Since time immemorial Disasters has been a constant bane to human civilization and had motivated humankind to undertake protective measures. All our initial approaches were confined to safeguarding human life with little or no regards to animal lives. In early times animals were mostly raised in natural settings hence were capable of saving themselves by the virtue of animal instinct. However later development of animal husbandry practices suited to organized intensive farming that increased our dependence on livestock for livelihood also increased animals vulnerabilities to disasters. Animals raised in confinement became more prone to natural disasters such as flood, avalanches, landslide, earthquake, fires and epidemics. A geospatial distribution of disasters suggests a preponderance of grave economic consequences in developing economies with greater dependence on livestock for livelihood. Besides causing immediate losses of animal lives this adversely affects post disaster recoveries of human survivors due to loss of livelihood. Livelihood restoration constitutes a major component of any post disaster reconstruction operation. Due to loss of livestocks and other livelihood assets people are unable to engage in income generating activities and become dependent on humanitarian aid. The concept of Build Back better as adopted in Sendai in 2017, enlists protection of livelihood that includes livestock in developing economies as one of the major goals.
[:en]Dr.A.K.Sinha is a serving Paramilitary Officer from Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and has worked as Senior Research Officer with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Government of India. With a Masters in Veterinary Science (MVSc), he specializes in Biological Disaster Management that includes Bioterrorism, Biosecurity and Animal Disaster Management. His work experience in the field of Disaster Management includes policy research, program planning and interagency coordination in the field of Biological Disaster Management.
As core group member he has been associated with NDMA since its inception and has contributed in formulation of National Guidelines on Biological Disaster Management, Medical Preparedness and Mass Casualty Management, Management of Dead in the Aftermath of Disaster, NDMA-WHO Action Plan on Pandemic Preparedness Beyond Health and Plan to Counter The Threats to Municipal Water Supply and Water Reservoirs.
Dr Sinha has the distinction of pioneering NDMA, Government of India’s initiatives in the field of Animal Disaster Management. In the capacity of NDMA’s Core group Member he drafted the National Guidelines on Livestock Disaster Management (2008). In 2013, he coordinated conduct of 1st National Conference on Animal Disaster Management at Delhi that was participated by more than 300 National and International Experts on Animal Sciences. This workshop laid the foundation of a National framework for Animal Disaster Management. Subsequently as Member Secretary he coordinated the Drafting of National Plan of Government of India on Livestock Disaster Management (2016). As a technical expert on Animal Subject he also contributed in drafting of National Disaster Management Plan of the Government of India (2016).
To facilitate knowledge and skill centric outreach on Animal Disaster Management he coordinated NDMA’s initiative on establishment of 6 Regional Veterinary Emergency Response Units (VERU). Established within 6 Veterinary Colleges these VERU’s are imparting skill and knowledge to final year Veterinary Science Students in managing animal emergencies during disasters. In 2012, he coordinated conduct of Training of Trainers (ToT) course for National Disaster Force (NDRF). Today all 12 Battalions of NDRF are professionally trained and equipped to handle any kind of Animal Emergencies during Disaster.
In 2014, Dr Sinha represented NDMA(India) in the MDG convention at United Nations Headquarters , New York wherein presenting India’s initiative on Animal Disaster Management he advocated for universal inclusion of animal and livelihood protection measures within various policies and programs under United Nations Millenium Development Goals.
Besides NDMA, he has been actively contributing in Biorisk Management capacity building programs of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) and State Administrative Training Institutes (ATIs).
Dr A K Sinha also holds expertise in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. As a technical expert he has been associated with Disarmament & International Security Affairs and has also been member of Indian delegation to the United Nations Biological Toxin & Weapon Convention (BTWC) Geneva 2008, Biodefense Congress-BioSSD Kualampur (2011), BTWC Review Conference, Geneva (2011), ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biorisk Management, Manila (2012). During his association with MEA and international exchanges he has contributed significantly towards strengthening of India’s foreign policy obligation to Global Biorisk Management.[:]