DMICS organized a historical World Congress on Disaster Management (WCDM) from 21st to 24th October, 2008 in Hyderabad, India. The Global Congress was the first of its kind in the country. The objective of this congress was to network National and International Resources and expertise, bring them to a common platform for effective and efficient disaster management. Bharat Ratna, His Excellency Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India, was the Chief Guest and delivered the inaugural address. Gen. N.C Vij, the then Hon’ble Vice Chairman NDMA, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, delivered the key note address. The Congress was attended by both foreign and Indian delegates.
Government of India (GoI), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Government of Andhra Pradesh were the co hosts of the First World Congress on Disaster Management. National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), and JNT University (JNTU Hyderabad) were among the key prime associates. 50 nations and UN organizations like UNISDR, SDC, UNICEF, and UNFPA participated and deliberated on various themes of disasters that added to the significance of this congress on a global platform. The first WCDM laid down a clear roadmap and action plan to mitigate the suffering of the masses in future.
Addressing the congress, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had observed that the papers and deliberations at the congress would help in mitigating various disasters in the country. The chief guest called upon the congress for networking of existing capacities within the country that are ample but underutilized due to poor mapping of resources and advised that appropriate research may be initiated in the field of early warning systems so that it would be possible for the administration to issue suitable precursory warning for evacuation and other measures needed to provide relief to the victims.
Dr. Y.S Rajasekhara Reddy, the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, in his Presidential address pointed out the fact that the congress was taking place at a time when disasters caused by both nature and man have been taking a heavy toll of life and causing undue suffering to thousands of people which is resulting in loss of property worth billions of dollars every year. The hon’ble CM further stated that, "although we do not have control over disasters unleashed by nature like cyclones, tidal waves and earthquakes, we can try to avert disasters caused by terrorists and human failure in running chemical and nuclear plants.”
Since its inception, DMICS has been relentlessly and consistently propagating the obvious necessity of awakening the conscience of all intellectuals, scientists and of those agencies directly or indirectly associated with Disaster Management around the world. In this regard, the First World Congress on Disaster Management set the trend for a more aggressive approach in the coming years to ensure larger involvement of nations in due course of time. The intention was to develop a world that is disaster resilient.
There were 16 invited lectures and 18 sessions on various disasters, both natural and manmade like Terrorism, Financial disasters, Earth Quakes, Tsunamis, Floods, Fire, and Communication break downs during disaster, Climate and Environmental disasters, disasters at Religious places of Worship, Health related disasters, Public Private Partnership and cross cutting issues during disasters. Medical Management of NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical disasters) and Disaster Mitigation Technologies were also deliberated at length. The matter of combating these disasters with new technologies, including Nano- Technology, satellite photography, using GPS system for observations and tracking, use of remotely controlled mobile, etc. were discussed at great length.
The First World Congress on Disaster Management, 2008 was a phenomenal success and it provided a unique platform for exchange of scientific thoughts and ideas.
The Hyderabad Declaration
It was suggested by distinguished delegates that in continuation of the successful WCDM, 2008, the following points may be circulated and identified as Hyderabad Declaration: