Friday, September 18, 2015

Sikkim marks earthquake anniv with workshop on disaster risk reduction

Gangtok, 18 Sept [IPR]: A daylong workshop on ‘Disaster Risk Reduction - Sikkim’s Commitment for Sendai Framework 2015-2030’ was held at Chintan Bhawan today on State Disaster Risk Reduction Day, commemorating the devastating earthquake of 18 September 2011 and to deliberate on the future strategies for preparedness and mitigation.
The workshop was chaired by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and had the presence of eminent resource persons from across the country. Prof. V.K. Sharma, Executive Vice Chairman SSDMA delivered the key note address.
Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister recalled the calamity as one which threw Sikkim off balance.
“In the backdrop of such devastation, the State Government officers, Organisations and people in general exhibited high level of resilience to overcome such a terrifying situation. I extend my sincere thanks and congratulations to all fellow Sikkimese for supporting the Government in its endeavour to bring back normalcy in the state”, stated the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister also welcomed the Sendai Framework and maintained that the state-specific activities carried out by the SSDMA as per the state and district disaster plan carries high relevance to meet the deliverables mentioned in the Sendai Framework.
Mr Chamling put forth his request to the officers present from NDRF and NDMA for assistance in training manpower on disaster preparedness, and support for the establishment of the Himalayan Institute of Disaster Management and Climate Change which is in the conceptualization stage.
Earlier, the State Disaster Management Plan was released by the Chief Minister. Similarly an Animation film on Awareness on Earthquakes and Fire was released by Speaker SLA, KN Rai.
A presentation on Response to Reconstruction- Sikkim Earthquake 2011 was made by Joint Director SSDMA Mr. G.C. Khanal.
A presentation on Earthquake in Himalayas was made by Prof. Malay Mukul of IIT Mumbai. Similarly, a brief introduction on Sendai Framework 2015-2030 was given by G. Padmanabhan of UNDP.
The inaugural session was also addressed by Chief Secretary Government of Sikkim, Alok Shrivastava, eminent guests OP Singh [Director General NDRF] and Kamal Kishore [Member NDMA].
The latter part of the workshop which was chaired by Mr Kishore deliberated elaborately on the Sendai Framework, the Role of Civil Society and Government in Disaster Risk Reduction, and safe construction practices in Himalayan States with earthquake tips.
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 is a 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognizes that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.
It aims for the following outcome - The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction [UNISDR] has been tasked to support the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework.
It may be mentioned here that the workshop was held under the auspices of Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority, LR&DM Department Government of Sikkim.

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