News Excerpt
The second edition of the BIMSTEC disaster management exercise was conducted in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The focus of these exercise was on the protection of heritage structures.

•    Disaster Management emerged as one of the key issues of discussion among the BIMSTEC member during the 2016 BRICS summit, where they were invited.
•    Later in 2017, First edition of the exercise was organized which focused on the region’s preparedness and resilience. It also focused on immediate deployment of regional resources for disaster response.

Key Highlights
    Except Bhutan and Thailand all BIMSTEC member participated in the exercise.
    The exercise also saw the participation of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG), International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration Cultural Property (ICCROM).
    The focus was on Heritage sites as these suffered serious damages in the recent earthquake in Nepal, while in India the same happened in 2001 Gujarat Earthquake. Therefore, it becomes an imperative to build the capacity of disaster response personnel.
    In India alone according to INTACH data there are close to 70,000 sites which have heritage value.

    It provides a platform for member states to evaluate existing capabilities
    It helps in improving emergence preparedness and strengthen regional response mechanisms.
    It helps in strengthening the multi-stakeholder’s coordination in a disaster scenario involving players from international level to the local level.

International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
    It is an Intergovernmental organization which was the outcome of UNESCO General Conference held in New Delhi in 1956.
    It was established in 1959 and India became its member in 1961  
    It promotes the conservation of all forms of cultural heritage across the globe.
    Its operation is based on the UNESCO Universal declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001). The deceleration calls for respect for the diversity and tolerance for international peace and security.

International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG)
    It was established in 1991 as a global network under the UN umbrella.
    It deals with Urban Search and Rescue
    It sets minimum international standards for international coordination and response in the event of earthquake.  

India Addressing Disaster Management
    India will establish an International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
    India has improved its Disaster Risk Reduction efforts and hosted several exercises:
o    South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx)
o    The Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR).
    India is also leveraging technology in management of Disaster through South Asia satellite, GSAT-9, and Tsunami Early Warning Centre

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), CDRI, AMCDRR