By Humberto Jaime
Lima - Peru launched a recruitment drive this week for UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient campaign and 14 municipalities signed up yesterday in Lima to deliver on the campaign's "Ten Essentials."
Peru was hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in January and has lost thousands of its citizens in three major earthquakes dating back to 1946. Millions of its citizens have also been affected by drought, floods and tropical storms.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign yesterday, Educardo Cahuaricra, manager of the Association of Municipalities of Peru (AMPE), said: "We must strengthen urban planning systems so that people do not settle in high risk areas. AMPE fully supports the Making Cities Resilient campaign; and will assist in its implementation in the municipalities of Peru."
Ricardo Mena, Head of the UNISDR Office for the Americas, said: "This campaign is part of a global initiative to re-think development and assure its sustainability. It is hoped that at the forthcoming UN Conference on Development, Rio+20, states will discuss the necessity of including disaster risk as a priority in development strategies."
UNISDR launched the World Disaster Reduction campaign Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready! in May 2010 and it now has 1,040 members in over 80 countries.
The campaign mainly targets local governments, mayors and other partners which commit to the "Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient". This is a condensed version of the Hyogo Framework for Action (the international blueprint for disaster risk reduction), adapted for local governments.
The Ten Essentials include steps such as participatory organization, assigning a budget for risk reduction incentives, maintaining critical infrastructure such as flood drainage, schools and hospitals, improving urban planning, infrastructure and building safety; installing early warning systems; conducting public preparedness drills; and taking measures to adapt to the increasing impact of climate change.
A Local Government Self-Assessment Tool was also field-tested over a four-month period during 2011 in 23 cities in 16 countries and a Handbook for Local Government Leaders has also been launched and will soon be available in Spanish and other languages.
A Cooperation Agreement on the strengthening of urban resilience between UNISDR and AMPE was also signed by Melva Gonzalez, head of CENEPRED (Centro Nacional de Estimación, Prevención y Reduccion del Riesgo de Desastres) and Edgar Ortega, the deputy head of INDECI (Instituto Nacional de Defensa Civil) and the mayors and representatives of the municipalities who have signed up to the campaign.
The new campaign members are the following: Municipio provincial y municipio distrital de Daniel Alcides Carrión, Tomas Espinoza Morale; municipio provincial de Anta Eulogio Uscamaita Chacón; municipio provincial de Cañete, Maria Magdalena Montoya Conde; municipio provincial de Carhuaz, José Mauricio Mejía Solórzano; municipio distrital de Yanahuara, Elvis David Delgado Bacigalupo; municipio distrital de Gregorio Albarracín, Santiago Florentino Cori Velásquez; municipio provincial de Cusco, Luis Arturo Flórez García; municipio provincial de Huaylas, Fidel Broncano Vasquez; municipio distrital de Cochabamba (Chota, Cajamarca), Domingo Silva Samame; municipio distrital de Ate Vitarte, Adriel Quilcama Torres; municipio distrital de Barranca, Eladio Gutiérrez Escalante; municipio distrital de Chiclayo, José Trillo; municipio distrital de Independencia (Huaraz, Ancash), Ángel Quiroz; and municipio distrital de Daniel Alcides Carrión, Tomas Espinoza Morales.
The meeting was a collaboration between UNISDR, the city of Lima, AMPE, the NGO Soluciones Prácticas with the support of DIPECHO. The two day meeting ends today with a round table discussion on disaster risk reduction.