UN invites business world to speak up on disaster risk management

With business accounting for about 85% of total global investment, how the private sector decides to allocate its funds will have a huge impact not only on the outlook for disaster risk, but on sustainable development in general.

GENEVA, 02 April 2014 – Following a fourth consecutive year when economic losses from disasters have exceeded $100 billion, UNISDR today announced that it is opening a month-long round of online consultations with the international business community. Businesses around the world are invited to contribute their expertise and thoughts on financial reform, regulation, building codes and incentives to motivate business to locate sensibly and avoid creating new risks and plan for business continuity.

Rowan Douglas, CEO Capital, Science and Policy Practice, Willis Group, and chair of the UNISDR Private Sector Working Group for the Post-2015 global framework for disaster risk reduction said: “The ten year average for economic losses is almost $200 billion. This statistic is about a bigger story which includes bankruptcies, loss of jobs, disruption to supply chains, work places destroyed in recurring floods and huge challenges for business continuity.”

Equally, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation is a huge investment opportunity. Strengthening business resilience is increased competitiveness. Also, resilience solutions offer a growing market: business to business, local governments and national governments.

“The goal of this online consultation is to engage the business community in a debate on how to reduce existing risk exposure. The focus will be on the exchange of risk information and business solutions between the public and private sectors with the goal of reducing disaster risk for cities, global supply chains and small to medium sized businesses in particular.”

UNISDR is devoting the month of April to gathering the views of the private sector in order to ensure that the business community’s views are adequately captured in the new Post-2015 global framework for disaster risk reduction which will succeed the current Hyogo Framework for Action.

UNISDR Chief, Margareta Wahlstrom, said: “We are getting a lot of excellent feedback from the 61 members of the UNISDR Private Sector Partnership, but we would like to cast the net further for this important debate on how we can create an incentive-led approach to encourage business investment in disaster resilience especially to the SME’s.”

The UNISDR Disaster Risk Reduction Private Sector Partnership is a global partnership between UNISDR and private businesses which are mobilizing action to reduce the risk of disaster. Currently, there are 61 members, ranging from leading multinationals to innovative small and medium enterprises all over the world.

More information on the partnership and how to join can be found here.

Contribute to the online consultation on business for disaster risk reduction and resilience on PreventionWeb.

5th Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in May 2017 5th Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in May 2017.
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