BY ELLISON VAHI
THE importance of raising public awareness about disaster risk has been a highlight in terms of tragic fashions.
According to the Australia’s partnership with United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) to reduce disaster risk and build resilience, the 2018 edition on the Disaster Reduction has focus on Target C of the Sendai Framework, reducing disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030.
These came as underlined by UNISDR Head Mami Mizutori on how our region is at the forefront of the global battle to reduce disaster losses.
It highlights that, such an events in the Pacific’s Ring of Fire and especially the Solomon Islands will underline the importance of achieving the targets for reducing disaster losses set out in the global plan adopted three years ago by UN member States, called the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-20130.
The most important of these are reducing mortality and the numbers of people affected by disasters.
Despite the continued loss of many lives in such events, it is the case that early warning systems, better preparedness and improving building practices have led to a decline in disaster-related mortality in many parts of the world.
Less progress is being made on reducing economic losses from disasters, which continue to rise.
In relation, the World Bank estimates that, disasters cost the global economy $520 billion annually and push 26 million people into poverty.
Whilst, reducing the economic losses from disasters will save people from destitution and free up funds for investment in areas such as health and education.
In accordance, Building and supporting the maintenance of disaster loss databases is a key part of the work of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction as it is very difficult to manage disaster risk if we are not measuring our economic losses.
To date, national disaster loss data bases have been created in 100 countries and these are powerful tools for measuring progress not simply in reducing disaster losses but also on the achievement of key UN Sustainable Development Goals including abolition of poverty, action on climate change and making cities resilient.
The global battle to reduce disaster losses by 2030 will be won or lost in Asia and the Pacific, as some 85 percent of the 4.4 billion people affected by disasters over the last twenty years, are living in this region.
In the meantime, the Australia’s leadership is key to this effort and will be on full display when it hosts the next Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2020.