Panama, Panama - With the addition of Aguas da Prata, Brazil, two thousand cities worldwide are now enrolled in the Global Campaign “Making Cities Resilient: My City is getting Ready!" promoted by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). About 25% of the cities are located in the Americas, and approximately 11% (226) of all cities are situated in Brazil.
Aguas da Prata, São Paulo, has approximately 142 square kilometres and 7,500 inhabitants and may be described as a “typical example” of a small community in Brazil where periodic flooding and occasional landslides pose a risk to its inhabitants and development. It should be noted that since 2014, the state of São Paulo has promoted the Making Cities Resilient campaign as part of its strategy for sustainable development. Through a programme called “Municipio Verde Azul” (Green Blue Municipality) the state of São Paulo provides financial support, equipment and other benefits to municipalities interested in disaster risk reduction issues and who are enrolled in the Campaign.
Aguas da Prata is located in the administrative region of Campinas, which has led the main efforts to promote the campaign in Brazil. The name of the city means "waters that hang" in the Tupi-Guarani "Pay tâ" language, referring to the hanging formation of stalactites resulting from the high mineral content of the town’s water.
Ricardo Mena, Head of the Regional Office for the Americas of the UNISDR, expressed his appreciation for the actors who have contributed to the success of the Global Campaign in Brazil, "This growth is due to all sectors, and particularly to the increased prioritization by local governments of disaster risk reduction and resilience building issues, and, aside from that, to the coordination of the Centre of Excellence for Disaster Risk Reduction (CEDRR) based in Rio de Janeiro, as well as to the efforts of the Civil Defence team of Campinas, led by its Director Sidnei Furtado, who is also the Promoter of the World Campaign.”
In addition, Sidnei Furtado said: "The Global Campaign Making Cities Resilient is a great opportunity to change paradigms and contribute to the reorganization of the National System of Protection and Civil Defense. It allows for greater scope and national coordination and strengthens prevention as key to strategic planning in disaster risk reduction".
Furtado acknowledged the work of the local government of Campinas that included the Campaign topics in its administration and mobilized a team of municipal Civil Defense to support the promotion of the Campaign. "The mayor of Campinas, Jonas Donizete and all the staff of the Civil Defense played a key role in the realization of this work, everyone has played a part to accomplish the final result" he added.
It is worth noting that, only six weeks ago, Itaoca, São Paulo (182 km2 and 3,200 inhabitants), was the 200th city to join the Campaign in Brazil. Since then, 26 other cities have joined, representing an average of one new city registered every two days. This is a significant number since the registration of each city requires painstaking advocacy work for each city. Efforts start even before the local government formally commits to joining the Campaign with personal meetings with local actors and an induction of the importance of the Global Campaign.
About the Global Campaign “Making Cities Resilient”:
The Global Campaign was launched in 2010 for a period of five years until 2015, and its overall goal is to get as many local governments to take on the challenge of integrating disaster risk management in their development processes, thereby increasing resilience.
The campaign aims to raise political commitment to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation among local governments and mayors; using high profile media and public awareness activities and developing specific technical tools that respond to capacity development.
The campaign is based on 10 essentials for developing local resilience, which in turn build on the 5 priorities for action of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), adopted by UN Member States for the period 2005-2015. In addition, the campaign seeks to contribute to the creation of a global network of cities of different sizes, characteristics and risk profiles, through which to encourage the exchange of experiences.
The implementation of the Global Campaign "Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready!" is carried out through a coordinated effort with about 60 partners that have supported actions for the building of resilient cities at the local and national level.
It is expected that the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Disaster will be approved in March 2015, in Sendai, Japan, emphasizing the need to continue to work to strengthen community resilience, particularly in municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants.