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Build Back Better World (B3W) global infrastructure initiative by G7 to counter China’s BRI

Build Back Better World (B3W) global infrastructure initiative by G7 to counter China’s BRI

Relevance

  • GS 3 || Disaster Management || Disaster Management || Policy framework

Why in news?

  • The  47th edition of the “Group of seven” summit was held in Carbis Bay, southwest England.
  • The Group of Seven richest democracies sought to counter China’s growing influence by offering developing nations an infrastructure plan that would rival President Xi Jinping’s multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Details

  • The United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, France, and Japan –G7 leaders hope their plan, known as the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative.
    • The initiative is described as a value-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure partnership led by major democracies to reduce infrastructure needs in the developing world by more than $40 trillion, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Build Back Better is a part of the Sendai framework.

Sendai framework

  • It is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, with seven targets and four priorities for action.
  • It is the successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Increasing Disaster Resilience in Nations and Communities.
  • Adoption
  • The “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030” was adopted in March 2015 during the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan.
  • Aim
  • Its goal is to guide multi-hazard catastrophe risk management in development at all levels, inside and across all industries.
  • Small-scale and large-scale, frequent and rare, rapid and slow-onset disasters produced by natural or man-made hazards, as well as related environmental, technological, and biological hazards and risks, are all covered by this Framework.

Sendai Framework -The Four Priorities for Action

  • Understanding disaster risk management should be based on an understanding of disaster risk in all its dimensions of vulnerability, capacity, exposure of persons and assets, hazard characteristics, and the environment.
  • Such knowledge can be used for risk assessment, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and response.
  • Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk governance at the national, regional, and global levels is very important for prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and rehabilitation.
  • It fosters collaboration and partnership.
  • Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience Public and private investment in disaster risk prevention and reduction through structural and non-structural measures are essential to enhance the economic, social, health, and cultural resilience of persons, communities, countries, and their assets, as well as the environment.
  • Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction
  • The growth of disaster risk means there is a need to strengthen disaster preparedness for response, take action in anticipation of events, and ensure capacities are in place for effective response and recovery at all levels.
  • The recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction phase is a critical opportunity to build back better, including through integrating disaster risk reduction into development measures.

Failure of Sendai framework

  • No reduction in the loses
    • Disasters and related devastations have increased in the last decade despite the existence of the Hyogo Framework, the current Framework recognizes.
    • During 2005-2015 alone, over 700,000 people lost their lives.
    • More than 1.4 million people were injured and approximately 23 million became homeless due to disasters.
    • The world’s worry about disasters, more so due to climate change, has aggravated manifold as more than 1.5 billion people were affected by disasters in various ways during the last decade.
    • Women, children, and people in vulnerable situations were disproportionately affected. The total economic loss was more than $1.3 trillion.
    • In addition, between 2008 and 2012, 144 million people were displaced by disasters.
  • Developing countries suffer more
    • While all countries face mortality and economic losses from disasters, in the case of developing countries these are disproportionately higher.
    • Poor countries face increased levels of possible hidden costs and challenges to meet financial and other obligations.
  • Not prepared to handle the challenges
    • Developing countries are the least prepared to handle the challenges.
    • Take for example India that faces huge losses due to climate change-induced disasters, so much so that the expenses on adaptation increased from 2.6 percent in 2012 to 6 percent of the country’s GDP in 2014.
    • The country is even not able to assess the real losses and damages due to climate change properly.
  • Without a specific time plan
    • The Sendai Framework recognizes that the goals of sustainable development are being outsmarted by the gaps in progress and achievement agenda.
    • Millennium Development Goals have tried to give a perspective to overcome all these to contribute meaningfully and substantially to the new era of climate negotiations in Paris.
    • However, the broadness of the goals without a specific time plan and target brings a big disappointment.
  • Energy production means
    • It completely fails to discuss the way we produce our energy and the impacts therefrom.
    • Fossil fuel, especially coal, continues to be the major source of our energy.
    • The GDP growth-oriented economy, that most of the climate change vulnerable countries such as India are following not only contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions and disasters but also increase a lot of local woes that club the impacts and devastate the poor the most.

Way forward

  • Need for an Action-oriented framework
    • It recognizes the need to develop an action-oriented framework that Governments and relevant stakeholders can implement in a supportive and complementary manner that can help to identify disaster risks to be managed and guides investment to improve resilience.
    • It also recognizes some vital factors that are contributing to the disasters and rightly mentions the role of unsustainable urbanization.
  • Mitigation
    • To better safeguard people, communities, and countries, it is critical to foresee, plan for, and mitigate disaster risk.
  • Limiting risks
    • At all levels, more work is needed to limit exposure and susceptibility, limiting the production of new catastrophe risks, as well as accountability for disaster risk production.
  • Proper Coordination
    • Continue to improve disaster preparedness and national coordination for disaster response.
    • Rehabilitation, and reconstruction by strengthening good governance in disaster risk reduction initiatives at the national, regional, and global levels.
  • Focus towards developing nations
    • Developing countries require special attention and assistance to supplement domestic resources and capabilities through bilateral and multilateral channels to ensure adequate, long-term, and timely capacity-building.

Conclusion

  • The commitments for the Sendai Framework are voluntary but unless the signing countries adhere to green growth models, most of the goals would remain to be addressed in the same light even after 15 years.
  • A new framework may then be developed but the gaps in implementation and disasters would have grown.

Mains model question

  • Response to disasters must be proactive not reactive. Discuss

References