APEC Creates Policy To Prepare For Natural Disasters

By Jobana Soto

The Asian Pacific region is known for its run-ins with natural disasters – earthquakes, tsunamis, El Niño — and it can cause millions in losses, not to mention thousands of fatalities. But while it’s unlikely to prevent natural disasters, the next best thing could be preparing for such uncertainties.

In the past year we’ve seen an 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit Ica, leaving $450 million damages, and China’s May 2008 earthquake leaving 70,000 fatalities and reconstruction costs in the billions.

“Not only can the cost and magnitude of relief and recovery efforts be beyond the means of many APEC economies, but the destructive impact on business is likely to disrupt regional trade,” says Quinton Devlin, Co-chair of APEC Task Force for Emergency Preparedness.

Next week APEC-Task Force for Emergency Preparedness (TFEP) will hold their CEO Seminar in Lima on August 12-14 to discuss the creation of the Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Preparedness and Response for the Asian Pacific Region that will be supported by all APEC economies. The CEO Seminar also plans to discuss strengthening the readiness of emergency responders and improving technology of emergency practitioners.

If the revisions are passed next week, Peru stands to benefit tremendously as they will have the support and help from the APEC countries.