Prelims level : Disaster Management Mains level : The Face of Disasters 2019 Report
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Why in News?

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


  • The ‘Face of Disasters 2019’ report released by SEEDS as part of its 25th anniversary, analyses past trends, looking at disasters from a broader perspective to capture their varied facts
  • The report talks about the need to look at disaster vulnerabilities that lie under the radar, waiting to strike
  • Eight key areas have emerged that will be critical to consider as we look ahead:
  • 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.
  • No disaster is ‘natural’: Risks lurking under the radar slip through the cracks because they don’t meet the idea of a ‘natural disaster’.
  • The silent events: The disasters that go unseen leave those affected at even greater risk
  • 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
  • The complexity of disaster impact: Beyond official ‘damages’, the long-term and uncaptured disaster impacts have life-changing consequences for affected everyone
  • The urban imperative: Risk is rapidly urbanising and will affect
  • Transformations in the third pole: Himalayan glaciers are melting, with serious implications for the whole region
  • Planning for what you can’t see: Earthquake risk is looming large under the radar, but are we prepared?

Significance of the report:

  • Analysis of past trends shows us that 2019 will see unusual flooding, as well as heatwaves and drought that are already ongoing
  • The complexity of disasters today requires a proactive and multi-pronged
  • A single mega-disaster can wipe out hard-won development gains and recurrent small- scale stresses keep vulnerable families in a cycle of
  • While this multiple event pattern is repeated every year, only a few really capture the public attention. Other risks continue to intensify under the poverty

Way Forward:

  • Current trends are reinforcing that disasters have multiple facets and complexities
  • In 2018, India witnessed nearly every type of natural hazard, except a major earthquake and related events
  • Floods, droughts, heat and cold waves, lightning strikes, cyclones and even hailstorms, a wide range of disasters impacted most of the Countries
  • This poses some critical questions and issues and also points to risks that lie ahead. At the core is the idea that disasters cannot be seen in isolation anymore
  • There is a clear need for comprehensive understanding of risks, and hyper-localised plans and allocation of resources to reduce them

Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (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 intrest
  • The group was later formalized in early 1994 and has been active in the field ever since
  • It is involved in research activities in Community Development, Disaster Management, Environmental Planning, Transport Planning, and Urban and Regional Planing
  • Activities are carried out on behalf of government, semi – government and international development agencies. Independent programs on vital issues are also taken up
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