The ongoing earthquake recovery and reconstruction effort in Nepal received a boost this week, when the region’s experts gathered at a United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) led forum in Kathmandu to share experiences and innovation in disaster recovery.
Innovative retrofitting technologies to protect cultural sites, low-cost housing, and new techniques to help rebuild settlements and infrastructure in mountainous areas were some of the key strategies highlighted at the regional earthquake recovery dialogue for ‘building back better,’ by experts from India, Iran and Pakistan who have all experienced mega earthquakes in recent years.
Organized by ESCAP in partnership with the Disaster Management Centre of South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation and the National Planning Commission of the Government of Nepal, the regional dialogue provided a platform for experts to share good practices with those involved in the recovery efforts of the Nepal Gorkha earthquake in April.
Ms. Shamika Sirimanne, Director of the ICT and Disaster Risk Reduction Division of ESCAP emphasized that enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and promoting the ‘build back better’ approach in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction are key priorities of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the global agenda for achieving a substantial reduction of disaster risk in the next 15 years.
“After recovering from several mega earthquakes, our region has acquired a vast amount of knowledge on ‘building back better,’ especially with innovative solutions for low cost housing, protecting cultural sites, and rebuilding in difficult terrain. It is time to share this experience and knowledge with Nepal,” said Ms. Sirimanne.
In his opening remarks, Honorable Govind Raj Pokharel, Vice-chairperson of the National Planning Commission of Nepal said: “This regional earthquake recovery dialogue will provide good opportunities for Nepalese policymakers and practitioners to enhance their understanding and capacity in recovery and reconstruction work.”
Outcomes of the regional dialogue held in Kathmandu, Nepal from 1 to 2 October, provided valuable input into the recovery and reconstruction strategy of Nepal, which will also be followed up by the Asian and Pacific Centre for Development of Information Management, a specialized regional institution of ESCAP based in Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran.