Kathmandu, May 26
A two-day conference on ‘Building Bridges for Better Cooperation on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in the South Asia Region’ organised by the European Union in cooperation with International Union for Conservation of Nature began in Lalitpur today.
Inaugurating the conference, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Bhim Bahadur Rawal said the government had just prepared a five-year post earthquake plan and tabled it in the Parliament. “Nepal has just prepared a five-year post-earthquake plan to overcome challenges posed by climate change. Now we are also eyeing exploration of minerals and petroleum products that would strengthen our resilience and our ability to cope with crisis,” he said.
Speaking at the inaugural session, Rensje Teerink, ambassador, Delegation of the European Union to Nepal, stressed the need for setting up response mechanisms across South Asia given the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters.
Mohamed Shareef, former minister for Environment of Maldives; Hekmatullah Azamy, research analyst at Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies, Afghanistan; Shaikh Shahriar Mohammad, deputy director, Research and Evaluation Division, Rural Development Academy Bangladesh; and Edward Turvill, regional disaster risk reduction coordinator from ECHO region in Bangkok, shared their country’s experiences and precedent regarding DRR.
During the conference, speakers from the South Asia region will share their experiences and expertise on topics such as innovations in mitigation and adaptation to climate change, the role of the media in disaster risk reduction, the need for a more collaborative approach to face these issues in South Asian countries, and the role that the EU can play in this field.Nepal and other South Asian nations are vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters
A version of this article appears in print on May 27, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.