In light of the growing prevalence of natural disasters and increased vulnerability to climate change in the South Asia region, the European Union Delegation to Nepal hosted a regional conference on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in Kathmandu, on May 26-27.
Organized in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Centre for South Asian Studies, and DAI Europe, the conference dwelt on common challenges faced by the region such as the tsunami in Sri Lanka and The Maldives, massive flooding in Uttarakhand in India and in Bangladesh, earthquake in Pakistan and in Nepal and the regular episodes of humanitarian disasters and massive casualties despite all efforts of the governments.
The South Asian region is one of the most vulnerable to natural disasters and to the impacts of climate change. At the same time, the region is home to creative initiatives which can inspire the rest of world.
The European Union has been a long-standing partner to South Asian nations. By supporting targeted events which bring together institutes, think tanks and other platforms, South Asia as a region is able to envision change and celebrate successes. Rensje Teerink, EU Ambassador to Nepal and to the SAARC said, “I am confident that the deliberations will be instrumental in designing additional DRR and Climate Change Adaptation-related projects within the larger SAARC development framework."
The role of the media in reducing the risk of and responding to natural disasters was also highlighted. Journalists from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India were present at the event.
Overall, through this event, participants proposed new ways of moving forward into an uncertain future and a changing climate. Bringing together key people from around South Asia proved to be a successful way of fostering mutual learning.