JMI organises Online International Conference on “Challenges of Disasters: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Resilience”

New Delhi: The Centre for Disaster Management, Department of Geography, Jamia Millia Islamia(JMI)
organised an International Conference (online) on “Challenges of Disasters: Vulnerability,
Adaptation and Resilience” in collaboration with National Institute of Disaster Management,
New Delhi and Regional Remote Sensing Centre (North), New Delhi during 02-03 March,
2021.
Prof. M. Ishtiyaque, Officiating Vice Chancellor,JMI inaugurated the conference on 2nd March.
In his inaugural address he focused on the havoc created by disasters impacting social, economic
and ecological spheres and stressed on the need to focus on mitigation and adaptation to disasters
through disaster risk management, cooperation between government and citizens and sane
policy.
Prof. Taruna Bansal conducted the inaugural session and the welcome address was delivered by
Prof. M.A. Siddiqui, Coordinator, Centre for Disaster Management who gave a peek into the
Centre of Disaster Management, its functioning and achievements, placements and internships of
students.
Prof. Haroon Sajjad, Organizing Secretary introduced the theme of the conference. A total of 167
abstracts were received from countries like the USA, the UK, Iran, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc.
and from all across India.
The Guest of Honor, Major General M.K. Bindal, Executive Director, NIDM delivered an
enlightening address on the vulnerability posed by disasters and referred to the SENDAI
Framework and the 10 Point Agenda by Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi Ji for paying heed
to disaster management at the local level.
Prof. Abha Lakshmi Singh, AMU, the other Guest of Honor chose to speak on the disasters
associated with the mountains which she termed “Call of the Mountains”. She focused on the
disasters in Uttarakhand, the 2013 Himalayan Tsunami and the recent catastrophe in February,
2021 and said that disasters are chain reaction events.
Prof. David Alexander, University College London, U.K. was the Chief Guest and delivered the
keynote address on “Disaster Risk Reduction and the Impact of COVID-19”wherein he
discussed the challenges and threats posed by COVID-19 and called it the “mother of all
cascading events/disasters”. Various COVID-19 associated sub-topics were discussed right from
the transmission of the disease till the vaccination strategies. It reflected as to how COVID-19
did not just break the regular system of working but also revealed an already broken system and
thereby, highlighted the aggravating gaps between the rich and the poor.
Prof. Mary Tahir, Convener delivered the Vote of Thanks and acknowledged the time and efforts
invested by all for the success of the conference. The organizers thanked (in absentia) the ViceChancellor, JMI, Prof. Najma Akhter for giving them the opportunity to conduct this
international conference. They duly acknowledged her help and guidance in making this
conference a successful one.
Special lectures were organised as one of the technical sessions in the International Conference.
Proceedings of the session was conducted by Prof. Haroon Sajjad, Organizing Secretary of the
conference.
The session was chaired by Dr. S.D. Attri, Additional Director General, IMD. Prof. Surya
Parkash, NIDM, delivered a lecture on “Community based disaster risk reduction and
resilience”. He focused on how the community can play an active role in managing disasters. He
emphasized the role of local governance, use of techniques and creation of community level
awareness.
The second lecture was delivered by Dr. Md. Nazrul Islam, Jahangir University, Dhaka,
Bangladesh on “Modeling on Toxic Algae Bloom Mechanisms in Aquatic Ecosystem and Silent
Disasters of Water Crisis in Asian Countries”. He stressed on the need to be aware regarding a
“silent disaster”- algae bloom as it is emerging as one of the lethal events. He also presented case
studies which provided a practical outlook of the issue.
Dr. Alexander Follmann, University of Cologne, Germany delivered a lecture on “Challenges
and risks of urban river fronts – the case of Yamuna in Delhi” wherein he stressed on the
vulnerability that the Yamuna floodplains faced specifically due to anthropogenic activities. He
showed the stark difference in the level of pollution between the entrance and exit of the Yamuna
in the national capital. This problem occurs mainly as the Nazafgarh drain along with 20 more
drains pollute the river, coupled with high density areas and development projects along the
river. Moreover, most of east Delhi lies on the Yamuna floodplains. He concludes by urging
people and authorities not to carry out any further construction in the floodplains.
Prof. Haroon Sajjad, Organizing Secretary concluded the session by giving his warmest thanks
and gratitude to the chair and speakers.
Six lectures were delivered in the Special Lecture Session-II. The session was chaired by Dr.
Bhoop Singh, Scientist-G, DST (Retd.) and coordinated by Prof. Masood Ahsan Siddiqui. Dr.
Bayes Ahmed, Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction, University College London, UK delivered a
talk on “Human-induced Climate Change: a Threat to Achieving the UN Sustainable
Development Goals”. He discussed the SDGs in the light of disasters and vulnerability and gave
the example of Bangladesh as it is reeling under the pressures of numerous disasters. He urges
the need to have a holistic approach to combat disasters. The second lecture was delivered by Dr.
Hashem Dadasphoor, TMU, Iran on “Land Use and Mitigation of Vulnerabilities Caused by
Natural Disasters”. He defined various concepts of land use and vulnerability and identified the
vulnerability implications. Prof. Chandan Ghosh, NIDM, India, spoke on “Safe and Sustainable
Living in the Hill Areas – Aftermath of Chamoli Events of the 7th Feb. 2021” highlighting the
plight of the mountains with reference to the recent catastrophe which hit the Himalayan district
in February. He cites examples from Germany, Nepal and other countries to portray disaster
mitigation and preparedness in different parts of the world. He emphasized the need to invest in
research and development. Dr. Apurba K Bera put forth a lecture on Disasters of Indian DesertSatellite Based Warning of Locust Infestation and Dust Storm” wherein he underlined the ruckus
created by locusts in the Thar Desert and how satellite-based warning system can aid in
minimizing this issue. He also focused on how dust storms can be detected and monitored using
satellite based warning systems. Prof. Shahab Fazal, AMU delivered a lecture on “Sustainability
of Resources in an Era of Climate Change” wherein he emphasized on -resources, sustainability
and climate change and suggested that these concepts are interrelated. He concludes by stating
that the impacts of land resource has a chain reaction and affects food security, livelihood and
ecological balance in an adverse manner.

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