Liu Baochun (left), Director General, Guangzhou Municipal People’s Government, and Margareta Wahlström, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.
By Denis McClean
NAPLES, 5 September 2012
- One of China's fastest growing cities, Guangzhou, announced yesterday at the World Urban Forum that it is joining UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient Campaign and also invited applications for the new Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation.
Liu Baochun, Director General, Guangzhou Municipal People's Government, described how the city of over 16 million people has become a modern metropolis and a major hub for southern China over the last 30 years while at the same time introducing strong measures for disaster management.
Guangzhou has established a comprehensive emergency management system with 24 special command units focused on industrial safety, earthquake prevention, geological hazards, public health threats and other hazards.
More recently the city has established a pool of disaster and emergency management experts, a disaster and emergency control platform and emergency information system.
Every year the city organizes nearly 400 campaigns advocating industrial safety, disease prevention and emergency management.
Speaking at a UNISDR side-event, he also introduced the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation comprising five prizes worth Euros 20,000 each, co-hosted by the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the World Association of Major Metropolises and UNISDR.
Mr. Baochun said: "Organized biennially, the award aims at rewarding successful innovative practices by cities and providing a platform for sharing experience and knowledge."
The awards will be announced during the Guangzhou International Urban Innovation Conference to be held from 15-17 November. The submission deadline is September 30.
"We sincerely invited cities and local governments to participate with your initiatives, such as in emergency management and disaster management," he said.