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BUILDING DISASTER RISK REDUCTION IN ASIA: A WAY FORWARD

Abstract
By : Earl Kessler

 
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) was established in 1986. It was restructured in July 2003 to focus on specific technical areas: climate variability and change management, urban disaster risk management, public health in emergencies, building national and provincial disaster management systems, and community based disaster risk management (CBDRM), promoting regional cooperation, identifying disaster risk management (DRM) needs in the region and developing strategic solutions. The consolidation enables ADPC's teams to work more effectively with stakeholders and build cross-team inputs into their work. Multiple hazards under this new thematic approach are a key concept along with new areas of importance to DRM that include chemical, biological and radio-nuclear risks, heritage and disaster mitigation, and the role of domestic capital markets in financing improvements in the built environment to create a safer, more disaster-resilient world. The terms "risk management", "risk reduction", "vulnerability reduction", "capacity building" and "mitigation" began replacing the reactive term "disaster management", thus making pro-active DRM in Asia part of the development agenda that must deal with the growing variety and intensity of hazards. It was a shift from short-term, reactive, charity-driven responses to long-term, proactive, development initiatives. Making the right development choices requires coordinated efforts by committed leaders who have the political will and determination to include risk reduction measures in their policies and plans; a corporate sector that will prioritise risk issues and include them into their business plans; scientists who will provide the knowledge and understanding of current and new areas of risk reduction; committed non-government agencies that advocate for risk reduction; educators who are responsible for shaping the awareness of future generations; a mass media that has the power to influence and change behaviour; and informed citizens who make choices about the risks in their lives.
Keywords : Mainstreaming, Risk Management, Capital Investments, Historic Urban Area, Climate Risk Management

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