disaster_in_South_Asia

disaster_in_South_Asia - CHAPTER 1 Disasters in South Asia:...

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Tackling the Tides and Tremors: South Asia Disaster Report 2005 5 This chapter explores relationships between hazard, disaster, and development in South Asia. It provides the analytical framework for the report by contesting the policy misperceptions that have led to reactive disaster response in the South Asia region. It outlines the fundamentals of an ‘alternative perspective’ on disaster risk reduction for South Asian countries and communities. CHAPTER 1 Disasters in South Asia: Destined or Designed?
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Tackling the Tides and Tremors: South Asia Disaster Report 2005 7 CHAPTER 1 Disasters in South Asia: Destined or Designed? 1 LoC refers to the military line of control between India and Pakistan in the Kashmir region. Originally known as the “Ceasefire Line”, it was designated as a line of control after the Simla Agreement on the 2nd July 1972. 2 UNEP, Environmental emergencies and disasters: society and environment under threat in Know Risk , United Nations ISDR, 2005 Geneva. Pp 134. 3 ibid. “…The [Asian] tsunami reminds us we are not mere consumers in a market place driven by profits. We are fragile interconnected beings inhabiting a fragile planet…The tsunami tells us we do not live in an information age based on “connectivity” but in an age of ignorance, exclusion and disconnect. The IT revolution has evolved to serve markets, but it has bypassed the needs of people. Hopefully governments will learn a lesson that the earth has tried to give: “development” that ignores ecological limits and the environmental imperative can only lead to unimaginable destruction…” - Vandna Shiva (2005) F rom the coastline of the Indian Ocean to the Line of Control (LoC) 1 in the Kashmir region, frequent disasters and subsequent losses to people and infrastructure have led to a variety of questions in South Asian countries. Are disasters natural, destined or designed? Are they preventable or inevitable? Can disasters be predicted or do they just come with force de majure ? Does the fault lie with the stars or states? And so on and so forth. A growing body of knowledge on disasters now informs the ongoing debates by maintaining that there is a need to differentiate between ‘hazards’ and ‘disasters’. A hazard is natural but disaster is not. A hazard becomes a disaster only when communities, countries, and structures are too weak and vulnerable to withstand its force. The worst disaster can be the mildest reminder from Mother Nature concerning how we interact with her in our daily lives. It is therefore believed that disasters are the canary in the global coalmine. 2 Environment and emerging emergencies I t was rather clearly indicated by the December 2004 tsunami and the October 2005 earthquake in South Asia that ‘natural’ disasters can unmistakably be understood as un-meditated reactions to human tamperings with the natural environment. Correspondingly, the United Nations
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disaster_in_South_Asia - CHAPTER 1 Disasters in South Asia:...

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