Water Futures, Tamil Nadu: Pathways for Sustainable Development

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While climate-change continues to wreak havoc, Tamil Nadu is not exempt from its ill-effects. The faster the urbanization in the state, the worse has been the plight. Issues relating to rising climate risks, climate mitigation and adaptation, vulnerability analysis, disaster management and livelihood resilience are as much applicable to Tamil Nadu as to other geographies.

The Biosphere and Our Water Futures

Prof S Janakarajan, Ph.D

We have faced many micro issues, like the Chennai floods that bothered us, but there are macro issues and global issues which are related to these micro issues. So I shall focus more on our biosphere and its condition and in that connection, about the water futures and the pathways for sustainable development. We must appreciate three important themes:

  • Learn more, listen more and understand more to act
  • No more neglect
  • Don’t hide behind climate change for all human blunders.

Three Parts of Biosphere

The Biosphere includes three components:

  • The lithosphere, which is the landmass
  • The hydrosphere, which contains water, and
  • The atmosphere, which is a cover on the planet.

These three do not act in isolation and are very closely interrelated. If we take the lithosphere, one-third is the landmass. Again one third of the landmass is covered with water and the rest is land. That water in the land is distributed over lakes, rivers, marshes, estuaries, creek, and river mouths and so on. Though the landmass is covered with water, we suffer for want of fresh water. The wetlands are the world’s most essential and valuable ecosystems, contributing to climate regulation, water, food and fibre, biodiversity and most importantly, sustenance for life system living on the land mass. In the lithosphere, land as well as fresh water is scarce. They are decreasing in supply and are, at the same time, used more and more for unproductive purposes. Therefore, they are available less and less, for all productive purposes. The atmosphere is very heavily stressed. Four or five layers of atmosphere help to protect all the living organisms from genetic damage. But unfortunately, the atmospheric system itself is in a great danger and there are scientists who predict it may collapse in the course of another 40 to 50 years, thanks to all the emissions that we are making. In the hydrosphere, 97.5 percent is sea water, which is saline. Of the balance 2.5 percent, 1.5% lies in the form of ice in the North and South Pole and we are left with only 1% of the total water. In that 1%, 50% lies below the ground and 50% on the surface. The water that lies on the surface is so polluted. The prospects of the blue economy are therefore withering. The basic function of water resources is climate regulation but nobody talks about it. What is the value of the water for climate regulation? For instance, the ocean generates fifty percent of the oxygen that we need. What is the condition and future of our biosphere? Man, because of his greed and power, destroys the earth and possess a huge threat.

India’s Statistics

We have something like 4,000 billion cubic meters of water. That’s about 141,240 TMC feet. Though India occupies 2.4 percent of the total land area, we support 15% of the world’s population. We also have to manage a lot of our livestock population. India is a place with the largest livestock in the world—500 million plus. Each one of these—cows, buffaloes, goats and chicken—need a lot of water. To generate 1 kg of beef, we need 50,000 litres of water. You can calculate how much water is needed to feed our entire livestock population. Unfortunately India’s per capita surface water availability is declining. The availability in the years 1991and 2003 were 2309 and 1902 m3. These are projected to reduce to 1401 and 1191 m3 by the years 2025 and 2050 respectively.

A Look at Tamil Nadu

Now let’s look at some basic statistics for Tamil Nadu. Available surface water is 17.5 billion cubic metres. (618 TMC Feet). Groundwater availability is 15.3 billion cubic meters (540 TMC feet). The per capita water availability is much less compared to even what is available at the all India level. Compared to the global level, Tamil Nadu’s water availability is extremely low and it is in a very disadvantageous situation. There are17 river basins and on record, there are 61 major reservoirs; 39,200 irrigation tanks; and 0.3 million wells. Whether these reservoirs are in good condition and are so many water bodies existing is a very big question mark. Because of the silt accumulation, the capacity of the all the reservoirs have been reducing. In fact, the Mettur reservoir capacity is reduced by 1/3rd because of the silt accumulation. Tamil Nadu with a geographical area of 130 lakh hectares is ranked 11th in size among the Indian states.

