The announcement was made at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. The 2015 RISK Award jury included members of the Global Risk Forum Davos (GRF), the Munich Re Foundation and the Fritz Institute. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1Exs3Ns
"Strengthening the resilience of infrastructure and buildings are a priority. New insurance concepts, possibly in cooperation with respective governments, can also play a supporting role in helping people who’ve lost virtually all of their belongings in a severe catastrophe. The Pacific Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program pilot initiated by the World Bank is an example of such a risk management system. Part of the losses in Vanuatu will possibly be covered by it and will hopefully help these islands to recover.
"It is of course too early to estimate the losses caused by Pam. Cyclones of this strength occur every now and then in the South Pacific, but a landfall of a cat 5 storm on such small islands is a rather rare event."
"Risk prevention of natural hazards is becoming increasingly important, the number of events and also losses have increased dramatically in recent decades. Significant factors are population growth and rising values. Thus the number of weather-related natural disasters that have caused damages, increased worldwide from 1980-2013 to about three times. In Asia the total number of weather-related loss events has increased in the last three decades by more than a factor of four. The majority of scientists expect climate change to produce greater weather extremes and, as a consequence, a greater number of weather-related natural catastrophes. However, the trend will vary considerably according to region and type of event. Examples of weather extremes where scientists already assume that climate change is having a noticeable effect: heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall events in many regions.
"Adaptation measures can be physical or financial nature: dams, flood plains, storm-proof basement, building codes, early warning systems, (micro) insurance. Additionally it is important that the risk awareness is sharpened. Adaptation measures can generally prevent serious damage. So for example since the Great Mississippi Flood in 1927 in the US around US $ 14 billion have been invested in flood protection in neighboring states. After 2011 another major flood hit the region, the total damage amounted to almost US $ 3 billion. The US Army Corps of Engineers calculated that without the previous safeguards the damage would probably been up to 237 billion US $. However, the fact that flood protection can lead to an increase of values in the protected area and thus potentially can lead to increased risk in case of a failure of the prevention measures (levee breach, flood exceeds the height of the dikes) has to be taken in consideration in the estimation of future risk and damages.
"Early warning systems and consistent action of government disaster preparedness can prevent much suffering: In 2014 before the cyclone Hudhud on the east coast of India and the typhoon Hagupit on the coast of the Philippines the authorities have evacuated many people. As a result, many lives were saved. This shows the importance of preventive measures. Further progress in this direction should be made.
"Increasing damages threaten especially the economic stability of developing countries. The resistance must be strengthened by investing in early warning systems, in damage prevention measures and in a basic protection of people affected over the remaining hardly avoidable damage by means of risk transfer mechanisms such as more here micro insurance.
"Munich Re contributes to risk analysis and prevention in the analysis out of our NatCat database, advice based on own expertise (such as in Sendai, at the Australian Business Roundtable, via MCII and directly to governments.) and through financial tools."
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