National Disaster Centre commenced the review of the Disaster Management Act

01 Mar 2013

imagePNG is ranked ranked close behind the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vanuatu in having the highest percentage of population exposed to severe risks of volcanic eruption. Photo APP

The National Disaster Centre of Papua New Guinea has commenced the review of the existing Disaster Management Act with technical assistance from PNG Constitutional Law Reform Commission. Earlier UNDP assisted the Government of PNG strengthen the current DRM governance arrangements through revision of the National Disaster Risk Management Plan (NDRM Plan) that provided an institutional framework for DRM at all levels and paved the way for the revision of the existing DM legislation. UNDP will continue providing technical support to NDC in the revision of the Act. The Act which was legislated in the year 1987 provides legislative and regulatory provisions for disaster management in the country. However, the Act does not underline the paradigm shift in the Government’s approach to disasters and dealing with disasters by moving away from emergency response only to integrating disaster risk management in development. The Act articulates the DM architectures at the National and Provincial level and does not provide a regulatory or legislative framework for decentralized responsibilities in relation to disaster risk management especially at the sub-provincial and local level. The Act excludes critical issues that have led to poorly coordinated disaster response in the past. For example the declaration of state of disaster, criteria for declaration of state of disaster, special powers of authorities at different levels in the event of a disaster are not mentioned in the current Act.