Disaster management in Nepal: Media engagement in the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
Poudel, Bharat Raj, FitzGerald, Gerard, Clark, Michele, Mehta, Amisha, & Poudyal Chhetri, Meen B. (2015) Disaster management in Nepal: Media engagement in the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Planet@risk, 3(2), pp. 209-221.
Nepal, as a consequence of its geographical location and changing climate, faces frequent threats of natural disasters. According to the World Bank’s 2005 Natural Disasters Hotspots Report, Nepal is ranked the 11th most vulnerable country to earthquake and 30th to flood risk. Geo-Hazards International (2011) has classified Kathmandu as one of the world’s most vulnerable cities to earthquakes. In the last four decades more than 32,000 people in Nepal have lost their lives and annual monetary loss is estimated at more than 15 million (US) dollars.
This review identifies gaps in knowledge, and progress towards implementation of the Post Hyogo Framework of Action. Nepal has identified priority areas: community resilience, sustainable development and climate change induced disaster risk reduction. However, one gap between policy and action lies in the ability of Nepal to act effectively in accordance with an appropriate framework for media activities.
Supporting media agencies include the Press Council, Federation of Nepalese Journalists, Nepal Television, Radio Nepal and Telecommunications Authority and community based organizations. The challenge lies in further strengthening traditional and new media to undertake systematic work supported by government bodies and the National Risk Reduction Consortium (NRRC). Within this context, the ideal role for media is one that is proactive where journalists pay attention to a range of appropriate angles or frames when preparing and disseminating information. It is important to develop policy for effective information collection, sharing and dissemination in collaboration with Telecommunication, Media and Journalists.
The aim of this paper is to describe the developments in disaster management in Nepal and their implications for media management. This study provides lessons for government, community and the media to help improve the framing of disaster messages. Significantly, the research highlights the prominence that should be given to flood, landslides, lightning and earthquakes.
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