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Disaster Management

PM Modi launches Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

PM Modi launches Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

Tag:GS 3||Disaster Management||Disaster Management||Preparedness & Response

What is the issue?

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the launch of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
  • This happened at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in New York recently.

What it proposes to do?

  • CDRI should be seen as an international platform for awareness.
  • Countries should work together here to improve their existing and new infrastructure to withstand natural disasters.
  • India has had at least three years of discussions on this subject with more than 40 countries.
  • Protect Infrastructure: This seeks to bring together countries to communicate and learn from each other’s experiences in order to protect their infrastructure from disasters.
  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is operating as the interim secretariat of CDRI as of now.

 What is the need for infrastructure protection?

  • Human casualties: Over the years, many countries, including India, have developed robust disaster management practices that have dramatically reduced disaster-related human casualties.
  • Economic costs: The economic costs of a disaster, however, remain enormous, mainly because of the damage caused by large infrastructure.
  • World Bank estimates
    • An estimate from the World Bank–Cyclone Fani, which hit Odisha on May 2019, caused $4 billion in damage.
    • Report from the Kerala Government–Losses in the 2018 Kerala flood could reach $4.4 billion.
    • 10 climate change disasters occurred in the United States in 2019, with losses in excess of $1 billion.

What could be done to protect infrastructure?

  • Many developing countries are still building their basic infrastructure and many developed ones are in the process of replacing old infrastructure.
  • Future infrastructure should take into account the risks arising out of the increased frequency and intensity of adverse impacts of climate change.
  • Existing infrastructure would need to be retrofitted to make them more resilient.
  • Disaster-proofing a project would involve changes in design, and the use of newer technologies.
  • These involve additional costs which are only a fraction of the losses that a disaster can bring.

What is the need for an international forum?

  • Disaster preparedness and infrastructure creation are largely national endeavors.
  • However, modern infrastructure is also a web of networked systems, not always confined to national boundaries.
  • Damage to any one node can have cascading impacts on the entire network.
  • This will result in the loss of livelihoods and disrupts the economic activity in places far away from the site of a disaster.
  • To make entire networks resilient is the main thought behind CDRI.
  • The platform is not meant to plan or execute infrastructure projects nor finance infrastructure projects.

What will CDRI do?

  • It will seek to identify and promote best practices, provide access to capacity building.
  • It will work towards the standardization of designs, processes, and regulations relating to infrastructure creation and management.
  • It may identify and estimate the risks to, and from, large infrastructure in the event of different kinds of disasters in member countries.
  • It may have countries, organizations like UN bodies, financial institutions, and other groups working on disaster management as its members.
  • It seeks to help member countries integrate disaster management policies in all their activities.
  • It will also help them in setting up institutions and regulatory provisions to ensure the creation of resilient infrastructure and identify and use affordable finance and technology.

Is there any connection between CDRI and BRI?

  • CDRI is seen as India’s response to the Belt Road Initiative (BRI), China’s ongoing program to recreate the ancient Silk Route trading links.
  • China is building massive new land and maritime infrastructure in several countries.
  • India and some other nations view this as an attempt by China to use its economic and military heft to usurp strategic assets in other countries.
  • Unlike BRI, CDRI is not an attempt by India to create or fund infrastructure projects in other countries.
  • Having said that, international initiatives like these are not without any strategic or diplomatic objectives.

Is there any connection between CDRI and ISA?

  • ISA is a treaty-based organization that aims at a collective effort to promote the deployment of solar energy across the world.
  • Its objective is to mobilize more than $1 trillion into solar power by 2030 and to deploy over 1,000 GW of solar generation capacity in member countries by that time.
  • India hosts ISA, with its headquarters in Gurgaon.
  • The CDRI secretariat too would be based in New Delhi.
  • While it is not envisioned to take the shape of a treaty-based organization, CDRI can be seen as complementing ISA’s efforts.
  • ISA is about climate change mitigation – deployment of more solar energy would bring down the reliance on fossil fuels, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • While CDRI, on the other hand, is about adapting to climate change, a need that is inevitable.

Way forward

  • With these two initiatives, India is seeking to obtain a leadership role, globally, in matters related to climate change.
  • CDRI is more than just a climate change initiative.
  • It does not matter whether the infrastructure is a risk from climate-induced disasters or those taking place due to geophysical reasons, like earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides or tsunamis.
  • The infrastructure needs to be strengthened to cope with all these.


  • The world must agree that, in order to overcome a serious challenge such as climate change, more needs to be put into motion than what is being done. A comprehensive approach that covers everything from education to beliefs, from lifestyle to philosophy of development, a global movement of people to bring about behavioral change is a must to mitigate climate change.

Mains model question

  • The frequency of urban floods due to high-intensity rainfall is increasing over the years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods, highlight the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events.