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Three-day virtual International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure 2021 kick starts from March 17

Press Release
16/03/2021

From top left – Mr. Gavin McGillivray, Minister Counsellor Development British High Commission, New Delhi; Mr. Sandeep Poundrik, Director General, CDRI; Mr. Kamal Kishore, India Co-Chair CDRI Executive Committee and Member NDMA
From bottom left – Ms. Nadia Rasheed, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP India; Ms. Karen Klimowski, Acting Deputy Mission Director at USAID; Mr. Nilesh Roneel Kumar, Charge d affaires, The Fiji High Commission

New Delhi, 15 March 2021 - The Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) held a virtual Press Conference today to provide information to the media on the third edition of the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (ICDRI), to be held from 17 to 19 March 2021.

The interaction with the media informed them about the various sessions that will take place during the Conference, and the discussions around the importance of disaster risk and resilience.

ICDRI 2021 will include sessions such as health infrastructure, recovery and reconstruction, finance, governance and policy, urban resilience, digital infrastructure, innovation and emerging technologies, Small-Island Developing States (Pacific and the Caribbean region), global risk assessments and situating disaster resilience in the context of global commitments.

According to Sandeep Poundrik, Director General, CDRI, “The esteemed panelists at ICDRI 2021 will deliberate and discuss pressing questions pertaining to Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and its importance in the world, given the increasing severity and frequency of disasters. They will also discuss the impact of COVID-19 on infrastructure, and on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) targets.”

ICDRI 2021 will be inaugurated by Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi; Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Mr. Boris Johnson; Prime Minister of Italy, Mr. Italy Mario Draghi OMRI, and Mr. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of Fiji.

Mr. Kamal Kishore, India Co-Chair of CDRI’s Executive Committee and Member National Disaster Management Authority said: “The International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure 2021 comes at a very unique time. We have had a difficult year of pandemic which impacted the infrastructure systems directly or indirectly across the world. We have seen how the whole world is affected, how many infrastructure systems across different sectors were impacted very badly. Given the current circumstance, the conference had to be virtual and so far, we have nearly 1800 participants from more than 100 countries. The virtual conference offers interesting possibilities and taking up on the opportunity offered by the virtual platform, we will enlarge the conversation on disaster resilient infrastructure and engage with a range of stakeholders, not just government but also the academia, the civil society organizations, and communities themselves for whom the infrastructure is designed.

Adding to the Press Conference were statements from the partner organizations of CDRI.

Gavin McGillivray, Minister Counsellor Development British High Commission, New Delhi said, “This conference is of great importance to the international community, the British High Commission and indeed the British government. This year leading up to COP26 when we are more and more aware of climate and I say it is of great importance for three reasons, India has led the way on the importance of resilience in infrastructure for a long time and this is the third of the international conferences that India has hosted. Secondly, the pandemic has reminded us all of our vulnerability. We came to think of disaster in terms of tidal waves and earthquakes but last year it was a health disaster that engulfed the world and it tested our systems, our infrastructures, our health infrastructure, our communication in the structure and reminded us of the importance of the infrastructure. The third reason is that there is a new awareness in my country, the United Kingdom, in India and across the world that climate change is not a future threat, but it is a present-day reality. It was India’s great insight just a few years ago, that the world needs to strengthen its existing infrastructure to be more resilient to disasters and climate change and the trillions of dollars of new infrastructure that needs to be built in the coming decades need to be built in ways that are resilient to disaster and climate change. UK is pleased and proud to be India’s partner in this endeavor.”

Adding to this, Karen Klimowski, Acting Deputy Mission Director at USAID said,Climate inflicted disasters are a reality, their increased frequency and severity, their devastating impact on the lives and livelihood of people and its crippling effects of the world’s infrastructure and economy has demonstrated to us the need to prioritize resilience in development. ICDRI 2021 will provide an opportunity to discuss challenges, identify practices, develop collaboration, galvanize concrete actions and showcase that these conversations, no matter how tough they become will continue. We are pleased to join CDRI member countries in addressing the common challenge of building resilient infrastructure, particularly in the context of increasing disaster risk due to extreme weather changes. The US is committed to a dynamic, inclusive, innovative and resilient world and building the world’s collective preparedness and capacity resilient to global shocks.”

Nadia Rasheed, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP India stated, Since the inception of CDRI, the scope of work launched and commissioned by CDRI is nothing less than impressive. Despite the global disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the CDRI has been able to successfully demonstrate its resilience and managed to deliver on its key commitments for the year. We are extremely proud to be partnering with CDRI across multiple domains, including, engaging in technical support and convening focused discussions on a variety of technical issues. We are also very pleased that we will be supporting the CDRI in the development of its global flagship report on infrastructure resilience. This important initiative will help in addressing the key critical gap in the global discourse on infrastructure resilience and we are confident that the flagship report will become highly valued that helps to shape the approach to infrastructure resilience for years to come. UNDP will also be joining partners and actively engage in the upcoming conference this week!”

Nilesh Roneel Kumar, Charge d affaires, The Fiji High Commission adds,Firstly I’d like to applaud the lead role taken by the Govt. of India in articulating the vision of CDRI, and additionally, I thank all member countries and organizations that have come together to take the agenda of disaster resilient infrastructure forward. We are thankful to CDRI for providing us with a platform through which we can access knowledge and capacity building support towards disaster resilient infrastructure by representing a global event. Despite being recently established and facing challenges posed by Covid-19, CDRI managed to overcome challenges, and carried out its tasks effectively. We are optimistic that through CDRI, SIDS would be given more attention and the support required enabling us to address the issue of climate change in a more effective manner.”

During the three days of ICDRI 2021 eminent speakers like Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Finance Minister, Mr. Hardeep Sigh Puri, India’s Housing and Urban Affairs Minister and Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s Information Technology and Law Minister, will give their valuable inputs around governance and policy, urban resilience and digital infrastructure.

The ICDRI will also have other prominent national and international speakers such as Dr. P.K. Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India, Dr. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Ms. Mami Mizutori, Head UNDRR and COP26 envoy Dr. John Murton amongst others.

Please see the complete list of speakers at ICDRI 2021 here - https://icdri.cdri.world/index.html

Apart from the various sessions at the event, ICDRI will also host the MARKETPLACE (24 hours x 3 days), a virtual exhibition and networking space where conference participants can learn about new solutions offered by public and private sector agencies.

 

About ICDRI

ICDRI is an annual international conference and platform to continue building the global community for disaster and climate resilient infrastructure in line with CDRI’s mandate.

The conference will bring together stakeholders from partner countries representing national disaster risk management agencies, key infrastructure sectors, multilateral development banks, UN agencies, academia and research institutions, the private sector and policy think tanks.

ICDRI 2021 will deliberate on international commitments that are significant for building disaster and climate resilient infrastructure.