MoUD stresses disaster resilient planning

  • The report stresses on research to plan adaptation programmes

Kathmandu, November 29

The new urban agenda should emphasise on climate and disaster resilient planning, addressing anticipated risks, creating synergy between mitigation and adaptation, improving climate knowledge and improving the governance situation, suggests a new report.

According to the report ‘Inclusive Cities: Resilient Communities’ recently published by the Ministry of Urban Development, considerable efforts should be made to explore ways to build partnerships among the key players to devise innovations, which make development work sustainable.

“Focus should be on making settlements more resilient to natural and human-made hazards, protecting and valuing ecosystems, natural habitats and biodiversity, and reducing the global carbon footprint. The new urban agenda should also focus on adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and resilience to disasters while planning settlements and cities,” it stated.

This would include pre-disaster risk assessments in urban areas in order to develop a thorough understanding of disaster risks across various dimensions of hazards, vulnerability, and exposure of people and assets.

The report said this process would enhance capacity of governments at different levels, development planners and decision-makers on disaster and climate risks, enabling them to implement risk-informed development at the city and community level. It is also vital to ensure timely and effective local disaster response to address the immediate needs of inhabitants following a disaster, as well as the integration of the build back better principles in the post-disaster recovery process to integrate lessons learnt from past disasters into future planning and resilience-building.

“Risk sensitive land use planning is of utmost significance for a country like Nepal with its diverse ecological setting which is prone to disasters of various kinds. Low-risk zones should be prioritised for future urban developments and extensions in order to effectively protect them from flooding, earthquakes, and other hazards,” it stated.

Appropriate building codes, early-warning systems, business continuity plans and contingency plans for building critical infrastructure should be prepared and implemented at the local level, it suggested.

The report has stressed on long-term research and comprehensive data to plan adaptation and mitigation programmes to deal with future challenges. There is a lack of research and documentation of the sectoral impacts of climate change. Lack of scientific data coupled with gap in socio-economic understanding and population dynamics make our vulnerability assessments less reliable, it warned.