Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

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highly on the radar screens of senior executives in global corporations.
Whether risk awareness is maintained over the medium and long term would seem to depend on disaster frequency. When intensive disasters are very infrequent, as in the case of Indian Ocean tsunamis, inter-generational awareness of disaster risks may fade. To cite an extreme example, it is highly doubtful whether earthquake risk awareness is still strong in the south-east of England as a result of the Canterbury earthquake on
21 May 1382. As a result of migration, populations that may have lived in an area for decades are unaware of the risks manifested in historical disasters hundreds of years ago. In addition, increasing geographical mobility now means that people frequently live, work and travel far from the areas and disaster risks they are familiar with.
As highlighted by the case of Ratnapura, extensive disasters clearly shape risk awareness in a far more tangible way in the localities where they
(Source: UNISDR with data from EM-DAT and national disaster loss databases.)
Figure 7.2 Disaster records in global (left) and national databases (right)
Box 7.2 Increasing awareness of disaster and climate risks
Around 70 per cent of companies responding to a recent survey by the Carbon Disclosure Project identified clear business continuity risks to their supply chains and thus risks to their revenue streams due to climate change and the resulting extreme weather events (CDP, 2013

CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project). 2013,Reducing Risk and Driving Business Value, CDP Supply Chain Report 2012-13. London.. .
). Most importantly, more than half of these risks have either already impacted these companies or are expected to do so within the next five years (ibid.).

Local surveys of a similar nature reflect these global results and show that awareness of climate risk in particular is rising across the globe. For example, of more than 300 businesses responding to an annual survey on climate change in Hong Kong, 82 per cent identified disruptions due to extreme weather as critical risks, compared to “only” 44 per cent in 2010 (BEC CCBF, 2014

BEC (Business Environment Council) and CCBF (Climate Change Business Forum). 2014,2013 Hong Kong Business Survey on Energy Efficiency & Climate Change, Executive Summary.. .

However, smaller companies may be less aware of the potential scale of climate risks (Ceres, 2013

Ceres. 2013,Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey: 2012 Findings & Recommendations, March 2012. Authored by Sharlene Leurig and Andrew Dlugolecki. Boston.. .
). Among 184 companies surveyed in the insurance sector, only 23 large companies had a “specific, comprehensive strategy to cope with climate change” (ibid., p. 7). The approaches of others range from viewing climate change as a risk inherently captured in their enterprise risk management strategies to an environmental issue immaterial to their business.
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