Monday, July 8, 2013

Integrated action will help billions and save trillions

News archive for the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction: The Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström, today hailed the Pacific as it committed to a world first of integrating action in disaster risk management and climate change in one strategy to secure a sustainable future for this increasingly threatened region.  "I urge the world to follow the example of the Pacific and abandon the current norm of running separate and parallel strategies for disaster risk management and climate change. By committing to integrate the two approaches, the Pacific will benefit millions of people and avoid billions of dollars in economic losses," Ms Wahlström said.

"If the rest of the world follows suit then the equation is transformed further: then billions of people will benefit and trillions of dollars of losses will be avoided. It is difficult to imagine a bigger sustainable development opportunity that is within our grasp if we have the courage and vision to seize it."

Ms Wahlström was speaking at the 2013 Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable which opened in Nadi, Fiji, today.  The forum is the first time that the two principal Pacific regional conferences on disaster risk management and climate change have been combined. The meeting's outcomes will contribute to one over-arching regional strategy and framework for climate and disaster-resilient development.

Ms Wahlström told leaders and representatives from governments, business and civil society that the future of disaster risk reduction work was fairly and squarely within a holistic approach to sustainable development.  "We can't miss this opportunity. Very important and necessary work has been done -- and continues to be done -- on response, preparedness and early warning systems but now we need to rapidly strengthen integration across sectors such as water management, agriculture, health, education and other areas. Without this, progress will be weak," Ms Wahlström said....

Flooding in Hong Kong, shot by WingLuk, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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