With RESILIENT/CITY attending the United Nation’s 5th Regional Platform in Montréal, one of the salient topics concerns the question of private sector support to enhancing resilience and DRR. A panel discussion with key private sector actors highlighted a new set of inputs.
Private sector engagement underscores the emerging need of governments and municipalities. Investments in urban zones is shared between the public and private sectors, so there is a vested interest. The UN’s ARISE program seeks to address this shared interest by bringing together more private sector entities.
The critical issues of urbanization and economic losses, plus the increasing frequency and intensity of weather events, means that greater cooperation is necessary. Companies like AECOM and IBM developed a resilience scorecard, in an attempt to quantify loss. UNISDR’s tool, the Ten Essentials, served as an inspiration for the AECOM/IBM project with the City of San Francisco. Now, this scorecard is used by over 90 global cities. This serves as a precursor for resilience and enhances recovery.
SMEs are also becoming more active participants. The City of New Orleans hosted a project with support from the Walmart Foundation and PWC to understand municipal resilience plans and its relationship to small businesses. The results of this project point to continued high levels of vulnerability coupled with low levels of preparedness. Hence, raising awareness for DRR and the private sector remains a crucial avenue for making businesses more resilient.