UNISDR and AIR Announce Results from Global Economic Catastrophe Loss Study at United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
Sendai, Japan & BOSTON, 17 March 2015 - United Nations office for disaster risk reduction (UNISDR) and catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide today unveiled initial results from a global study on economic catastrophe losses at a press conference at the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.The study examines the trend of growing economic losses from global natural catastrophes by looking at 30 years of historical events and then normalizing these losses based on today's conditions including changes in population, wealth, and urbanization of catastrophe prone areas. For an overview of these findings, see AIR's latest blog entry and infographic.
"We have seen an unmitigated growth of economic losses due to disasters over the years," said Jerry Velasquez, coordinator of UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient Campaign. "However, priority strategies needed to address this growth in losses are still not clear. What this study provides is better understanding of what these priorities could be."
"Although global catastrophe losses are trending upwards over the past decades, much of this can be attributed to population and wealth growth, and an increase in properties being built in areas of high catastrophe risk, such as coastlines," said Dr. Milan Simic, managing director of international operations at AIR Worldwide. "We're an ideal partner for this project because of our extensive experience working with and normalizing catastrophe losses for insurance purposes, which can be expanded to include in-depth analysis of resulting economic losses from all natural perils, across the globe."