26 November 2021
EFDRR Virtual Platform
The resilience of critical infrastructure is both a key component of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Target D of the framework aims “Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030”), as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which calls for “sustainable industrial development; universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services; sustainable transport systems; and quality and resilient infrastructure.”
The combination of increasing demands for new and innovative infrastructure and services, on one hand, and the current reality of dangerously aging assets in Europe and Central Asia, on the other, calls for resilient and more sustainable strategies while planning and realizing projects related to infrastructure. According to a study by the EU Joint Research Centre, damage to infrastructure due to disasters and climate change in Europe currently amounts to approximately €9.3 billion annually. This is expected to soar to €19.3 billion by 2050 and €37 billion by 2080 (EU Members, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland are included in the study). The energy and transport sectors will be the most affected, with annual expected damages of €8.2 billion by 2080 for the energy sector and €0.8 billion by the end of the century for the transport sector (EU Science Hub, 2017). The Sendai Framework Monitor (SFM) reported that, in 2018 alone, 1,889 infrastructure assets in 20 countries in Europe and Central Asia were damaged or destroyed as a result of disasters, amounting to direct economic losses of over $3 billion (UNDRR SFM report, 2020).
A common set of issues challenge efforts to change these dynamics:
• No common understanding of what “resilient infrastructure” constitutes (should go beyond simply recovering and into adapting to changing conditions and transforming for “building for the future”)
• Need for common principles/ metrics/ indicators to base resilience measures and policies on.
• A lack of disaster loss data, in particular on indirect losses (in relation to the implementation of SFDRR Target D) for evidence-based decision making
• A lack of understanding on how cascading risks impact infrastructure systems (linked to the interconnected nature of infrastructure)
• A lack of risk disclosure for major infrastructure projects
• Clarity on the role that governance, the private sector, and incentives play for integrating resilience and monitoring.
On top of these challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic has painfully shown the breadth of the consequences of systematically underinvesting in resilience. With investments going towards putting new infrastructure in place and given that the bulk of funding allocated for the COVID-19 recovery will be used to support public investment and key structural reforms, it is critical that considerations of risk reduction (natural and human induced) and resilience shape how and where these resources are spent. The objective of this session will be to explore ways forward and practical solutions for addressing these challenges.
Mr. Olaf Bruns
Mr. Kamal Kishore
Member Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, India
Prof Dilanthi Amaratunga
Professor of Disaster Risk Management, University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Ms. Françoise Jacob
UN Resident Coordinator, Serbia
Mr. Peter Lauwe
Head of Division, Risk Management and Critical Infrastructure Protection, Germany
Prof. Liz Varga
Professor of Complex Systems, Head of UCL's Infrastructure Systems Institute ISI, United Kingdom