He said that overcoming the threat of natural and ecological disasters needs shift in orientation and paradigm of sustainable development by mainstreaming disaster risk reduction. Because civil engineering is a discipline that is most responsible for the development of infrastructure, its responsibility and role are very important in making the shift. Civil engineering science must continue to serve life and human beings to live better, safer, more comfortably, more prosperous and happier, and in a sustainable manner.
Infrastructure development or the built environment can be no longer oriented towards narrow and short-termed functional goal but it should be based on a more holistic planning with attention to harmony between the built environment and the natural environment, maintaining harmony between humanosphere, biosphere, and ecosphere. In order to do that, the active-preventive approach must be prioritized over the passive-responsive one. "Therefore, in the harmony concept of infrastructure development, the environmental and disaster risk reduction should be made the goal," said the husband of Ir. Hj. Sri Puji Saraswati, M.Sc., D.I.C, and father of three children, Catia Anglie Currie, S.T, Rizki Fazlur Rachman, and Ghifari Abdus Salam.
There has been a fundamental shift in disaster management paradigm. The previous passive-reactive approach emphasizing on emergency handling has changed into an active-preventive approach that focuses on risk prevention and reduction. Disaster risk reduction is conducted through integrated management of natural disasters, including the cycle of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, emergency response, recovery and reconstruction holistically.
That was delivered by Prof. Ir. Nizam, M.Sc., Ph.D at UGM Senate Hall on Monday (25/10) when he was inaugurated as Professor of Faculty of Engineering. Giving a speech entitled Natural Disasters and Sustainable Development-Challenges and the Role of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Future, Nizam said that the changes in paradigm result in consequences of disaster management efforts that should become an integral part of every stage and development activities. In the cycle of disaster management, civil engineering’s role is very dominant, especially in disaster mitigation, recovery and post-disaster reconstruction. "Therefore, re-orientation of civil engineering is necessary for the infrastructure that meets the principles of disaster risk reduction, poverty reduction, and sustainable development," said Secretary of the Higher Education Board, Ministry of National Education.
Nizam assessed the local wisdom and culture in rehabilitation and reconstruction phases are very important. The infrastructure team of UGM emergency response had experienced interesting things during humanitarian assistance activities following the tsunami disaster in Aceh. Socio-cultural approach in the reconstruction and rehabilitation phases in the disaster area is needed. "As we built temporary shelters outside the disaster area, the first difficulty was to find a suitable place because of land ownership. Therefore, we took the socio-religious approach based on local culture as an entry point to every activity," the man born in Surakarta, 6 July 1961, explained.
Resilience and local intelligence also appeared in Yogyakarta’s earthquake back in 2006. People built temporary shelters from the remaining of the buildings around the ruins of their home. Those affected by the quake did not want to live in better communal tents. "The reason is practicality, they felt a closeness with their belongings under the collapsed house. Although in international practice, it is not regarded as a best practice model, but in fact, it provides a good solution because the social ties with their neighbors remain intact that help remove their trauma. It also accelerates the recovery and rebuilding efforts through mutual help," said the professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering.