Catastrophe modelling company JBA Risk Management yesterday opened its company in Singapore as its Asia Pacific hub. The Singapore office will strengthen JBA's presence in Asia Pacific, working closely with existing offices in Cambodia and Australia.
JBA Risk Management (Singapore) Managing Ddirector, Dr Iain Willis, said: “For JBA, it was an obvious step to open our new company office in Singapore. We’ve been supporting individuals and businesses alike for a long time from our UK headquarters but we didn’t feel that was enough, and perhaps more importantly, we’re well aware of the enormous need for improved flood risk management in the region.
“As we look forward in this current decade and further into the 21st century, we perceive this trend as increasing further – for lots of different reasons.
“Population increase and urban infrastructure development throughout Asia Pacific have been dramatic in the last 50 years. With new developments encroaching further onto floodplains, increasing evidence of climate change on precipitation and sea level rise, and mega city land subsidence, lots of factors are playing a pivotal role in increasing flood risk potential.”
Climate change impacts in the Mekong River Basin
In conjunction with the opening of the Asia Pacific hub, JBA Risk Management presented its study, “Climate Change Impacts in the Mekong River Basin”, which assesses the impact on the six countries which the Mekong River runs through. The Mekong River remains a key source of livelihood for approximately 37 million people living along its banks.
The study states that as a result of increased carbon dioxide emissions in a future climate; extreme and severe flood events will be a more common occurrence, effectively putting an additional 2.2 million people at risks from floods. Vietnam could be the worst hit with a potential increase of up to 1.1 million people exposed to flood, according to the study.
The catastrophe modelling company is calling for greater flood risk management from both public and private sectors.
Commenting on the study’s findings, Dr Willis said: “What this research highlights is the need for a greater flood risk management – both from the public and private sector.
“If you look at natural hazard risk in Asia Pacific, there have been more than 1,800 large flood events in the region since 1970. These events have impacted nearly 3.5 million people and for Asia Pacific, with flood dominating more any other hazard in terms of its overall scale and impact.”
JBA Risk Management is part of the UK-headquartered JBA Group, one of the world’s largest specialist flood modelling companies with over 400 staff. They specialise in providing flood map data and catastrophe models widely used by leading reinsurers and insurers across the world, and additionally by property search companies, local authorities, utility companies and the legal profession.