The physical and social nature of the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) makes the region and its people very vulnerable to natural hazards. Climate-induced natural hazards (e.g., landslides, floods, glacial lake outburst floods, droughts, earthquakes, and epidemics) hold back socioeconomic development in the region and hamper progress in poverty reduction. Environmental and climate change is expected to lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural hazards. The focus on post-disaster response is no longer adequate or effective in dealing with disasters. A paradigm shift is occurring in the region, as elsewhere around the world, from response to prevention, preparedness, and mitigation of disasters. More data and technology will not be sufficient on their own to improve peoples’ lives. Policy makers and practitioners need a better understanding of local contexts and the need for improved disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities (e.g. localizing disaster responses).
This action area builds upon ICIMOD’s past experience in the technical and physical aspects of DRR and takes a more proactive and integrated approach to address DRR within the international guidelines established in the Hyogo Framework of Action. DRR is included in the Integrated Water and Hazard Management (IWHM) programme in order to reflect ICIMOD’s focus on, and experience in, hydro-meteorological disasters. Hydro-meteorological disasters constitute a majority of disasters not only in Asia but the world over and their numbers are continuously increasing, while the frequency of geological disasters (like earthquakes) remains more constant. The focus on water-related disasters does not exclude the need to take a multi-hazard risk approach. Socio-ecological systems are facing various stresses which also influence any response to water-related disaster risks. Water-related risks can only be understood as part of broader and interacting processes.
Contribute to reducing vulnerability of mountain communities in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region and build their resilience to water-induced disaster risks.
Hari Krishna Nibanupudi
Action Area Team Leader