GENEVA, 8 November 2011
– The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, is in China today for a first round of consultations on disaster risk reduction with entrepreneurs and business people.
Some of the biggest names in Chinese industry are represented at the meeting including the Bank of China, the China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd, China Petroleum Equipment Co. Ltd, the China Association of Women Entrepreneurs, the World Cities Scientific Development Alliance and a number of major investment companies.
Wahlström who heads the UN office for disaster risk reduction, UNISDR, said: “China can play a leading role in UNISDR’s global initiative to promote public/private sector partnerships in reducing the impact of natural hazards and building the resilience of business to disasters. The country experienced more major reported disasters last year than any other country.
“Studies show that the average property loss is 20 times larger for companies with weak physical risk management practices. Integrating disaster risk reduction into business planning contributes to the sustainable reduction of disaster losses and helps to save lives, jobs and important infrastructure. A private sector committed to disaster risk reduction can steer public demand towards materials, systems and technological solutions to build and run resilient communities.”
Today’s brainstorming session aims to exchange information and knowledge on challenges and opportunities for enterprises to integrate disaster risk reduction into their business management cycle, especially in urban areas.