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NEWS: Lessons from the private sector for building resilience


A new report distils lessons learned from 100 initiatives where public- and private-sector organisations have joined forces to strengthen resilience against climate disasters, and presents exemplary case studies to show how others can follow suit. By Christina Becker-Birck of Meister Consultants

Greater engagement by the private sector in managing disaster risk and promoting climate resilience is vital to curb increasing losses from disasters. Not only would this benefit businesses themselves but it would also help to provide the resources and solutions for tackling disaster risk in society as a whole.

Evidence of such benefits is given in a new publication Resilience in Action: Lessons from PublicPrivate Collaborations around the World, which distils lessons learned from over 100 examples of innovative public-private partnerships and private-sector initiatives, and showcases nine innovative cases.

Presenting the results of research undertaken by Meister Consultants Group, with funding by CDKN, Resilience in Action sets out the reasons why businesses invest in disaster risk management and adaptation, the barriers to private-sector investment, the players and partnerships involved, and techniques and strategies for success.

By analysing the factors leading to success, Resilience in Action highlights six recommendations for policy makers and private-sector leaders to consider, which are:

1. Build on a foundation of local engagement and trust.

2. Start small and local, but position for scaling-up and replicating the work.

3. Integrate skill building to maximise community ownership.

4. Build adaptive capacity by strengthening businesses and livelihoods.

5. Create partnerships along—or across—value chains.

6. Find innovative alternatives to traditional infrastructure.

For the private sector, making decisions and investments that are informed by risk builds confidence, reduces costs and provides opportunities for value creation. Wider socio-economic benefits include reduced uncertainty in economic forecasts, and reduced risks to life and property. Similarly, climate change presents risks and opportunities for businesses, which cannot be ignored.

Policy makers exploring options for addressing disaster risks and adapting to climate change should therefore consider opportunities for engaging the private sector through public-private partnerships. A well-designed partnership can unlock the vast potential of expertise, resources and networks to help create a more resilient future for business, government and citizens alike.

Full details of the findings and recommendations can be accessed in the Resilience in Action report, or in the Summary for Policymakers, which centres on the six lessons outlined above. The set of nine, two-page case studies are included in both, and are also available as a standalone document.

The report supports the work of the UNISDR’s 2013 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), published in May, which set out the business case for DRR.

Find out more about the project Private sector engagement in disaster risk management and climate resilience.

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