Thousands are dead and injured and millions are displaced due to the floods. The national reaction to this calamitous situation has been that the president should have cancelled his visit to the UK. The president too has not been sagacious. But the debate is frivolous and sidetracks the real issue: our sheer lack of preparedness for natural disasters and emergency management.
Five years ago, a massive-earthquake rocked Pakistan. Later, several institutions such as the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) were set up to deal with natural calamities. While it would be unfair to critique the good work done by the NDMA, it is clear that centralised authorities and relief machinery are of little use in a populous, diverse country like Pakistan.
In the last five years, as the recent floods indicate, the state has done little to galvanise and decentralise disaster preparedness and management. Between 2005 and 2010, the magnitude of natural disasters was not large enough to expose the inherent weaknesses of the emergency infrastructure. As before, Pakistanis have come forward and an unprecedented civic activism and volunteerism can be seen in reaching out to victims of the floods across the country. Continue reading
By Darryl D’Monte*
COPENHAGEN, Dec 18 (IPS/TerraViva) – People living in the Himalayan region are increasingly confronted by rising temperatures and glaciers melting at an unprecedented rate, threatening their very survival. This much the world already knows.
Yet, experts say, there is still no accurate and reliable data on the Himalayan glaciers and many aspects of its ecosystem, which should facilitate determining mitigation measures addressing current and future impacts of climate change on the Himalayas. Continue reading
Shame on all of them-YLH
CLIMATE CHANGE: “Canada Is the Dinosaur”
Source: Inter Press Service
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Stephen Leahy* – IPS/TerraViva
COPENHAGEN, Dec 17 (IPS) – Canada bears a large share of responsibility for any failure to make a breakthrough in reducing greenhouse gas emissions here in Copenhagen, say participants and civil society activists. Canada is the only country to ignore its international obligations under the previous Kyoto climate treaty. It has blocked all attempts to get a new treaty to significantly cut carbon emissions, the activists and delegates from other countries charge. Continue reading