Prelims level : Environment Mains level : GS-III (Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)
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Why in News:

  • The Odisha government has shown by example how to manage a natural disaster


  • Cyclone Fani has left a trail of destruction across a large part of coastal Odisha but its management has emerged as a global example of how timely weather alerts, preparedness and informed public participation can dramatically reduce loss of life
  • The toll from the extremely severe cyclonic storm on May 3 stood, at last count, at 34 deaths.
  • In terms of material losses, several districts were battered, houses flattened and electricity and telecommunications infrastructure destroyed, but the relatively low mortality shows a dramatic transformation from the loss of over 10,000 lives in 1999 when super cyclone 05B struck.
  • They should use the opportunity to upgrade technology, achieve cost efficiencies and build resilience to extreme weather, all of which can minimise future losses.
  • Given the vulnerability of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to cyclones, the frequency and intensity of which may be influenced by a changing climate, the Centre should press for global environmental funding under the UN framework to help in the rebuilding.
  • Both States have received funding from the World Bank in cyclone risk mitigation efforts since 2011.
  • The priority in Odisha is to restore electricity and telecommunications, which will require massive manpower. This should be treated as a national mission
  • Public health interventions are paramount to avoid disease outbreaks.
  • The State government has been able to restore some physical movement by opening up highways and district roads; the Centre has relieved tension among students by postponing the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test in Odisha.
  • India must prepare for many more intense and frequent cyclones along the coastal States. Preparedness has to focus on building resilience and strengthening adaptation.
  • This can be achieved through better-designed houses and cyclone shelters, good early warning systems, periodic drills and financial risk reduction through insurance
  • Its commendable performance has been recognised by the UN as well.
  • Odisha’s experience, which coincides with similar devastation along east Africa this year,
  • will be keenly followed at the UN Disaster Risk Reduction conference

UN Disaster Risk Reduction conference

  • The member states of the United Nations Organisation approved the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015, held in Sendai, Japan.
  • The treaty is voluntary and not binding upon the member states. Under the framework, the primary role of the member states to reduce the disaster risks is identified.
  • The framework has a time frame of 15 years, i.e., 2015-2030
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