Workshop Discusses Integrated Framework for Cost-Effective Disaster Risk Management in the PRC

BEIJING — An integrated framework for cost-effective disaster risk management is required to support sustainable development in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), participants at a workshop in Beijing convened by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) discussed today.

The inception workshop discussed an ADB technical assistance (TA) on Integrated Framework for Cost-Effective Disaster Risk Management. The TA aims to develop frameworks, build capacity, provide technical guidance, and define cost-effective options for disaster risk management in the PRC. The TA will also foster regional partnerships among the PRC and neighboring countries on improving disaster preparedness and resilience.

“This is ADB’s first TA across ministries in the PRC to address its demand for capacity building related to disaster risk challenges,” said ADB Director General for East Asia Teresa Kho. “The TA not only collectively engages major stakeholders to improve institutional arrangements and governance for disaster risk management, but also develops tailored solutions for disaster risk management considering geographic and economic heterogeneity and the local impact.”

The PRC is highly exposed to a range of frequent natural hazards affecting a wide geographic area because of its size and environmental diversity. The combined impact of climate change and urbanization poses mounting pressure on society, as the exposure of people and infrastructure to natural hazards is increasing, outpacing the decrease in vulnerability.

Recent disasters have shown that capacity for disaster risk management is inadequate and needs to be enhanced. Some regions still lack the capability to establish a disaster risk assessment tool. Others have not systematically explored measures to reduce disaster risk, such as urban planning, urban regeneration, early warning systems, disaster risk financing tools, and protection mechanisms, and their cost-effectiveness remains untested.

The TA will facilitate institutional coordination among the four executing agencies and disaster risk governance. The TA will improve disaster risk identification and assessment; strengthen disaster resilience, through flood storage and detention areas and resilient city development; and conduct research on rapid action teams for flood and typhoon response. It will also promote knowledge and experience sharing among the PRC and selected disaster-prone countries and foster regional collaboration on investment in disaster resilience.

Participants at the workshop included senior officials from the Ministry of Finance; four executing agencies—Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Emergency Management, and the Development and Reform Commission of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR); TA consulting firm and experts; and ADB staff. ADB Country Director for the PRC Yolanda Fernandez Lommen opened the workshop.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.