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New 2017 Paper
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Very few studies have been conducted into the relative benefits of natural disaster resilience measures at an aggregate level. Primarily, the available evidence assesses the costs and benefits of individual resilience projects.
This means the White Paper commissioned by the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities will fill an important information void both in Australia and internationally.
A sample of international findings
The following international studies demonstrate that each dollar spent on hazard mitigation provides a higher dollar future benefit for the country under review.
- Benefit-Cost Analysis of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grants (Rose et al., (2007)) and Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: An Independent Study to Assess the Future Savings from Mitigation Activities (Multi-hazard Mitigation Council 2005). These reports demonstrate that FEMA's hazard mitigation activities for earthquake, flood and wind hazards deliver a benefit cost ratio of 4:1. That is, each dollar spent on hazard mitigation by FEMA provides around $4 of future benefits for the United States.
- UK Environment Agency 2009, ‘Investing for the future’. This report assesses the costs and benefits of different levels of investment in managing coastal, tidal and river flooding and coastal erosion in the United Kingdom. It shows the benefit cost ratio from different investment scenarios ranges from 4 to 11, with the net benefit to society, based on 100 year costs and benefits, ranging from around £140 billion to more than £180 billion.
- UNDP Maldives and Government of Maldives, ‘Cost Benefit Study of Disaster Risk Mitigation Measures in Three Islands in the Maldives’, 2009. This report provides a cost benefit analysis of implementing risk management measures to improve the safety of three islands in the Maldives. Results varied from a benefit cost ratio of 0.39 to 1.40 for Thinadhoo Island; 0.28 to 1.0 for Viligili Island; and 0.50 to 1.95 for Vilufushi Island.
- Cost-benefit Analysis of Natural Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries, Mechler, R 2005. This report reviewed evidence of preventative disaster management measures that reduce or avoid impacts of natural disasters in developing countries.