UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Office in Incheon for Northeast Asia and Global Education and Training Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR ONEA-GETI)
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (UNDRR AP)
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Europe (UNDRR ROE)
By Ana Cristina Thorlund and Biljana Markova
Brussels – The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has started training programmes for local governments with a focus on developing strategies based on the priorities for action in the new Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The first training programmes within the European Union took place in the Canary Islands, Spain last week followed by Potenza, Italy, earlier this week. The three-day workshops were led led by UNISDR’s Global Education and Training Institute (GETI), based in Incheon, the Republic of Korea.
The Sendai Framework underlines the role that local governments can play in achieving the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health sought by the Sendai Framework over the next 15 years.
"I am certain that the experts present here today will directly transfer the conclusions and lessons learned from this workshop to their respective areas of work. The action plans that we developed will help in achieving the goal of building a more resilient world, Canary Islands and Lanzarote,” said Rafael Bailon, President of the Consortium of Safety and Emergencies of Lanzarote, at the closing ceremony.
President of the Province of Potenza, Nicola Valuzzi, said: “Our strong commitment is to protect our territories and communities by promoting and implmenting sustainable and resilient development policies. Our resilience implementation process is part of a comprehensive territorial strategy that sees the Province of Potenza currently fully engaged in the three main global processes: the Sendai Framework, climate change and post-2015 sustainable development agenda.”
Each ‘training of trainers’ event brought together over 40 local government and academic participants to learn about an integrated approach to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, how to assess their resilience to disasters, and how to develop strategies and action plans to address existing vulnerabilities.
Sanjaya Bhatia who heads GETI said: “We remain fully committed to supporting local governments to develop the action plans and strategies for disaster risk reduction, in compliance with the Sendai Framework. We essentially pass on the training to the local communities in order to scale-up disaster risk reduction and practical implementation on the ground and to take advantage of civil society and experts to pass on this knowledge.”
The Canary Islands are prone to a range of risks including tropical storms, floods, volcanic eruptions and fires. Their risk of economic losses due to disasters is high, as 87 percent of their economy depends on tourism. In 2014, 14 million tourists visited the Canary Islands, so planning that takes into account how to address the visitors who rarely speak Spanish and have very little awareness of local risks is critical.
Similarly, Potenza Province is affected by a multitude of risks, including drought, floods, heat and cold waves, and technical hazards, but most of all – earthquakes. Over 10,000 people died and several towns in Potenza were destroyed in the 1857 Basilicata or Great Neapolitan Earthquake.
Marcelo Sabanes, an expert in climate change and sustainability based in London, UK, and a Making Cities Resilient advocate, highlighted the importance of the Campaign: “We are delighted to work with UNISDR GETI as follow-up to the Making Cities Resilient campaign and the implementation of the Sendai Framework.”
Alessandro Attolico, Executive Director of the Territorial Planning and Civil Protection Office of the Province of Potenza and MCR Campaign advocate, said: “The capacity building workshop organized with UNISDR GETI is another important step towards community resilience.” Both the Canary Islands and Potenza Province are active participants in the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient Campaign. The Campaign focusses on “Ten Essentials” for urban risk reduction in line with the Sendai Framework’s four priorities for action including community participation and understanding of disaster risk, strengthening disaster risk governance, investment, and disaster preparedness for response and recovery.
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