2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

In May I will be attending the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction on behalf of Climate Refuge. For this reason, I will be focusing on disaster risk reduction topics in the coming months. The platform is the main forum at a global level for strategic advice, coordination, partnership development and the review of progress in the implementation of international instruments on disaster risk reduction. It was established in 2006 and aims to reduce disaster risk and to build the resilience of communities and nations. The event is co-organised by the Permanent Mission of Mexico at the UN and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

Mexico as the host country will encourage the 2017 Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction to focus on reducing economic losses from disasters. In the context of the 30th anniversary of the Mexican National Civil Protection System, Mexican President Mr Enrique Peña Nieto, met with the head of the UNISDR and reaffirmed Mexico’s commitment to implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which is a global plan to reduce disaster losses, adopted last year.

Mexico has emerged as a leader in disaster risk management, not only through the creation of the National Civil Protection System but also through other innovations including a national risk atlas, early warning systems and a safe schools and hospitals programme. The National Civil Protection System, (SINAPROC), was established to improve Mexico’s civil protection capacities following the Mexico City earthquake of 1985. According to the World Bank, the earthquake caused 4,541 casualties, destroyed 412 buildings, damaged 3,124 buildings and caused over 4 billion USD in economic damages. In addition to the loss of human lives, disasters severely affect the economy and hinder economic growth. The earthquake of 1985 forced the Mexican government to allocate financial resources for reconstruction efforts, instead of making investments elsewhere in the economy. The earthquake was the biggest economic setback in Mexico in 30 years, followed only by Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and Hurricane Alex in 2010. Mexico, with five tectonic plates in its territory, is particularly exposed to earthquakes. Annually Mexico is hit by more than 90 earthquakes, with a magnitude of more than 4.0 on the Richter scale. Additionally, hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean are another major risk factor for the country. As a result of climate change and global warming, the number of hurricanes will only increase in the future.

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction takes place every two years and provides the opportunity for exchanging information, discussing the latest developments and knowledge, and building partnerships across sectors. This conference will focus on how to reduce loss of life and economic losses from disasters caused by manmade and natural hazards.

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction will be held May 22-26 in Cancún, Mexico.




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Rene Perey

Rene Perey