a need to have certification of disaster management plans in all sectors, be it construction or development projects,” said Dr Rakesh Dubey, director of the Disaster Management Institute (DMI), Bhopal.
The DMI, set up in 1987 against the backdrop of the world’s worst chemical disaster in Bhopal, organised the meet in collaboration with the MP Planning Commission, National Disaster Management Authority and Unicef.
“We need to have a certifier that certifies that a disaster management plan has been framed for a particular project, and it is being implemented. DMI has been a certifier for disaster management for oil companies since 2010,” Dubey said.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has identified the DMI as a certifying body for emergency response and disaster management plans of oil and gas companies.
“We need to take similar initiatives for all sectors,” Dubey said.
The declaration, notified for the first time by experts in the state, urged the government to initiate educational courses on disaster management, including certification.
“The recommendations in the declaration also urged the government to ensure that sector policies, plans, and investments are informed by risk assessment and analysis,” Dubey said.
Some other suggestions
Strengthen child-specific disaster risk reduction (DRR) programmes in the state to promote a culture of safety and resilience.
Awareness programmes on DRR for all sections of population.
Government should take disaster management mock drills to the panchayat and block level.