Investing in disaster resilience vital for region — UN

 

WAHLSTRÖM…the report is a wake-up call for countries to increase their commitment to invest in smart solutions to strengthen resilience to disasters

UNITED NATIONS (CMC) — A new United Nations report says investing in disaster resilience is vital for sustainable development in the Caribbean and other places.

The 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction said that reducing poverty, improving health and education for all, achieving sustainable and equitable economic growth, and protecting the health of the planet now depend on the management of disaster risks in the day-to-day decisions of governments, companies, investors, civil society organisations, households and individuals.

“The report is a wake-up call for countries to increase their commitment to invest in smart solutions to strengthen resilience to disasters,” said Margareta Wahlström, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s Special Representative on Disaster Risk Reduction, whose office prepared the report.

Stressing that strengthened disaster risk reduction is essential to make development sustainable, the report comes just over a week before of the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan, where an estimated 8,000 delegates will be gathering from March 14-18 to adopt a framework to success the landmark Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA).

Born out of the World Conference on Disaster Reduction in 2005, the Hyogo Framework is a 10-year plan, the first to explain, describe and detail the work that is required to reduce disaster losses.

The UN said the Sendai conference will be the first landmark meeting of a particularly crucial UN year as the organisation is set to lead the global development and climate agenda at a number of major international events.

The UN will host an international meeting in Paris in December on the adoption of a universal text on climate change; a special summit in September for the adoption of a global sustainability agenda; and the financing for development conference in July in Addis Ababa to renew commitment to global development financing.

Wahlström told reporters the new framework to be agreed in Sendai would address technological categories, such as nuclear hazards linked to natural disasters, citing the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that occurred in wake of the earthquake-induced tsunami in northern Japan.

She also said the new framework would include heath and health hazards driven by global epidemics and pandemics in recent years such as SARS [severe acute respiratory syndrome] and the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Both Wahlström and the report’s author, Andrew Maskrey, spoke of the importance of investment with risk and resilience at the core.

“We need to look at how we can get risk management fully hardwired into the DNA of development,” he told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.

Maskrey said the world risks some US$300 billion from disaster losses, which he said translates into US$70 per working-age person on this planet.

The report said that an annual global investment of US$6 billion in disaster risk management strategies would generate total benefits in terms of risk reduction of US$360 billion.

This is equivalent to a 20 per cent reduction of new and additional annual economic losses, according to the UN.

 

Reposted from: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Investing-in-disaster-resilience-vital-for-region—UN_18518768

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