Global assessment report on disaster risk reduction

Sunday 26 May 2013

Mr Ban Ki-moon has launched the UN's flagship report on disaster risk reduction: the 2013 Global Assessment Report.

It states that if it does not change its current way of doing business the world will experience higher catastrophic economic losses than those seen in:

  • Japan (2011 earthquake/tsunami and nuclear disaster: cost USD206 billion)
  • Thailand (2011 floods: cost: USD45.7 billion)
  • US (2012 Super Storm Sandy: cost USD50 billion)

Other headlines from the 2013 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction include:

  • Direct economic losses from natural disasters are at least 50% higher than previously thought and estimated to be USD2.5 trillion so far this century
  • A warning that the above represents a new multi-trillion dollar class of toxic assets that currently sit as unrealized liabilities for communities, businesses and governments in hazard-prone locations  
  • A focus on three investment sectors – urban development, agribusiness and coastal tourism – and how their prevailing investment models drive disaster risk, particularly in high-risk locations  
  • A focus on business; how vulnerable they are to disaster risk, their relative lack of disaster risk management; as well as early signs that more businesses are interpreting disaster risk reduction as an opportunity rather than a cost
  • How the private sector is the central partner to move from a business model that creates shared risk to one that creates shared value   

The release of the report begins, in earnest, preparations for the 2015 World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan which will renegotiate the current Hyogo Framework 2005-15, the world’s first comprehensive agreement for disaster risk reduction.