Pacific Disaster Center Fostering Disaster Resilient Communities  

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation


Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Uses Hazard Mapping and Risk & Vulnerability Assessment

The Asia-Pacific region is especially vulnerable to natural disasters, and experts say the frequency of disaster events in the region is likely to increase due to growing urban populations, climate change, and unsustainable land use practices. Hazard mapping and risk and vulnerability assessments can help officials understand exposure and lead to risk-reduction measures that promote better planning and mitigation.

In 2010, more than 50 international attendees representing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies participated in a Workshop on Hazard Mapping and Risk and Vulnerability Assessment, which was co-organized by PDC and funded through USAID and APEC. Attendees were introduced to key concepts of hazard mapping and were then guided through applied activities such as creating hazard profiles, evaluating risk and potential impacts, developing risk-related messages for specific audiences, and analyzing data using GIS technology. The workshop helped increase the capacity of APEC economies to assess risk and prioritize mitigation efforts to reduce loss of life and damage to infrastructure.

On February 27, 2010, a magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck Chile, an APEC member economy. Experts believe the risk of another earthquake there remains high.