Sharing NZ expertise to reduce disaster risk

  • Gerry Brownlee
Earthquake Commission Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister and Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Gerry Brownlee is leading the New Zealand delegation to the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, from March 14-18.

“New Zealand’s expertise in reducing disaster risk is internationally recognised,” Mr Brownlee says.

“This conference will advance global thinking on how countries can reduce the risks of disasters through innovative and best practice initiatives.

“It is an opportunity to showcase our expertise, technology, and innovative approach with a global audience.”

The conference is organised by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and hosted by the Government of Japan.  Over 6000 delegates are expected to attend.

At the conference over 190 countries will negotiate a new Framework for Action on Disaster Risk Reduction.

“This new global framework will represent a collective commitment from countries to invest in initiatives that will reduce risks and create safer communities for people at risk of natural disasters,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Given New Zealand and our Pacific neighbours’ own vulnerability to natural disasters, this is an area of great importance to us.”

Mr Brownlee will deliver the official New Zealand Statement at the conference.  He has also been invited to be a keynote speaker at a high-level ministerial roundtable on the topic of Reconstruction After Disasters.

In addition, he will participate in a televised panel focusing on the role of the private sector in reducing risks that will be broadcast globally and will be a speaker at a session on ‘risk transfer and insurance’ highlighting New Zealand’s unique Earthquake Commission model.  Mr Brownlee will also attend a number of high-level bilateral meetings and events.

The official New Zealand delegation includes New Zealand’s Special Envoy for Disaster Risk Management, the Director of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, the Chair of the Earthquake Commission, the Mayor of Christchurch, the Deputy Mayor of Wellington, and a deputy chief executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

For more information on the conference visit