On November 23, 2015, the UNISDR issued a report with some alarming statistics: since 1995, 606,000 lives have been lost and 4.1 billion people have been injured or left homeless worldwide as a result of increasingly frequent weather-related disasters. International action is needed to tackle this issue and come up with a global response.
This is precisely the aim of the upcoming UNISDR Conference, organized by the UN at the Geneva International Conference Centre, where participants will reflect on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. This framework follows the Hyogo Framework for Action, a ten-year plan adopted in 2005 by 168 governments to build the resilience of nations and communities to weather-related disasters. As the next step in disaster risk reduction, the Sendai Framework has defined four priorities for action:
- Understanding disaster risk;
- Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk;
- Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience;
- Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
AXA signs on to reduce disaster risk
In 2013, AXA Group signed the UNISDR Statement of Commitment by the Private Sector for Disaster Prevention, Resilience and Risk Reduction. In so doing, it pledged to play an active role in the development of the new global agreement to replace the Hyogo Framework for Action.
The AXA Research Fund’s Head, Ulrike Decoene, will be one of the panel members for the “Leveraging Science” workshop on 29 January 2016. She will stress the importance of partnerships between scientists, influencers, politicians, public institutions and the private sector to promote and share good weather-related risk management practices.
AXA Group sets itself apart with its initatives to promote resilience in dealing with weather-related risks. In collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative's Principles for Sustainable Insurance (UNEP FI PSI), AXA published the first international study on how cities and SMEs are working to become more resilient to the consequences of climate change.
The Group has taken tangible steps to address climate change, in particular by divesting €0.5 billion from coal companies and by tripling its green investments to reach €3 billion by 2020.
In addition, the AXA Research Fund, AXA's worldwide scientific philanthropy initiative, supports more than one hundred fundamental research projects on natural disaster risk.