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Investigaciones geográficas

versión On-line ISSN 2448-7279versión impresa ISSN 0188-4611


ALCANTARA-AYALA, Irasema et al. Integrated Disaster Risk Management in Mexico: reflections, challenges, and proposals from the academic community seeking a transformation on policy making. Invest. Geog [online]. 2019, n.98, 00002. ISSN 2448-7279.

The lack of a public policy based on scientific and traditional knowledge, oriented to the integral management of the territory is intrinsically expressed in the construction of risk, and therefore in the increase of the occurrence of disasters. Although in the last three decades there have been some advances in terms of civil protection in Mexico, it is necessary to conduct a critical review and evaluation of the National Civil Protection System and the existing institutional framework within the three orders of government, to determine role and functionality, as well as its effectiveness and relevance, in order to analyze its possible transformation into a System or National Coordination of Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRM). The implementation of such system should be based on five normative axes; efficiency and equity, integrality, transversality, co-responsibility and accountability.

IDRM should be understood as a complex systematic process consisting of a series of decisions, actions and activities, as well as a transversal coordination between the different institutional and social actors, to understand and transform the needs and weaknesses expressed in the different aspects of vulnerability and exposure, in specific responses and collective solutions, whose main objective is the deconstruction of risk. Inevitably, IDRM requires a foundation directed towards the reduction of vulnerabilities as a strategic axis of diagnosis, laws, programs and co-management of government and society, where safeguarding human life is privileged, along with the improvement of the quality of life of the population and its integral development, within a framework of respect for human rights and, consequently, with a gender perspective.

Based on the principles of the IDRM developed and agreed upon at the international level, this document contains a series of recommendations that were discussed by a group of academicians and put into consideration of the candidates for the Presidency of Mexico and those candidates of popular election at the Federal, State and Municipal level in June 2018, as well as to the President-elected Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and the next members of his cabinet, head of the cross-cutting areas related to disaster prevention.

Within the sphere of IDRM, the same conception of the General Law of Civil Protection of 2012, poses significant challenges of coordination and institutional, administrative, regulatory and financial reforms, as well as a reconceptualization that could lead to its efficient implementation as a Public Policy. The latter must have a binding cross-sectoral character, in and between the different levels of government and be regulated under the axes of efficiency and equity, integrality, transversality, co-responsibility and accountability. For this, the reduction of institutional vulnerability is unavoidable.

The transformation of the current National Civil Protection System into a National System for the IDRM, is raised through 55 considerations and requires the support of the Federal Government to establish new bases, learning from the most valuable elements of the generated experiences and focus on the production of welfare conditions of the population, considering as determining factors for the reduction of social vulnerability. It is a long-term research task, which must begin with the contributions of sciences and social, natural disciplines, as well as engineering and technology, in a sphere of rigorous assessment of its contemporary complexity, from an integral perspective, and therefore, of transdisciplinary work.

Under this perspective, the territory is a fundamental factor in the processes of assessment of social vulnerability as it determines to a large extent the scope of the disaster risk reduction required by the National System for IDRM. As such, it is necessary and urgent recovering, disseminating and encouraging scientific research to generate theories, methods and models (quantitative and qualitative) of analysis, aimed at the comprehension of the territory, territoriality and habitability. It also should be directed towards strengthening territorial management, taking into account its different dimensions and scales, for the assessment of the real conditions of the population: experiences, resources, assets, capabilities, potentials and requirements in terms of social welfare, as an inescapable - and irreplaceable - device for the reduction and management of risks.

Therefore, undoubtedly, IDRM must be understood in a transversal way to the public policy that affects the use of the territories from the local scale, and through the permanent coordination with other territorial levels: this is where the disasters have their origin and that is where the reduction of risk must first be rooted, which leads to the prevention of future disasters.

Palabras llave : Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRM); science; public policy; Mexico; Civil Protection.

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