The nation learning to embrace flooding

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ASEAN adopts New Disaster Management Framework for 2021-2025

ASEAN Ministers in charge of disaster management agreed on the strategic direction of regional cooperation in mitigating disaster losses and responding to disaster emergencies for the next five years. On 27 November, they adopted the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2021-2025.

The AADMER work programme aims to build on the progress and develop a region of resilient nations that are coordinated in mitigating the effects of disasters in pursuit of safer communities and sustainable development. The new work programme was endorsed during the 8th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) and the 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the AADMER. .

“ASEAN’s transformation into a region that is resilient and adaptive to all forms of disasters must be carried out through a multi-hazards approach in disaster management,” said Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi.

Dato Lim also strongly urged the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) to plant the seeds of collaboration with all stakeholders and nurture these relationships towards a common goal of reducing disaster losses and building a disaster-resilient ASEAN…

The nation learning to embrace flooding

When this year’s monsoon season hit Bangladesh, it wasn’t an ordinary flood. Within weeks, one quarter of the country was underwater. “We’ve been managing flood relief efforts in the region for 10 years,” says Ahmed Imtiaz Jami, president of Obhizatrik Foundation, a charity and volunteering organisation in Bangladesh. But the 2020 floods were a step-change. “It just wasn’t the same.” Nearly 1.3 million homes were damaged, hundreds of thousands of people were marooned, and hundreds died.

Yet monsoon flooding is increasingly being recognised to be as vital to the delta nation as it is destructive, raising a difficult question: how do you allow the life-restoring properties of floods to continue nourishing the land, while providing protection against the worsening floods of the future?

A dizzying latticework of 230 rivers crisscrosses Bangladesh. Three of those rivers are the massive Brahmaputra-Jamuna, the Ganges (or Padma, as it is known in Bangladesh) and the Meghna, which eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal. Along with water, these river systems carries between 1-1.4 billion tonnes of fertile silt through the country every year, forming the foundation for much of the country’s agriculture. They are also the reason why Bangladesh is one of the world’s hardest hit countries by climate change…

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