US fertilizer plant explosion highlights need for global emergency prevention and preparedness

The Waco fertilizer plant explosion in the United States highlights that prevention and preparedness for industrial accidents are needed in all nations to safeguard human lives and property, according to Green Cross International (GCI).

GCI expresses its solidarity and sympathy with the people and communities affected by the 17 April 2013 explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. plant in Waco, Texas, USA, which has caused death, injuries, destruction and pollution.

Vladimir Sakharov, director of GCI’s Environmental Emergency Programme, said: “The United States is a leading country in prevention and preparedness for various disasters. This tragic incident demonstrates, once again, that there is no such thing as ‘zero risk’, and no country is safe from devastating industrial accidents, whether caused by man or triggered by nature.”

Green Cross offers to partner with industries and insurance companies in order to improve preparedness for environmental emergencies, such as industrial and technological accidents, and advocate for the inclusion of environmental emergencies into a new edition of the Hyogo Framework for Action, which will be discussed at the Fourth Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in May 2013.

GCI, founded in 1993 by President Mikhail Gorbachev, is an independent non-profit and nongovernmental organization working to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty eradication and environmental degradation through advocacy and local projects. GCI is headquartered in Geneva and has a network of national organizations in around 30 countries.

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