By Tricia Holly-Davis
Geneva - Makati City in the Philippines has scooped an award for an innovative city-to-city learning partnership between Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu.
The City-to-City Cooperation award was presented this week during the 25th anniversary meeting of CITYNET, the Asia-Pacific local authority network, in Surabaya, Indonesia.
Accepting the award on behalf of Makati City, senior adviser Violeta Seva, said, "We are honoured to be recognised along with Quito and Kathmandu for raising awareness for strategies to reduce disaster risks. We are now ready to share this model with cities around the world."
The aim of the City-to-City Cooperation Awards is to highlight the best examples of cooperation amongst cities and local government. To date, CITYNET has helped facilitate more than 500 exchanges amongst local governments and organizations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Makati Mayor, Jejomar Erwin S. Binay, announced earlier this month that the Makati City government has created a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, further bolstering the city's reputation as a Role Model City for UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient campaign.
Funded by the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction City-to-City Sharing Initiative, Makati, Quito, and Kathmandu participated in a series of exchanges over the past year to share best practice and experience in managing and reducing urban risk through improved land use planning and emergency management, and increased public awareness.
Kathmandu and Quito benchmarked Makati City on emergency management systems and community-based disaster management.
In turn, Quito's 'Atlas of Natural Hazards and Risks' was benchmarked by Makati and Kathmandu, while Quito and Makati learnt from Kathmandu's experience with private sector organizations in disaster risk management and public awareness campaigns.
City representatives also shared their preservation and rehabilitation strategies for the protection of cultural heritage. Under the programme, the participating cities also act as international and regional resource centers with other cities in their respective countries and regions.
The City-to-City Sharing Initiative follows the objectives of the Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient, which provides local level guidance for disaster risk reduction, including allocation of budget for disaster mitigation and making schools and hospitals safer.
The Ten Essentials were developed by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction's Making Cities Resilient Campaign. Makati, Kathmandu and Quito all are members of the Campaign.
CityNet also recognized the Republic of Korea capital,Seoul, for its active participation in city exchanges designed to enhance disaster resiliency and foster mitigation practices. Yokohama, Japan's second largest city, took home the award for "Impact", demonstrating concrete results for cities and local communities, while the host city of Surabaya received the Award for Tomorrow, recognition of its high potential for up-scaling and expansion that has inspired other stakeholders to implement resiliency projects.
CITYNET is a regional network of urban stakeholders for the Asia-Pacific region, including local governments, development authorities, NGOs, community-based organizations, research and training institutes and private companies committed to helping local governments improve the sustainability of human settlements. It helps cities and local governments provide better services to citizens, with a commitment to capacity building at the local level.