His Excellency Mr. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia
Distinguished Delegates from Respective Countries,
Chief and Representatives of Civil Society Organizations, Private Sector, Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
It is my great honor and privilege to be here in Bali leading the Nepali delegation to the Seventh Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. On behalf of the Government of Nepal, I would like to express sincere thanks to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction for organizing such an important global event in this beautiful city of Bali.
Nepal is highly vulnerable to various types of natural hazards, impacts of which will be further accentuated due to climate change. In the spring and the fall of 2021, Nepal experienced what may be ascribed to the climate change, the major disasters bringing heavy rains, floods and landslides that claimed dozens of lives, destroyed thousands of homes and damaged hundreds of more structures, including schools, bridges, government buildings and hydropower stations.
As we mark the 7th anniversary of the devastating Gorkha Earthquake-2015, the question about saving lives and infrastructure from future disasters has become even more pertinent. Learning from the 2015 experience, we have made significant improvements in our legal framework, policy instruments and institutional arrangements for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM). We believe that these important measures will significantly augment Nepal’s capacity to effectively deal with disasters.
Nepal’s disaster risk governance is mainly guided by its Constitution, the National DRRMAct, Local Government Operation Act and other legal and institutional arrangements at Federal, Provincial and Local levels. The constitutional provisions regarding shared responsibility of all three spheres of government have provided legal basis for institutionalizing DRRM at federal, provincial and local levels. Similarly, overarching National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy, 2018 and DRRM National Strategic Plan of Action 2018-2030 are in line with Sendai Framework for DRR and spells out the key priority actions and guide concerned stakeholders at all levels to achieve targets within the stipulated timeline.
In our collective effort to make Nepal a disaster resilient nation, we are pleased to share that we now have a permanent institution since December 2019 – the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) established under the Ministry of Home Affairs to coordinate, facilitate and operate DRRM related activities in the country. Similarly, the operational guideline of National Platform for DRR (NPDRR) is being practiced from 2008 to enhance the coordination among all stakeholders. The platform has nine thematic committees to represent the whole of society. Strengthening the mechanism for effective risk management remains at the core of our government's vision for a disaster resilient Nepal.
It is a matter of pride for Nepal for the successful implementation of one of the largest owner-driven reconstruction projects in line with the principle of ‘Build Back Better’ and the reconstruction of public infrastructures such as monuments, and heritage structures under the leadership of National Reconstruction Authority in collaboration with development partners, private sector, civil society organizations and communities. Nepal will continue and expand the learnings of the resilient recovery to other parts of the country.
Nepal also successfully managed COVID-19 pandemic through accelerated case management and vaccination through the coordinated effort of all spheres of the government. As a result, Nepal satisfactorily contained and managed the pandemic limiting the death toll, achieving recovery among the identified cases and vaccinating successfully.
Nepal prioritizes mainstreaming DRRM in the periodic, sectoral plans, annual program, budget allocation, implementation and monitoring to comprehensively address the issues of DRRM. Furthermore, Nepal has taken steps towards localizing the DRR and management approach enabling leadership of local actors in institutionalizing and implementing acts, plans and policies.
Nepal has introduced a comprehensive and integrated Disaster Information Management System, known as The Bipad Portal, to strengthen risk information-base and is in process of localizing this system. Nepal is moving forward to risk-informed inclusive resilient development with the whole of society approach. We are now advancing towards multi-hazard impact-based early warning system with improved forecasts, networks of emergency operation centers including systems to organize trained volunteers and for Volunteer Bureau at all levels. We have also formulated the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Financing to manage financial resources and means to reduce the disaster losses, and enhance the resilience of individuals, societies and the nation. The Search and Rescue capacity of front lined security forces has been strengthened and institutionalized alongside maintained stockpiles at strategic locations throughout the country to countermeasure the recurrent and mega disasters.
Despite the success of the country in institutionalizing and localizing DRRM, making communities in Nepal’s mountainous terrain and flood plains more resilient to unpredictable disasters will require increased investment and in a wide range of solutions. Some of which are building an inclusive and resilient physical and social infrastructures, adapting innovative tools and technologies with access, representation and more meaningful participation of women, children, senior citizens, people with disabilities and people from economically and socially marginalized communities.
The Government of Nepal has risen to the challenge, endorsing a strategic approach to promote Green, Resilient and Inclusive Development (GRID), as the central development strategy of the country. This approach centers on sustainability, green growth, jobs, resilient infrastructure, and on addressing exclusion and vulnerability.
We are committed to strengthening disaster risk governance, increasing investment, fostering national and international partnerships and risk financing to build a disaster resilient nation. We are also committed to implementing global and regional frameworks for DRR and building resilience, leaving no one behind. We believe that the learnings from these platforms will enable us to pave our path towards achieving the targets of SFDRR to build disaster resilient Nepal.
We are confident that after serious deliberations among delegates, this Session will come out with recommendations implementable for better preparedness and better coordination among global community of nations.
We wish all success to the Session. Thank you very much!