Disaster management and climate change: Indian policy frameworks and key challenges

For decades disaster management in India remained an issue of
providing relief and rehabilitation assistance to people affected by natural disasters. Successive disasters and global movements for disaster reduction since the nineties have triggered a paradigm shift in disaster management leading to the creation of new legal and institutional frameworks for disaster management in India. A host of new initiatives have been taken to reduce the risks of disasters. While many of these efforts can help reduce the risks of some disasters, climate change may well enhance the risks of hydro-meteorological disasters and create new and unforeseen challenges to risk management. The Government of India
has responded to these challenges by taking new policy and programme initiatives for mitigating the risks of climate change and adapting to the changing climate. This paper argues that the parallel initiatives of disaster and climate risk management are still disjointed, however, and require greater interface and
integration at policy, programme and institutional levels to create synergies in approach and strategies for better risk management in India.