The Context

Our economic activity is booming. We are contributing 10 to 12 percent of the country’s GDP, which means we use quite a lot of water for all the commercial, industrial and agricultural activity. We must view this in the below context:

  • Competitive politics; competitive populism and competitive markets.
  • The whole economy, the polity and society must centre on growth and development. We want to achieve 8 to 12% growth and would like to exceed other states. When India competes with other countries, a state like Tamil Nadu will compete with other states. The net result is rapid urban expansion. Cities are expanding unendingly and there is massive industrialisation, uncontrolled rural-urban migration and in the process, rural poverty is converted into urban poverty. Urban slums are expanding. There is enormous rise in the demand for land and fast diminishing of urban space.
  • The density of population is very high. In Chennai, in 2011, it was about 25,000 per square kilometre. Today it is 34,000 per square kilometre. This also means that the per capita drainage space is declining rapidly, which is also one of the main contributing factors for the urban flood. There is a mechanical and unscientific land use. Urban land use planning is one of the most important issues that we all should be concerned with, because the land is extremely scarce.

Heading Towards a Crisis

But what kind of urban planning do we have? Is it scientific, based on some vision? This is something which we have to talk about. We have lost three fourth of the dense forests in the Western Ghats. For the green economy, forests are extremely important. This is the place where all the major rivers originate like Cauvery, Krishna, Vaigai and Tamiraparani. When the forest is disappearing, it will result in huge loss of biodiversity. There is uncontrolled waste generation. On the whole, we are heading towards biodiversity crisis. The absurdity is the unsustainable growth and development. In many forums, the UN Secretary General has made the very important point that growth and development and GDP must be maintainable. But unfortunately, our blue and green economies are stressed. Due to increasing pollution levels in the ocean, segments of oceans are now declared dead zone. We are destroying our rivers. Rivers, river courses, water bodies and forests are disappearing. The biodiversity crisis will result in oxygen depletion in the atmosphere. The earth is warming up very fast. Climate is changing; sea levels are increasing and we are reaching the tipping point as per the IPCC sixth assessment report. The tipping point indicates that the damages done to the biosphere and to the planet earth are irreversible.

Maps and the Reality

If we look at the water body map related to Tamil Nadu (which have been prepared with data recorded in the GIS), in Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu Districts, there are 3662 water bodies. But do they actually exist? No. We have lost many. This is just an example and the picture is the same for the entire state. The drainage map for the same three districts tells us how the water was flowing from where to where, what are the links, the canals and the streams, the major rivers, macro drains and micro drains. All these are mapped but many do not exist today. So we cannot complain about the flood without addressing these issues. Looking at a chart of ground water usage from 1930 up to 2010, we can see that in 1930, it was very minimal because people were not using ground water but primarily using the surface water. Over a period of time, the surface water has come down drastically and on the other hand, groundwater has gone up quite steadily and has reached its peak today. 65 to 70 percent of water used in agriculture is from groundwater. 80% of the drinking water in the country and also in the state comes from groundwater. Industrial water primarily comes from groundwater. Industries contribute to GDP and if there is groundwater depletion, it will result in desertification. Once that happens, the economy will collapse, affecting GDP, growth and development. We must take adequate measures to recharge groundwater. We need very scientific policy interventions.

Let me give you another example of the Cauvery Delta, particularly in the context of climate change. The lower elevation coastal zone refers to 10 metre and below. Most parts of the Cauvery delta including Nagapattinam in particular and Thiruvarur district fall under the low elevation coastal zone. 82 villages along the coast are lying in extremely low elevations of three meters and below. We have already lost lots of land through erosion. The NRSC data (National Remote Sensing Centre) indicate that major parts of Nagore region have gone under the sea. We have measured 242 points from Pichavaram to Vedaranyam area and we have mapped them. We could find that we had lost 4000 acres as their survey numbers and subdivision lie in the sea. The accretion is only 1500 acres while the erosion is much larger. The estimates show that if the sea level rises 2 mm per year, then in the next 20 to 25 years, most parts of Nagapattinam district are likely to go under the sea, given the fact that there is erosion, coastal flooding and coastal storm surges that are taking place.

