AXA is part of ARISE, the private sector initiative of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). This initiative came out from a finding: recent years have seen a significant increase in disasters, and economic losses from disaster are now running at close to $300 billion a year. Urbanization is adding to this risk – by concentrating populations and economic activities.
To tackle this issue, businesses are part of the solution. The public and private sectors must find ways of working, and acting, together. Thus, ARISE calls for rules and regulations that support investment and innovation over the long-term. Regulations, in other words, that will reduce losses from future disasters and help protect people and property:
- A building code, for example, that upholds minimum standards for new buildings or repairs to existing ones ;
- Financial rules that incentivize long-term investment in resilient infrastructure ;
- Laws on urban planning and land use that ensure disaster risk is taken into account when decisions are made.
For more information on ARISE Manifesto, click here.
AXA is already working on ways of strengthening building codes and regulations in areas vulnerable to natural catastrophes. The Group has just signed a two-year partnership with UN Habitat, to improve building practices that will help save lives and reduce the economic cost of natural disasters.
During two years (renewable), AXA will be funding case studies and field work in four countries – all of which have been affected recently by major natural disasters: Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan and Haiti. Findings from this work will be used to draft guidelines and a tool for use around the world by governments, civil society and the private sector. The partnership aims to strengthen building codes and their implementation in countries vulnerable to natural disasters, to improve minimum standards and to encourage countries to ‘build back better’, and to reduce fatalities and limit economic losses as a result of disasters.