The Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities has been awarded a certificate of distinction from the United Nations, it has been announced.
One of three finalists for the prestigious Sasakawa Awards for Risk Reduction handed out by the UN, the Australian entry was the first private sector organisation to gain the certificate of distinction in the 29 year history of the awards.
The Roundtable faced competition from 88 other nominees from 44 countries and was pipped to the award by Allan Levell, a disaster risk modeller who has worked in the industry for 40 years.
Bringing together the CEOs of six leading Australian companies
, including IAG
and Munich Re, the Roundtable was set-up in 2012 to support a co-ordinated and national approach to making communities more resilient in the face of disaster.
CEO Mike Wilkins, speaking on behalf of the Roundtable, noted the work that the organisation had done since its inception and believes the UN recognition is deserved.
“We are delighted to be recognised by the Sasakawa Award judging panel which highlights the role that strategic partnerships can play in elevating prevention and resilience in tackling the impact of natural disasters,” Wilkins said.
“The importance of investing in pre disaster mitigation and the savings to the economy and local communities has been a key focus of the Australian Business Roundtable.
“Since its inception, the Roundtable has urged the Australian Government
to commit to long-term annual funding for pre-disaster resilience and prioritising pre-disaster investment activities.
“We’ve demonstrated that targeted resilience investments of $250 million per annum have the potential to generate budget savings of $12.2 billion and reduce natural disaster costs by more than 50% by 2050,” Wilkins continued.
Another member of the Roundtable, Australian Red Cross CEO Robert Ticknier, commented that the Roundtables work brought government attention to the plight of disaster vulnerable communities.
“The Roundtable’s published White Paper ‘Building Our Nation’s Resilience to Natural Disasters’
was one of the key drivers for a 2014 Productivity Commission review of natural disaster funding arrangements.
“Importantly, the draft Productivity Commission report found there should be more significant investment in mitigating disasters. We look forward to receiving the final report and the subsequent Australian Government
response which is expected to be released by the end of May.”