Asia-Pacific is on the front-line of combatting the impact of climate change, ongoing vulnerability, rapid urbanisation and the other factors responsible for growing disaster risk in this region and globally.
The Asia-Pacific region, home to 60% of the world's population. A main driver of risk is rapid urbanization in many Asian nations, with the pace of development often overtaking proper infrastructure planning.
The Asia-Pacific region contains the highest concentration of megacities in the world. Of the world’s 35 megacities in 2017, 21 were located in Asia-Pacific, and this number is expected to grow even more by 2030.
Asia and the Pacific have a number of countries along the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates create around 90 per cent of the world’s earthquakes.
In 2018, almost half of the 281 disaster events worldwide occurred in Asia and the Pacific and the region witnessed eight of the ten deadliest disasters. The most devastating were earthquakes and tsunamis.
Since 1970, disasters in Asia and the Pacific have killed two million people — 59 per cent of the global death toll. Principal causes of disaster deaths were earthquakes and storms, followed by floods.
Although fewer people have been dying from disasters in Asia and the Pacific, there has been an increase in the number of people affected. Between 1970 and 2018, the Asia-Pacific region, with 60 per cent of the global population, had 87 per cent of the people affected by disasters.
Between 1970 and 2018, the region lost $1.5 trillion due to disasters. As a percentage of the GDP, disasters cause more economic damage in Asia and the Pacific than in the rest of the world, and this gap has been widening.
As urban development is progressing rapidly, it is important to focus on integration of disaster risk resilience into urban planning, and I am confident that the Making Cities Resilient campaign will help major Mongolian cities learn from the best international practice along with sharing our experience in Mongolia.
—Mr. S. Batbold, Mayor, City of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Bangladesh is a highly disaster-prone country and building disaster resilience at the local level lies with devolving responsibility from central government. Local administrations must be empowered and given responsibility for managing disaster risk reduction.
—Mr. Mostafa Quaium Khan, Adviser, Bangladesh Urban Forum
MCR Campaign participants from 2010 to 2020 worked tirelessly to reduce disaster risk in their cities, sharing knowledge. Thousands of participating cities and supporters collaborated over a series of planning sessions, conferences, meetings, and seminars to better protect their villages, towns, and cities.