Finance ministers and representatives of Commonwealth countries meet in Bali
By Jeanette Elsworth
11 October 2018, Bali - Mami Mizutori, Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), has called on ministers of finance around the world to incentivize the private sector to commit to risk-informed investment and practice.
Mrs Mizutori, who is also the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on this topic, made the comments while speaking at a meeting of the finance ministers of Commonwealth countries which took place in Bali, Indonesia, just two weeks after a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the island of Sulawesi.
“Nobody understands better the long-term impacts of unnecessary economic losses on human development than the people in this room,” said Mrs Mizutori, emphasizing that the impacts of natural hazards can be felt far beyond the initial event and many of the key issues facing the global population and economy are inter-linked.
“The economic losses that follow are a hard blow to sustain and can set back development gains by many years. How well we manage and reduce disaster risk will influence our success in achieving sustainable development and adapting to climate change,” she said.
The meeting took place as part of the annual World Bank/IMF meeting where senior officials representing 53 countries were gathered.
This follows the release of a joint report by UNISDR and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) on Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters, which showed that even though the number of deaths from natural hazards had decreased over the last twenty years, economic losses had increased by 2.5.
Reducing economic losses from disasters is Target c of the roadmap for reducing disaster loss, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and also the theme of the upcoming International Day for Disaster Reduction, celebrated on 13 October. It will be the central theme of the upcoming Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, taking place in May 2019.
Earlier in the week, in its latest report, the Intergovernmental Platform on Climate Change (IPCC) issued dire warnings about the need for expedited action to reduce carbon emissions and limit the global temperature rise to under 1.5 degrees. Under current trends, natural hazards related to climate are expected to increase in both frequency and intensity.