By Jonathan Kinghorn | May 26, 2015

R!SE, a new way for the public and private sectors to collaboratively lead on issues of global disaster risk management (DRM), kicked off at three meetings held in different parts of the world. The last of these was in Boston, where AIR was one of more than 70 public and private sector organizations represented. The Boston Team will focus on the changes in events caused by climate change. More recently AIR Worldwide has been involved in the Insurance Round table meetings chaired by PwC whose goal is to summarize the current state issues, propose proof-of-concept actions, and opine on potential impacts and benefits that specifically relate to Boston.

The initiative's major sponsor is the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, and its challenge is to change thinking from responding to catastrophic events to preparing for them. The overall objective is to make all investments-private and public-risk-sensitive.

R!SE brings together businesses, investors, insurers, the public sector, education professionals, and civil society-stakeholders who have the ability and resources to influence the future direction of DRM. This alliance will facilitate the exchange of experience and knowledge to implement tangible disaster risk reduction projects and strengthen links between public and private stakeholders.

The initiative is working to make risk information accessible to create the case for change and for investing in resilience; to create practical tools so risk information can be applied; and to change education by incorporating DRM information to understand underlying drivers of risk. It is structured around eight activity streams designed to deliver tools, recommendations, and good practices by 2020:

  1. Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Strategies: to develop and apply business bench marking tools across the alliance to help global business improve the understanding of their overall exposure and mature their DRM actions.
  2. Risk Metrics: to support the development of improved risk metrics for business and economic forecasting.
  3. Industry Standards: to support the development of voluntary industry standards for disaster risk management (DRM).
  4. Disaster Risk Management Higher Education: to encourage academic institutions, training centers and courses, and business associations in improving their curricula on business risk management.
  5. Responsible Investing: to engage major institutional investors such as sovereign wealth and pension funds to consider disaster risk in their investment portfolios.
  6. Resilient Cities: to support local business communities and government departments to increase disaster resilience in their municipalities and cities.
  7. Insuring Resilience: to increase access to optimal and sustainable disaster insurance to the wider global community, particularly in emerging economies.
  8. DRM in the United Nations: to facilitate joint learning in support of the UN's efforts in building resilience to disasters and climate risks.

R!SE will contribute to building the resilience of local communities and the global economy as a whole. The involvement of the private sector is critical; it must become one of the drivers of change. R!SE is looking for time, talent, and treasure. If you can contribute any of those elements, R!SE is hoping to hear from you!

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