If we look at the Cauvery river, its major tributaries in Tamil Nadu are Bhavani, Amaravathi, Noyyal and Kodaganaru. We have around 9900 small and medium industries located in this Cauvery basin, and they generate huge pollutants that directly go into the rivers. The Bhavani river in Erode is very heavily polluted. As per the Blacksmith Institute located in New York, Palar river is the fourth most polluted river in the world, thanks to the 33,000 crores of foreign exchange we generate from the leather exports we do. It is a poison river. Something like 22 kg of cyanide is going into the Palar bed every month as per the study carried out by the Asian Development Bank. Even the ground water is so heavily polluted and not a drop of water available at the ground level can be used. Noyyal river is also heavily polluted because of the dying and bleaching done by the textile industries. We need growth and development, but have we ever talked about greening our national accounts and about environmental accounting? We don’t do that at all. It is high time that we calculate the damages done to the eco-system. GDP cannot be gross. It has to be really net of what we have lost in our nature capital.

The Pallikaranai marshland in Chennai has reduced from 54 square kms to 5.4 square kms. We have lost it thanks to the declaration that it will be part of the IT Corridor. The ecosystem valuation of this marshland is incalculable. A huge surplus of the upstream tanks gets deposited in the Pallikaranai marsh. Such a kind of formation of the wetland is extremely unique and we have unfortunately lost it. We can construct any number of buildings but not the wetland. The latest IPCC report warns us that even by conservative estimates, the projected increase in temperature is going to be not 1.5 but 3.5 degrees in the course of the 21st century, which is really alarming. The 3700 page IPCC report mentions that Chennai is declared as a disaster area and parts of it can become submerged over the next few years.

Need for 1.7 Earths

We need today 1.7 earths to maintain our current standard of living. If we take India’s current consumption standard as the global reference, we need only 0.7 earth but taking the global consumption standard, we need 1.7 earths. If we extrapolate with the US lifestyle for the entire world, we may need 4 earths and if we take Australia, we need 7 earths. If we maintain what the East and West Africa consume, we need just 0.4 earth. This points out to the gross climate injustice across the countries. The rich hide behind the poor. We have only one Earth and it has lost its regenerating capacity. The water futures and pathways towards sustainable development are in our hands. The key stakeholders are the governments, the markets and the people. By people, I refer more to the upper-middle and rich who are the primary consumers and primary movers of growth and development. These three stakeholders have to really act swiftly. Lastly, let us not hide behind climate change for all our blunders. Even with a 50 mm of rainfall for 2 hours, we see that our streets are flooded and there is no point in blaming climate change for that.

Mainstreaming and Its Importance for India

Dr V Thiruppugazh, Ph.D., IAS (Retd)

Mainstreaming is the latest development jargon. Interestingly, we’ve been hearing about mainstreaming many things, and one among them is mainstreaming disaster risk reduction (DRR). There is something called development jargon detector, which is a tool to trace how development jargons have changed over a period of time. I traced how development jargons have changed for a period of 30 to 35 years and they are listed below:

  • Bottom up
  • Empowerment
  • Grassroots
  • Social Capital
  • Sustainability
  • Top down
  • Gender sensitive
  • Mainstreaming (which is currently in vogue).

The term mainstreaming has not been properly understood or interpreted, either by policymakers or practitioners. What was packaged as disaster risk management earlier is packaged now as mainstreaming! How to go about it? There are two approaches to disaster risk reduction:

  • One is mainstreaming.
  • The other is Special Projects.

What is the difference between the two? One is not opposed to the other. It is not that we can stop all the special projects and start mainstreaming disaster risk reduction. It cannot be done that way. Let me explain why. In 2021, Chennai was flooded and 105 places were severely affected. Let us say that we have to reduce the impact of floods in the subsequent years, in these 105 specific places. So you frame, formulate and come out with new / special projects to look at reduction of flooding and taking up some mitigation measures in these select 105 places. This is the special projects approach. The risk exists, and you want to reduce the risk for which you must have special projects.


At the same time, we need to stop accumulation or creation of new risk. For that purpose, you have to mainstream, which means that the further development taking place should ensure that we do not create any new risk. For that, development should incorporate disaster risk reduction principles. Our development should be risk-informed and it should be risk-sensitive. So special projects and mainstreaming are not two opposing approaches. We need both. This is not very much discussed anywhere so clearly. Till now, we have only been looking at special projects. They have not seriously implemented disaster risk reduction through mainstreaming. How did this concept of mainstreaming develop?

