Monday, May 05, 2014



IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


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Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)





Executive Summary

[full-text, 14 pages]


Report calls for fundamental shift in risk governance to boost resilience against large-scale disasters


‌‌Large-scale natural and human-induced disasters have generated over USD 1.5 trillion in economic damages over the last decade in OECD and BRIC countries. Single events have exceeded damages worth 20% of annual GDP. Resilience of OECD countries is particularly challenged during times of economic downturns, above all in countries that rely on state budgets for post-disaster loss financing.

A shift in risk governance is required as governance obstacles hamper the effectiveness of current risk reduction investments. The report urges governments to address widespread disincentives that persist for governmental and also non-governmental risk management actors, leading to an over-reliance on the government for post-disaster risk financing. 


Press Release 5 May 2014

Countries must improve resilience to disasters or face mounting costs, OECD says


05/04/2014 - Smarter planning for natural and man-made disasters that increases collaboration between countries and encourages households and businesses to take more responsibility would improve resilience and reduce future economic losses, a new OECD report says.


Boosting Resilience through Innovative Risk Governance estimates that earthquakes, social unrest, industrial accidents, terror attacks, pandemics and other disruptive events cost advanced and emerging nations around USD 1.5 trillion in damages and economic losses over the last decade, more than double what they cost over the previous 10 years.


Without action, these costs could rise further as climate change, higher concentrations of people and assets in risk-prone areas and closer economic links between countries mean the impact of such events spreads more quickly across borders and business sectors.


"Major disruptive events are happening more frequently and our ever-denser cities and interconnected economies mean the costs are getting higher all the time," said Rolf Alter, Director of Public Governance and Territorial Development at the OECD, launching the report at the OECD Forum in Paris. "Smarter risk management to improve our resilience to shocks is the only way to lessen the impact on societies and economies."


Economic losses due to disasters in OECD and BRIC countries, 1980-2012


>> Download the underlying data in Excel


The report identifies weaknesses that risk driving up future losses. These include lapses in maintenance of protective infrastructure, a failure of regulatory reform to keep pace with new risk patterns, deficiencies at some private-sector providers of key infrastructure like energy and insufficient investment by individuals to protect assets. It finds that one country's failure to properly manage a major risk can have a serious impact on others.


Governments should take action to raise public awareness and reduce over-reliance on the state for covering the cost of disasters, the report says. It suggests making better use of financial incentives to encourage businesses and people to protect against risks, and more national and international coordination and data sharing as a way to lessen disaster costs.


OECD ministers will discuss the report during the Organisation's annual Ministerial Meeting on 6-7 May in Paris with a view to formally recommending their governments act on it.


On top of the tragic loss of life from recent disasters, earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand in 2010 and 2011 cost 10% and 20% of annual GDP respectively. Japan's 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster contributed heavily to a 0.7% economic contraction that year and reverberated around the world economy by disrupting industrial supply chains.



This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.










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