By Dizery Salim
Bonn - he Mayor of Bonn, Jürgen Nimptsch, who helped launch the "Making Cities Resilient" campaign two years ago is now urging mayors around the world to get involved in the UNISDR-led consultations taking place on a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.
The proposed new agreement would replace the international blueprint, the "Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters," which has guided worldwide efforts to reduce disaster losses since it was introduced shortly after the 2004 Asian tsunami.
In a Mayors' Statement agreed at this week's 2012 Resilient Cities Congress, Mayor Nimptsch said: "By mid-century, roughly three-quarters of the world's population will be concentrated in cities. Urbanization in locations where existing infrastructure are least able to cope with the impacts of disasters is a particular concern.
"The mayors represented by ICLEI - Local Government for Sustainability, UCLG and Earthquake Megacities Initiative endorse the initiative of UNISDR on the threshold of Rio+20," said the Mayor.
The Statement calls on city mayors and other local government leaders to mobilize local, national and international support to strengthen local government leadership and capacity to protect the assets of cities -- human and economic -- through national and international frameworks and legal instruments.
Margareta Wahlström, UNISDR chief and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on disaster risk reduction, is attending the Congress and meeting city-level leaders and government administrators to hear their views on a possible "post-Hyogo" framework.
Mayor Nimptsch said Bonn, the host city for the Congress and a role model member of the "Making Cities Resilient" campaign, saw its role as a "platform for important dialogues on future-oriented issues" and "a role model in the field of development cooperation on the local level," citing as an example work with the city of La Paz, Bolivia, on an early warning project.
"Our efforts have brought together administration, government leaders and experts in an open process since 2009. Many cities have already taken action -- and many more will need to act in the near future," he said.
Mr. Nimptsch delivered the Mayors Statement at the launch of "How to Make Cities More Resilient -- A Handbook for Local Government", a product of the learning to date from the "Making Cities Resilient" Campaign launched in Bonn two years ago. The campaign now has over 1,000 members including hamlets in the Austrian alps and mega-cities across the globe such as Mexico, Mumbai, Delhi and Jakarta.
As part of the campaign, UNISDR produced the how-to guide and accompanying tools to help civil authorities move beyond advocacy and deliver concrete, sustainable disaster risk reduction plans and so further support national efforts to implement the Hyogo Framework for Action.
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