  • Earlier, we spoke about disaster resilient communities. The original meaning of the word resilience is the ability to bounce back. If a society or community is affected by a disaster, they will be able to bounce back immediately. Now disaster resilience is used in a totally different way.
  • Disaster resistant communities: Can we not build the capacity of the communities in such a way that they resist disasters?
  • Why should we resist the disaster? Can we mitigate the hazards? Thus evolved Sustainable Hazard Mitigation.
  • The latest is Invulnerable Development. Can we have development in such a way that there is no vulnerability? Disaster resilient infrastructure now means invulnerable infrastructure, which cannot be affected by disasters.

The simplest definition is: Mainstreaming is the internalization of risk awareness and incorporation of risk reduction measures into the overall policies and programs, within and outside the government.

One is to have risk-informed planning policies and the other is implementation. Both should be risk informed. In creating massive infrastructure, the government should look at DRR. And individuals too should look at it, even if they build a single-story masonry house. Thus, it should be mainstreamed within and outside the government as well.

Disaster management is going in one side and development is going on the opposite side. The departments implementing development do not bother about the disaster risk—neither the upstream risk (which the project itself will be facing) nor the downstream risk (which the project will be generating). If disaster managers interfere and recommend to modify or drop the project, then they will be looked at as enemies by the development sector. On the other hand, disaster managers are afraid of allowing any development, because they are very sure that development proposed is going to be a vulnerable development and it will carry a lot of risk. So mainstreaming should have the bicycle model. If the front wheel is development, then the rear wheel should be disaster risk reduction. Both should move together. Then only, real and invulnerable development will take place.

Mainstreaming for India

Why is mainstreaming important for us in India?

  • India is one of the most hazard-prone countries in the world. We are among the top five countries mainly because of our geography. 60 percent of our land mass is susceptible to earthquakes; 12% to floods; 68% to drought. Over 7600 kilometres long coastline makes us prone to cyclones as well as tsunami. We have the risk of chemical, industrial and nuclear and a host of other disasters, mainly because 12 of our states are hill states in the north and northeast.
  • The other factor is the increasing number of catastrophic disasters. Scientists are debating, whether the actual number of disasters is increasing due to climate change.
  • We have new types of disasters like urban floods which we didn’t hear of before 40 years. The latest is cloudburst. For the past ten years, we have been hearing a lot about cloudburst. So, new disasters are emerging and the number of people affected and the economic losses are increasing. We have been able to reduce the loss of lives in India and even at the global level, but the economic loss is increasing.
  • A new category of risk is emerging. We call it global catastrophes. The Tombola volcano in Indonesia erupted in 1815 and the ashes were thrown up in the sky as far as 45 kilometres. It clouded and blocked the sun. The earth did not receive the sun’s rays for one year. The year 1816 is called the year without summer. As a result of that, agriculture failed all over the world. There was famine in India, Ireland and England; food shortage in America; and everybody suffered. Today, we have a different type of global catastrophes emerging. If there is a nuclear war, scientists say that there is a possibility of the sun’s rays getting blocked for five years. The food stock we have will not last for more than three years. If it exceeds three years, what will we eat? It may be another volcanic eruption or a novel pathogen or a new type of virus—anything can create this. There is a fully dedicated institute working for this.
  • The setback in development: If a place is affected by disasters, then 50 or 25 or even 100 years of development is totally wiped out (especially when an earthquake strikes). It will take another 25 to 30 years to come back to normal life.
  • Our development itself is currently risk prone.

For all these reasons, we have to mainstream disaster risk reduction. We normally talk about four phases of disaster management: prevention, mitigation, preparedness and response, which consists of rescue, relief and recovery. If we mainstream disaster risk reduction, prevention and mitigation can be automatically taken care of, for future disasters. When there is a major disaster like tsunami, we went for post-disaster reconstruction in Tamil Nadu. If one had to undertake such a big reconstruction program, we can ensure that we build back better, which means that we take into account future risk and build in such a way that the place is not affected by future disasters. To understand mainstreaming, you have to understand what disaster risk means. It is a function of Hazard, Vulnerability, Exposure and Capacity. It is normally said that Risk is equal to Hazard x Vulnerability x Exposure x Capacity but more precisely, it is a function of all these four. We have natural and man-made hazards. I am of the opinion that all disasters are man-made. Hazards, can be natural and man-made. As far as natural hazards are concerned, we can’t do anything about it. But in the case of man-made disasters, you can always decide where you can locate a chemical factory—in a thinly populated or thickly populated area. You can reduce the hazard by your decisions. You can restrict exposure in such a way that the population or the area exposed to disasters or hazards is reduced. One of the main reasons for exposure is concentration of assets and people. So if you can reduce that, you can reduce exposure. Next is vulnerability, which means weakness.

