Excellencies and distinguished delegates,
As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, our region is still challenged with multiple overlapping crises – which often cascade, one triggering the other. The report estimates that annual economic losses arising from such cascading risks could almost double under the worst case climate change scenario and in an increasingly risky world, all these hazards need to be considered not just as individual threats, but also in relation to the larger systems that they are likely to disrupt.
With the help of advanced technologies, policy makers must be prepared to consider more complex and varied future scenarios. Under such scenarios, the principles of political commitment and collaboration are key drivers for managing disaster risks in a more coherent and systematic way at regional and subregional levels. I sincerely hope that the report will contribute to a deeper understanding of what has been achieved so far and open up possibilities for building disaster, climate and health resilience to better protect people and planet, now and in the future. I hereby launch the 2021 edition of the Asia-Pacific Disaster Report.
Thank you very much.