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Source: Small Island Developing States

25 September 2019: The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, launched the Coalition for Disaster-Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York, US. The fledgling partnership has a secretariat in Delhi, supported by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), to enable knowledge exchange, technical support and capacity building.

CDRI’s mission is to rapidly expand the development of resilient infrastructure and retrofit existing infrastructure for resilience, and to enable a measurable reduction in infrastructure losses. Its mission statement notes that, in recent weather and climate-related disasters, up to 66% of public sector losses were related to infrastructure damage. The partnership will be working in the areas of governance and policy, emerging technology, risk identification and estimation, recovery and reconstruction, resilience standards and certification, finance, and capacity development.

CDRI is bringing together developed and developing countries to build synergies to reach the goal of disaster-resilient infrastructure.

Mami Mizutori, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), welcomed the initiative, emphasizing the need to “get the built environment right,” given the rise in extreme weather events and the rapid pace of urbanization around the world. Mizutori highlighted the benefits to be gained from joining CDRI, emphasizing that ensuring resilient infrastructure will be one of the most important actions for protecting lives and livelihoods. The World Bank and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) expressed support for CDRI and committed to working closely with its secretariat in Delhi.

SDG target 9.1 commits to developing sustainable and resilient infrastructure, while target 9.a seeks to facilitate its development in developing States through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS). UNDRR estimates that around USD 94 trillion will be needed for infrastructure investment in the next 20 years and that 60% of this investment will take place in developing countries.

There are 12 founding members of CDRI: Australia, Bhutan, Fiji, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and the UK. Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, India, called on all concerned to collaborate on the initiative, which, he stressed, is bringing together developed and developing countries, SIDS, and LLDCs to build synergies to reach the goal of disaster-resilient infrastructure.

The formation of the Coalition is the result of efforts by India and UNDRR, responding to Modi’s call at the Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR for action to reduce damage to critical infrastructure. India and UNDRR, with the World Bank, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Commission on Adaptation, have hosted two international workshops on disaster-resilient infrastructure in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The partners have also held consultations with more than 35 countries that represent a variety of challenges posed by development, climate, and disaster risk factors. The Third International Workshop on Disaster-Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) will take place in 2020. [UNDRR Press Release on CDRI Launch] [UNDRR Press Release on Member States’ Support for CDRI] [CDRI Mission Statement] [CDRI Website]

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News