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United Nations GAR13 report expected to drive ‘a paradigm shift’ in business continuity planning

Work is entering the final stages on the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s (UNISDR) latest edition of its Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR13). This will be published in May.

UNISDR says that GAR13 is already being hailed by many peer reviewers as a "’pioneering’ piece of work because of its focus on risk as a major blind spot for the private sector.”

UNISDR Chief Margareta Wahlström, wrapping up a two-day meeting with the GAR13's Editorial Advisory Board earlier in February, concluded that: "How the private sector and governments take on board the key findings of this report will influence trillions of dollars of investment in critical infrastructure in years to come.

"UNISDR expects that GAR13 will have a profound effect on how disaster risk is managed by major corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises in the future. We are looking to achieve a paradigm shift from simple business continuity planning and disaster response to integrating disaster risk reduction into business planning in the same way as cyber security or financial audits."

Andrew Maskrey, UNISDR head of Risk Knowledge, who oversees the GAR project, said: "New research has revealed both a significant underestimate in direct economic losses caused by disasters and that indirect losses to businesses are more significant than direct losses."

Current methodology places overall economic losses from disasters over the last twelve years in the range of $1.5 trillion including the record-breaking losses of $400 billion which occurred in 2011.

GAR13 will revise these figures dramatically and will unveil the preliminary results delivered by a new multi-hazard probabilistic risk model which has been under development since late 2011 in collaboration with scientific and technical partners.

GAR13 will be featured prominently at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction which takes place in Geneva from May 21 to May 23 and which will feature a major event focused on the private sector with the participation of eminent business figures.

http://www.preventionweb.net/english/hyogo/gar/

•Date: 14th Feb 2013 • World •Type: Article • Topic: BC general

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