Types of Vulnerabilities

There are several types of vulnerabilities. We have to understand each of them if we want to mainstream:

  • Vulnerability of the built environment. Despite the fact that we have specific building codes for building in the hazard prone areas, we’re not following it, as a result of which 80% of our built environment is vulnerable to disasters.
  • Poverty is one of the reasons why people are vulnerable to disasters. Poverty cannot be equated to vulnerability. It is one of the important factors contributing to vulnerability.
  • Social, economic, political and cultural factors contributing to vulnerability. Some sociologists are of the opinion that disaster is a social construct. It is not a natural thing. The way we have created this society, creates disasters because the same disaster affects two people in two different ways. It affects a billionaire differently than a poor man. One is impacted and completely destroyed. The other is not at all affected. So the caste, class, race, gender divisions in the society matter. Physically challenged people and aged people are socially vulnerable. People without sustainable livelihoods are impacted more. Political vulnerability comes when people do not have a voice. That’s the difference between dictatorial regimes and democratic regimes. Cultural factors: Eg. We have been doing something for 2000 years and it was okay. Now it is not working. One classic example is the shifting cultivation which is being followed in the Northeast. It was okay before many years if you burn down the forest and start cultivating. Today, already, the rainfall in those areas is reducing. Chirapunji is no longer the highest rain receiving place in the world. Not only that. You create additional disasters. Forest fires can result when you burn down for the sake of cultivation.
  • Population and economic processes: If you are having a factory and if you let out more black smoke, the mode of production is creating vulnerability.
  • Marginalization: Economic marginalization; social marginalization; and geographical marginalization. Look at who is staying near the areas which are in the margins. They are the vulnerable people.
  • Under development and unplanned development
  • Lack of regulation and enforcement. One is having the regulation. The other is not enforcing it.
  • We don’t have the financial capacity or human resources or technical capacity. If we have all the three, then we don’t have managerial capacity.

Disaster Management Framework in India

Before understanding and discussing mainstreaming in depth, we have to understand the disaster management framework and India. Till 1960 and 70s, our focus was on post-disaster relief. The whole thing emerged in 1880s when India suffered from massive famines. The British Raj set up the first Famine Commission in 1880. We had only relief manuals till very recently. The concept of disaster management plans is only 20 to 25 years old. Strangely, disaster management does not figure as a subject in any of the three lists of the Constitution, namely, the union list, state list and the concurrent list. Then why is it that state governments are made responsible? Many will not know the answer. The reason is, though the British Raj set up the 1880 Famine Commission at the central government level, when the provincial administration evolved in 1930s, this subject was pushed to the provincial governments. So today the legacy is still under state governments and they are doing relief administration. Earlier, famine was the biggest disaster. We did not suffer from famines after 80s in a very big way. The agriculture ministry at the central government was in charge of disaster management till 2001, but three major disasters—the 1993 Latur earthquake; 1999 Super Cyclone in Orissa; and 2001 earthquake in Gujarat—showed the administration in poor light and immediate response became important. So the portfolio of disaster management, except drought, was shifted to Ministry of Home Affairs in 2001. We have the National Crisis Management Committee headed by the cabinet secretary. In 2005, the Disaster Management Act was passed and we created three new institutions: NDMA—National Disaster Management Authority; SDMA—State Disaster Management Authority; and DDMA—District Disaster Management Authority. We do not have any provision to declare anything as a disaster. There is no way of declaring an event as a disaster. It doesn’t say that if a certain thing happens, you can declare it as a disaster. Only our newspapers and political leaders declare something as a national disaster. But legally, you cannot declare something as a national disaster. Disaster risk reduction has to be undertaken by all the ministries, at all the departments in government of India and at the state government level. What is the relevance of all these things for disaster risk reduction and mainstreaming? First of all, we view disasters as isolated events. Development is taking place and once in five years or ten years, there is a disaster and disruption. Again, we start developing and after 5 or 10 years, there is another disaster. So we are prone to viewing disasters as isolated events. But they are not isolated events. The manifestation of risk may be an isolated event. You have been accumulating risk for 20, 40 or 50 years and that is manifesting. But risk manifestation does not mean that it is an isolated event. Since we think that it is an isolated event, we don’t analyse it at all. Once the flood is over, nobody is going to talk about flood till the next flood occurs. In the last 10 years, how many people would have spoken about tsunami-resistant construction and about growing mangroves as protection from tsunamis? Nobody speaks about it. Only when the next tsunami occurs, we will all talk about it.

