Palestine: 'Is your city prepared?'
Director of the Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Center (Palestine) participates in international meeting for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction in Geneva
Dr. Jalal Dabbeek, Director of the Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Center at An-Najah University and the Vice President of the National Agency for Disaster Risk Mitigation in Palestine, participated in the international meeting for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) which was held in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting aimed to evaluate the international campaign “Making Cities Resilient”.
A large number of experts from Palestine, Lebanon, Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Philippine, India, China, Ecuador, Spain and Sweden participated in the event, in addition to representatives of the UNISDR’s offices in the world’s five continents.
In the meeting, the participants reviewed the outcomes of the International Campaign that was conducted between 2010-2011 in addition to the standards and rules that the municipalities and local governance institutions in the different countries must adopt in order to reduce disasters’ risks. The participants also discussed the possible ways that would help encourage the different municipalities to abide by the international standards related to planning safe cities according to the Urban Planning concept (Cities), disaster reduction and sustainable development.
A number of reports by the participating countries and committees were presented during the meeting which showed the international accomplishments and failed attempts with respect to disaster risk reduction. An initial program for the work plan for the years 2011-2015 was set according to the Hyogo Framework for Action, building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters, which is adopted by UN General Assembly (2005-2015). Later on, bases for the International Strategy for the year 2015-2025 will be set which would help set control mechanisms to monitor the level of commitment of the local government institutions and municipalities to the international standards related to disaster risk reduction.
Dr. Dabbeek presented a description of the scope of activities that were implemented in Palestine with respect to disaster risk reduction over the last ten years which included the latest decision by the government in Palestine to adopt the seismic design and implementation of buildings in the country. This plan will be followed-up and monitored by the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, the Engineering Association, as well as the Seismic Engineering Unit at the Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Center at An-Najah.
Based on this work plan, the Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Center will start soon to prepare for a Palestinian national forum that would bring together the Palestinian municipalities and the Ministry of Local Government, in addition to a number of local institutions including the civil defense, the Red Crescent, the National Agency for Disaster Risk Mitigation and the Engineering Association in coordination with the UNISDR.
At the end of this forum, 10-20 Palestinian municipalities will be included in the international program “Is Your City Prepared?”
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