The campaign asks members to sign up to ten essentials for urban disaster risk reduction. The new study includes interviews with mayors and city managers from around the world and finds that for the majority, the most important “essential” is putting in place organisation and coordination to understand and reduce risk.
UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction Margareta Wahlström while launching the report at the World Urban Forum in Naples recently said: “Economic losses to disasters have averaged at least $100 billion annually over the last 20 years. Most of this damage can be avoided through better risk management and investment in social and structural infrastructure.
“The 40-plus cities profiled in the report were able to leverage whatever resources they had including creativity of their citizens to reduce the impact of disaster events on their communities. Six months after joining the campaign, the local government of Siquirres in Costa Rica took action on flood protection and in February, the usual annual flooding was avoided. There are many cities like Siquirres, which are proving that if you manage your risks, you build your resilience to disasters and avoid unnecessary disruption in the home and the workplace.”
Author of the report Cassidy Johnson of University College, London, said: “The straightforward simplicity of the campaign’s Ten Essentials is a key strength of the campaign. These guidelines provide local leaders with a strategic framework to prioritise areas and approaches to disaster risk reduction and to chart progress.”
UNISDR Campaign Director Helena Molin-Valdes said: “The campaign provides a critical forum for local authorities to raise awareness, learn about disaster risk reduction, share ideas and identify solutions. The association with a UN-affiliated global campaign gives local authorities a sense of empowerment which usually translates into tangible actions and policies.”
Another important trend is the extent to which cities are integrating disaster risk reduction into other local government activities, including education, livelihoods, health, environment, and planning, either by incorporating risk considerations into existing activities or initiating projects that address multiple issues simultaneously.
Across all the cities analysed in the report, five types of activities occurring most frequently. These include taking disaster risk reduction into account in new urban planning regulations and establishment of councils and disaster management structures.
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