Root Cause

We always seek solutions in technology. If there is a disaster, we never look at the root causes. If there is a flooding problem, we think more drainage will help or more of pumping out water will help. A disaster is always seen as a temporary administrative failure. If there is a poor reservoir management, if more water is let out in the last minute, if many people suffer when areas are submerged, it is seen as an administrative failure. We catch hold of the Chief Engineer or a Deputy Engineer and issue a chargesheet or punish a couple of people and everybody is happy. That is what is demanded also. But it is the failure of our development process. The moment you say it is a natural disaster, you can be absolved of all responsibilities and failures. We are not responsible! When it comes to people’s participation, we treat them only as victims. Always, the views are from top-down. Our approach has been reactive after the disaster. We are good in saving the lives of people and providing relief. That is how, life losses come down. And our objective is always to return to the situation before the event. People, government and everybody wants to go back to the pre-disaster situation. We don’t wait for incorporating disaster risk reduction measures in the recovery process. We have to change our perspective from the dominant perspective. What is the change which is required?

We should understand that disasters arise from the very process of development. So disaster risk reduction should become part of the normal process of development. We should analyse linkages during normal times. During normal times, if a city is expanding, we are bothered about how much FSI we will get and if we will get some facilities, access to drain, access to buses, etc. Who is bothered about disaster risk during normal times?

That should be done during normal times and we should emphasise on solutions that change the relationships and attitudes in the society. That is the root cause of the problem. A poor man getting affected is the outcome. That is visibly seen. Why is a man so poor? Why should he build on the flood plains or near the solid waste dumps? Why are women affected more in all the disasters? Unless we change the relationships and attitudes in the society, disaster risk reduction is not possible. And if we want to change that, mainstreaming has to take place and for which:

  • We have to look at people as partners.
  • Follow a proactive risk reduction approach. We wait for disasters to happen and risks to be exposed. We never look at the underlying risk. In 2009, India’s national policy was approved by the cabinet. It clearly says mainstreaming of DRR must be done in the development agenda of all existing and new developmental programmes and projects.

The first national disaster plan was prepared by me in 2016. I revised it in 2019 and clearly included a chapter on mainstreaming. Every department, state government and district must prepare a Disaster Management plan. The DRR and Development plans should be integrated.

Steps to Achieve Mainstreaming

  • Increase awareness at all levels
  • Have risk-informed/sensitive planning
  • Proper land use planning
  • Focus on risk transfer and risk sharing through insurance and re-insurance.
  • Having inclusive DRR
  • Carrying out Disaster Impact Assessment like SIA and EIA
  • Ensure legal framework and enforcement
  • Intra-governmental integration
  • Analyse linkages during normal times (eg: Look at MNREGS, poverty alleviation schemes)
  • Emphasis on solutions that change relationship and attitudes in the society
  • Make DRR as part of regular schemes (eg: social housing, infrastructure development projects)
  • Focus on vulnerability reduction
  • Focus on sustainable livelihood (consequent vulnerability). Diversify livelihood options.
  • Need for reviewing institutional arrangements. Our experience after 17 years of creating many institutions for Disaster Management tells us that more and more departments are washing their hands off, saying that NDMA should take care of DRR activities. This defeats the very purpose of mainstreaming. If mainstreaming takes place, we do not need the special purpose vehicles.

Relationship between SDGs and DRR

Let us look at some of the goals in the list of UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2: Promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

We must mainstream DRR in each and every scheme and policy and every new programme. At the same time, we must have special projects for many years, running parallel to mainstreaming DRR. If we start implementing mainstreaming today, at least after 15 or 20 years, we can have full-fledged mainstreaming. Development can reduce or increase vulnerability. If we mainstream today, we can have invulnerability in the future.