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Weir-Jones to take active role with UN disaster reduction working group

VANCOUVER, B.C. <April 4, 2013> – As the newest member of a United Nations disaster risk reduction organization, the Weir-Jones Group has pledged to develop public-private partnerships and support the development and strengthening of national and local laws, regulations, policies and programs that will help reduce the risk of disasters.

In late March, Weir-Jones, a specialist in systems that provide early warnings of earthquakes, landslides, pipeline leaks and other potentially disastrous events, became the first company in Canada to join the Geneva-based Disaster Risk Reduction Private Sector Partnership (DRR-PSP), an initiative of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

Weir-Jones in the next 12 months will undertake the following actions to promote and establish DRR values and strategies globally and within British Columbia and Canada:

  • build public-private partnerships for DRR to analyze the root causes of continued non-resilient activity, such as in the urban built environment and related infrastructure.
  • share information on assessment, monitoring, prediction, forecasting and early warning purposes and actions between the public and private sectors, including through cooperation with UNISDR, ISDR system partners and other international, regional and national actors. The company will share its knowledge with UNISDR and provide technical consultation services for the UN if required.
  • support national and local risk assessments and socio-economic cost-benefit analyses and capacity-building, and demonstrate opportunities where resilience building and disaster risk reduction is a sound economic strategy. Weir-Jones will promote UNISDR events, publications and plans on its website;
  • support the development and strengthening of national and local laws, regulations, policies and programs that enhance disaster risk reduction and improve resilience by sharing its scientific publications, results and information with UNISDR.

Weir-Jones joins 36 other companies in the partnership. The group was created to increase private sector involvement in disaster risk reduction by mobilizing resources and expertise to protect communities, environments and businesses.

The UN General Assembly adopted the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction in December 1999 and established UNISDR, the secretariat to ensure its implementation. UNISDR is the UN's focal point for the coordination of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the harmonization of stakeholder activities.

The strategy brings governments, organizations, universities, institutions, corporations and individuals together to reduce economic losses as well as loss of lives to events such as earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones

"The mission of The Weir-Jones Group is to provide innovative and sustainable engineering solutions that reduce the impact of disasters and maintain a green and safe ecosystem in Canada and around the world,’’ says company founder and President Iain Weir-Jones. “Our monitoring systems are beneficial for communities, businesses and individuals, which makes our mission consistent with UNISDR's objectives. We are excited to be part of the Disaster Risk Reduction Private Sector Partnership Working Group.”

As a DRR-PSP working group member – along with companies such as Glaxo Smith Kline, AECOM, Marsh and Titan America – Weir-Jones will have access to valuable disaster risk reduction resources within the UN system.

“Our extensive experience in providing specialized engineering solutions to enhance public safety will bring added value to the table,” says Alireza Taale, Business Development Manager for Weir-Jones. “At the same time, having access to vast amounts of international expertise available through DRR-PSP will enable us to serve our existing and future clients more efficiently.”