Speaker Profile


Hansen Thambi Prem
Project Manager
World Animal Protection
Legal Framework for Protecting Animals from Disasters: Case study from India

Every year India suffers an average of US$1 billion in disaster losses. Direct natural losses amount to almost 2% of India's GDP and up to 12% of the central government's revenue. According to the government of India's statistics, 68% of India's land is prone to drought, 60% to earthquakes, 12% to floods and 8% to cyclones, making India one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, affecting overall 85% of Indian land and more than 50 million people. On an average, around 198 million livestock are prone to floods and 168 million livestock are prone to droughts annually. Due to floods alone on an average 97,000 cattle are lost every year as per the Central Water Commission's data from 1953 to 2011. Therefore, we need a robust framework and strategies to protect the vulnerable livestock and dependent communities from disasters. India has made some significant progress in terms of developing comprehensive legal framework and mechanisms to address the issue of protecting animals from disasters. This is a short case study to highlight the progress made by India in developing the necessary disaster management plans, policies, guidelines to strengthen the institutional mechanisms in the country.

More than 16 years of experience in managing programmes related to disaster management, sustainable livelihoods and environmental conservation. He is specialized in international humanitarian standards (Sphere, LEGS) and participatory approaches. Since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, he has been working with the United Nations, Red Cross movement, government, and non-government organizations to protect disaster-affected communities (people and animals) in South Asia. Based in New Delhi as a Project Manager in World Animal Protection since 2011 Hansen has been managing several disaster response and risk reduction operations. He has presented papers in several international conferences. He is closely working with governments and international humanitarian stakeholders to integrate animals into their disaster management policies, plans, and programmes.