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Science and policy must work together to achieve a sustainable future for humanity.
01 October 2014
Can governments continue shouldering the lion's share of the economic costs of current and future disaster losses? The significant losses incurred both in OECD and emerging economies, estimated at nearly USD 1.5 Trillion over the past decade, cast doubts for the future, especially in a context of increased pressures on public finances in many countries. New approaches are needed to build economic and social resilience and to preserve sustainable growth. Research has begun to identify key aspects of the multifaceted approaches needed to contend with multidimensional trade-offs, complementarities and unintended consequences. This may entail investment in the capacity of economic systems to absorb disturbances, while maintaining their purpose and organisation. Sound macro-economic management matters, yet a wider understanding of the governance of critical risks is essential to prepare for the impacts of major shocks. Risk portfolio approaches and network mapping can help identify the layers of resilience at national, regional and corporate level. A greater focus on ex-ante cost effective investments in risk reduction fostering adaptive capacity is likely to yield greater benefits instead of costly ex-post financing of losses from a strained public purse. There is a need to foster investment in risk prevention, through a right mix of structural protection and non-structural protection measures. Boosting resilience against future disasters, requires for all actors involved to work together towards building resilience, taking their share of responsibility within clear accountability frameworks. This also calls for a systems approach to national security, through a comprehensive understanding of interdependencies and their implications. This will be discussed in the light of a few recent major events, including the concrete case of the major 2011 earthquake in New Zealand. The event highlights how adaptive capacities at local level, together with a well-designed systems approach, can lead to community resilience and make the difference to preserve economic and social well-being under strained circumstances. This session will bring together experts from various international backgrounds to explore the benefits of boosting resilience through greater collaboration. It will also discuss ideas for policies that could induce innovative forms of collaborative risk governance
Last edited: 22 October 2014
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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