At its most recent meeting, the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilience Societies (ARISE) called for businesses to put risks posed by natural and man-made hazards front and center in investment choices, to curb disaster-related economic damage around the globe.
With climate change stoking a rise in the frequency and intensity of weather hazards such as Hurricane Matthew, the challenge is steep, underlined participants, including DRI Executive Director Chloe Demrovsky, in the Oct. 7 annual ARISE meeting in Washington, DC.
The past 10 years have also seen record-breaking climate temperatures and rainfall, and global disaster-related losses have surged beyond $1.3 trillion (USD).
The gathering of more than 100 private sector representatives from the construction, insurance, retail, tourism, consulting and technology industries reviewed ongoing projects to build resilience and identify gaps to reach the global goals set out in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Sendai Framework, a 15-year plan to curb disaster deaths, the number of affected people and the scale of economic losses, was adopted by the international community in March 2015.
“The scale of these losses needs to be known. The majority of infrastructure investments needed to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 are yet to be built,” Oz Ozturk, co-chair of ARISE and a partner at PwC, told the meeting.
“As owners of 80% of all investments, it is important to scale up the work of the private sector to build resilience and reduce disaster risk,” he said.
With Hurricane Matthew battering Haiti during the meeting and bearing down on the United States, the ARISE meeting also heard from Craig Fugate, Administrator of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
He underlined that in construction patterns “efficiency does not necessarily build resilience,” and highlighted the need to find mutual areas where the private and public sectors can work together to reduce risks and build resilience.
“We are extremely pleased with the collaboration, ideas, and networking opportunities for the members in ARISE who are all pulling together to implement the Sendai Framework and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said Kirsi Madi, Director of UNISDR, who co-chaired the meeting.
“Reducing disaster risk is a prerequisite to achieve sustainable development, and private sector has a critical role in risk reduction,” she added.