Canada’s adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction represents an important opportunity to manage flood risk, which is the most common and costly hazard facing Canadians. Fragmentation in the distribution of responsibility to manage disaster risk, limited stakeholder engagement and public awareness, and recovery financing that fails to encourage investment in risk mitigation are significant governance barriers that Canada must overcome to fully adopt the Sendai Framework. To overcome these barriers, the federal government should develop a national disaster risk strategy that standardizes risk assessment, coordinates and shares responsibility for risk management between governments and stakeholders, increases investment in risk mitigation at the local level, and encourages consumer demand for insurance in high-risk areas.
Jason Thistlethwaite is a CIGI fellow, as well as assistant professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on the implications of the new environmental and climate change risks disclosure regime on the financial sector, and on recommendations to help align policy and industry’s resources toward an effective approach to mitigate climate change.