On Thursday 6 March, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and the municipalities of Delft and Dordrecht officially joined the World Disaster Reduction Campaign on Making Cities Resilient.
Currently 1706 cities across the world have already signed up to participate in this effort. In the Netherlands, Dordrecht and Delft will be the first cities to take part. Elizabeth Longworth, Director of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), attended the signing ceremony in Delft.
Making cities resilient
The global campaign "Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready!" provides mayors, governors, and other local government leaders with a framework for disaster risk reduction. It points to good practices and tools and offers practical guidance to understand and take action. The role of the Institute is to help the cities with useful tools: decision support systems, strategies, ideas for financing mechanisms, but also education, research and capacity development programmes, specifically tailored to meet local needs. As one of the leading institutes in the world, there is a mandate to expand this knowledge further through the Institute's network and that of all partners.
The Campaign proposes a checklist of 'Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient' that can be implemented by mayors and local governments. These officials are at the closest level to the citizens and to their communities and play the first role in responding to crises and emergencies. They deliver essential services to their citizens (health, education, transport, water, etc.), which need to be made resilient to disasters. Achieving all, or even some of the top ten Essentials, will already help cities and local governments to get ready, reduce the risks and become resilient to disasters. UNISDR will campaign together with its partners for this to happen from now until 2015 and beyond.