New Delhi , June 14

Members of the UNISDR ARISE FICCI Board today deliberated on the future course of actions to be taken to accelerate the pace of work in disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities with the new Chairperson, General N C Vij suggesting that the key activity to focus on was urban risk reduction and management instead of spreading resources thinly.

Addressing the UNISDR ARISE FICCI members, Gen. Vij said, "We should focus our efforts on few key activities instead of all. Focused efforts to reduce the risks emanating from the natural and man-made disasters in urban India can then be translated into rural India with modifications to suit the local needs."

Members were of the view that funding for disaster risk management was a key issue that needed to be addressed upfront. Lt. Gen. (Dr.) J R Bhardwaj, former Member NDMA, felt that UNISDR and the government should allocate funds to ARISE India to take its activities forward.

Anil Sinha, Co-Chair, ARISE FICCI, said disaster risk reduction does not get much funding as opposed to climate change initiatives, as benefits of DRR are not visible in the short-term. He said there was a need to create awareness, share knowledge and change in mindsets, going forward.

UNISDR ARISE FICCI is a private sector initiative focused on disaster reduction. "We are trying to sensitise the private sector on the best practices and also showcase the business opportunities in Disaster Risk Reduction," said Mr. Nirankar Saxena, Deputy Secretary General, FICCI.

ARISE FICCI has partnered with Integrated Institute of Rural Management (IIRM), Shimla for a pilot project- covering 3226 panchayats - aimed at making villages smart (covering disaster reduction) and opening-up of business opportunities in rural areas, said Brig. (Dr) BK Khanna, CEO, ARISE FICCI.

ARISE stands for the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies. It is committed to implementing the Sendai Framework with emphasis to ensure the private sector investments and operations are hazard resilient (risk sensitive), in collaboration with the public sector. Seven themes adopted by UNISDR ARISE are disaster risk management strategies, investor metrics, bench marking and standards, education and training, legal and regulatory, urban risk reduction and resilience and insurance.

The Sendai Framework signed by 187 countries, including India, in March 2015, highlights lack of regulations and incentives for private disaster risk reduction investment as an underlying risk driver and called for business to integrate disaster risk into their management practices.

FICCI has been working actively on disaster mitigation in the industrial sector since 2003, although earlier it had confined its activities in relief and reconstruction phases post - disaster. It is based on its credentials and commitment to disaster risk reduction/management that UNISDR entrusted FICCI to be full -fledged Member of UNISDR ARISE on 04 August 2017, to take its initiatives on DRR to the next level.

Thus FICCI is the only Chamber of Commerce to represent private sector from India in the area of disaster risk reduction. ARISE FICCI has volunteered to become ARISE INDIA network which is pending with UNISDR ARISE and is likely to fructify shortly.

The meeting was also attended by Mr. KM Singh, Founder Member, NDMA and, Mr. Rajeshwar Rao, Adviser, Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council.

Presentations were made on 'SMART Village Concept- Ruralising India, Empowering Villages' by Dr. L C Sharma, MD, Integrated Institute of Rural Management, Shimla and 'Operations Resilience - National-Level Portal' by Mr. Sarthak Handa, an alumni of IIT Kanpur and a start-up entrepreneur.

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