Conference will aim to stimulate a constructive debate on priority areas of common concern in disaster risk reduction, particularly with respect to their implications at the local level.
The conference will be mainly targeted at local government representatives, but will also see the active participation and contribution of national governments, United Nations organizations, as well as NGOs and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
Since the adoption of the Hyogo Framework for Action in 2005 , greater awareness of the importance of reducing disaster risk has emerged among different stakeholders. There have also been substantial changes in thinking on climate change, which increased receptivity to the disaster risk reduction message, particularly at the global level. Despite these positive trends, the gap between what needs to be done as outlined in the Hyogo Framework for Action and the reality at the community level, is way too large.
A broad consensus has been reached today among different stakeholders on the essential role local governments can play to bridge the above gap. It is in fact at the local level that development planning is expected to first take place, and the integration between DRR and development is supposed to be realized. Emphasis on disaster risk reduction at the local level is also becoming stronger as cities of all sizes are subjected to rapid population growth, environmental degradation and overall increased conditions of vulnerability. However, while cities and urban areas currently attract more attention in reason of their high concentration of risk, local and regional authorities have an equally important role to play in medium and small-scale cities, towns, and local rural areas.