NEW DELHI, 10 December 2020 – Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) Director General, Mr. Sandeep Poundrik, urged researchers and authorities to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances like the COVID-10 pandemic when defining, managing and responding to disaster risks.
“One thing the pandemic has taught us is dynamic risk assessments. While we may be doing risk assessments in a conventional way, we have to be ready to recalibrate and change the strategy or the assessment if something of a great magnitude happens,” he told participants at a 10 December 2020 webinar hosted by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), a New Delhi-based not-for-profit policy research institution. He made his comments during the launch of a CEEW report, "Preparing India for Extreme Climate Events."
He added that countries could re-strategize climate proofing of their policies, plans and actions by: 1. Developing and adopting dynamic risk assessment tools; 2. Embracing predictive risk modelling; and; 3. Investing in disaster resilient infrastructure.
“It is not only an issue of keeping it [infrastructure] safe but also the issue of livelihoods. If infrastructure is lost, people lose their livelihoods,” he said, noting that a failure of transport infrastructure would limit their mobility and accessibility to the workplace.
Economic growth in India, which has experienced a series of large-scale disasters, is placing increasingly more attention to investments in climate resilient infrastructure, such as housing, transport, power, and industries, especially in coastal areas. CDRI is developing an assessment around disaster risk and resilience, to share best practices in India and among CDRI’s Member Countries.