of change, within development interventions. This proactive approach can be summarized as reducing risks for people and by people. The implications of such a paradigm shift are paramount for the countries of the Western
Balkans, prone as they are to natural and human-made hazards and given their willingness to build on the human potential within their societies. It would help countries safeguard existing and future investment, protect
lives and livelihoods and empower people so that they are able to contribute to risk reduction.