Mexico's Cinemex Group is one of the largest movie theatre operators in the world (Photo: De Francogael)
By Brigitte Leoni
CANCUN, Mexico, 30 May 2017 – Mexico's Cinemex, one of the world’s largest movie theatre groups, has scaled up a resilience campaign with its country's national disaster prevention authorities.
Announced during last week’s 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction – hosted by the Mexican government in Cancun – the move marks a formal alliance between Cinemex and the National Center for the Prevention of Disasters, or CENAPRED, and the National Civil Protection department.
“Mexico is exposed to many hazards, especially earthquakes and hurricanes, and it is important that the private sector contributes to the safety of the populations. It is not only our responsibility to comply with safety measures but it is our social responsibility to do so,” said Mr. Luis Gerardo Garcia Marsical, Government Relations Coordinator at Cinemex Group.
“The cost of losing one human life is too high to risk it,” he added.
Cinemex, which runs over 300 movie theatres nationwide, has had an informal deal in place with the disaster prevention authorities since 2015.
“We are moving one step ahead, and took the opportunity of the 2017 Global Platform in Cancun to formalize the agreement,” said Mr. Garcia.
Bringing together the public and private sectors to curb the threat posed by natural and human-induced hazards is a key tenet of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a 15-year agreement adopted by the international community in 2015.
The thousands of delegates from around the world who came to the Global Platform took stock of efforts to date to implement the Sendai Framework and discussed what needs to be done to accelerate them.
Building awareness of risk and enhancing the ability of individuals to protect themselves and their communities are core elements of Cinemex’s work on disaster prevention.
In Mexico, disaster drills are mandatory by law and Cinemex is obliged to hold them at least twice a year. With the Global Platform putting the issue in the spotlight, the group organized mass drills for children to help check its evacuation routes and update its contingency plans.
In addition, before screening feature films, Cinemex shows short “Cine Minutos” animations on prevention measures, hazard-by-hazard, produced along with CENAPRED.
During the Global Platform, its five cinemas in Cancun screened a series of short films produced by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). They show concrete examples of impactful disaster prevention measures in Brazil, Cameroon, France, Mexico and Nepal.
The group is also part of the “Cinema Seguro” programme, launched together with the National Civil Protection department, which parallels the country’s older safe hospital and safe hotels initiatives.
“This is our way to contribute to build more resilience in Mexico and to better educate young people who will pass the prevention messages to their parents, friends and family,” said Mr. Garcia.