Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 1 Number 2 (2009)

doi: 10.3850/S1793924009000078

Institutional Perspective on Interlinking Environment and Disaster Management Towards Sustainable Urban Development: Case of India

Akhilesh Surjan1 and Rajib Shaw2
Surjan, Akhilesh; Shaw, Rajib
1Institute for Sustainability and Peace, United Nations University 53-70, Jingumae 5-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo150-8925, Japan.
2Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Yoshida Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.


Both, disaster and environment management practices are inseparable in development context. Particularly in the urban areas, environmental degradation may lead to natural hazards and/or worsen the disaster impact. Urban risk as a consequence of environmental degradation is rapidly increasing in fast urbanizing world. Despite this realization, the existing institutions continue working in rigid functional framework with weak interlinkages. Compartmental city planning, ad-hoc environmental management and segmental disaster management practices call for change in institutional paradigm. The need of the hour is to shift emphasis to community oriented ‘holistic’ urban development. It is observed that despite very well drafted policies, Programs and plans, the success of the interventions towards sustainable urban development varies. The authors first investigate this case for the country as a whole and later cite the case of Orissa to capture State level dimensions. Notably, Orissa State is most prone to climate change and hydro-metrological disasters. This paper illustrates how various institutions emerged and evolved over a period of time and their functions remain constricted to overlook interlinkaging possibilities. Finally institutional problem areas are identified and integrated options are suggested.

Keywords: Disaster management; Urban environment; City planning; Institutional development.

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