An alternative framework for disaster governance in Asean

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the search for a better way of managing human activities and their environmental impact, thereby zeroing in on the specific actions needed to maintain a balance for Planet Earth’s sustainability.

Villagers and local authorities conduct a rescue operation at a flood-affected village in Shah Alam, Malaysia, on Dec 19, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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As countries around the world are learning to co-exist with Covid-19, the implications of the pandemic for policy management of varied issues facing them should not be overlooked. Disaster governance is one of the sectors that have been significantly affected by pandemic-related restrictions and resource constraints. Climate change further increases the complexity and challenges in disaster governance.

With concurring natural hazards further stretching national and regional capacities and resources in the region over the past two years, Asean has deliberated and assessed necessary changes and reforms to prepare itself better for natural hazards in the future. Exemplified by the release of the Asean Disaster Resilience Outlook in October last year, the grouping is shifting towards disaster resilience, emphasising its ability to not only deal with disasters but also recover from them.

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