Bangkok Governor appointed UN Champion for Disaster Resilience on the International Day for Disaster Reduction

Mom Rajawongse Sukhumbhand Paribatra, the Governor of Bangkok, was appointed today Champion for the UNISDR World Disaster Campaign, Making Cities Resilient: My City Is Getting Ready! The appointment of Mom Rajawongse.Paribatra recognizes the work that has been accomplished in Bangkok by all the governors over the past 25 year to reduce flood risk. The awarding ceremony took place at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok during the official campaign launch in Thailand.

UNISDR launched the worldwide campaign Making Cities Resilient in May 2010, mobilising local government leaders and citizens to join efforts to achieve Ten Essential actions to reduce disaster risks. These include investing more in disaster risk reduction, preparing and sharing risk assessments, ensuring early warning systems are in place, and protecting ecosystems to reduce floods, cyclones and storm surge impacts.

Governor Mom Rajawongse Sukhumbhand Paribatra is the second Champion appointed for the Making Cities Resilient campaign, following the appointment of Joey Sarte Salceda, Governor of Albay Province in the Philippines, earlier this year.

More than 120 cities have already joined the UNISDR World Disaster Reduction Campaign and are committed to complying with one or more of the Ten Essentials. Among them are Mexico City (Mexico), Durban (South Africa), Bogota (Colombia), Port-au-Prince (Haiti), Amman, (Jordan), Albay (the Philippines), Cairns (Australia), Chennai City (India), Kathmandu (Nepal), Saint Louis (Senegal), Bonn ( Germany), Karlstad (Sweden) and Nis (Serbia).

To mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction, a national programme of the ‘Making Cities Resilient’ campaign in Thailand was launched in partnership with the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, UNESCAP and UN-HABITAT. A number of cities in Thailand have join the worldwide campaign today, including Tumbon Toong Yang, Tumbon Mae Poon, Muang Chiang Rai, Huysatyai, Muang Had Yai, Muang Udonthani, Muang Samutprakarn. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and Patong Municipality were nominated as Role Model cities.

“We are very encouraged by the commitment shown by local governments in Thailand. As cities are growing fast, more people are exposed to increasing disaster risks,” said Margareta Wahlström, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction. “Local governments are key players in building the resilience of communities and are essential partners to protect citizens and economic assets from disasters.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—the intergovernmental body that assesses the risks of climate change—has placed Bangkok among 13 of the world’s 20 major cities at risk of sea-level rise.

The Fourth Asian Ministerial Conference to be held in Incheon, Korea from 25-28 October 2010 will be the next event to engage more local governments in building safer cities and protecting citizens against climate change impacts.
The Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will take place in 2015 The Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will take place in 2015.
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