UN Report: Humanity Must Change The Way it Assesses and Responds to Risk, Else We Face a ‘Spiral of Self Destruction’

UN Report: Humanity Must Change The Way it Assesses and Responds to Risk, Else We Face a ‘Spiral of Self Destruction’ 1

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

The world faces numerous impressing disasters,  and what has the collective response been to such risks?


Not much i’m afraid.

Yesterday, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) issued a stark report, which is embedded below:

Despite commitments to build resilience, tackle climate change and create sustainable development pathways, current societal, political and economic choices are doing the reverse. This jeopardizes not only achievement of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, but also hinders progress towards the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To change course, new approaches are needed. This will require transformations in what governance systems value and how systemic risk is understood and addressed. Doing more of the same will not be enough.

Risk creation is outstripping risk reduction. Disasters, economic loss and the underlying vulnerabilities that drive risk, such as poverty and inequality, are increasing just as ecosystems and biospheres are at risk of collapse. Global systems are becoming more connected and therefore more vulnerable in an uncertain risk landscape. Local risks, like a new virus in Wuhan, China, can become global; global risks like climate change are having major impacts in every locality. Indirect, cascading impacts can be significant.

Without increased action to build resilience to systemic risk, the SDGs cannot be achieved.

Investment in understanding risk is the foundation for sustainable development. However, this needs to link to a reworking of financial and governance systems to account for the real costs of current inaction to address risks like climate change. Without this, financial balance sheets and governance decision-making will remain fragmented and be rendered increasingly inaccurate and ineffective.

Alongside the dark and depressing report, UNDRR also went out a half-hopeful tweet:

Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022_0


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