Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that in an interconnected world, risk reduction is no longer merely a local activity as actions in one part of the world affect risks in other parts of the world.

The minister’s observation came at the ninth meeting of the heads of governments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) dealing with the prevention and elimination of emergency situations here.

Rajnath Singh said that between 1996 and 2015, the SCO countries lost 300,000 lives to natural disasters and the economic losses from disasters are extremely high and cascading.

“Nearly 40% of the humanity lives in our countries. We represent some of the fastest growing economies. If we are able to prevent and reduce the impact of disasters and emergencies, it will have huge global benefits as well,” he said.

He said a meeting of technical experts can be organised to facilitate exchange of knowledge and experiences on earthquake-resistant building construction, model building codes and standard processes for ensuring compliance.

“Secondly, we can work on regional cooperation for making our infrastructure disaster-resilient. Over the coming decades, investment in infrastructure in the SCO countries will be the driver of sustainable development,” Singh said.

“Finally, we need cooperation in the area of early warning systems for extreme weather events. A technical meeting of representatives of our meteorological services will be a very beneficial first step to foster collaboration in this area,” he said.

The minister said that in this regard, India offers to host a meeting of the meteorological services of SCO countries in early 2019, adding that India also offers to host a joint exercise on ‘urban earthquake search and rescue’ in the same year.

First Published | 24 August 2017 11:21 PM
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