(r. to l.) Pristina Mayor Mr Shpend Ahmeti at the signing ceremony with Mr Demetrio Innocenti, UNISDR Programme Officer. (Photo: Burbuqe Dobranja/UNDP)
By Biljana Markova
BRUSSELS, 7 May 2014 – The flood-prone capital, Pristina, joined the Making Cities Resilient Campaign today, making it the first city in Kosovo to do so.
Floods are a recurring problem in Pristina. The UNISDR Campaign will help bring about a higher level of awareness that there is a compelling need for investment in disaster prevention, rather than focusing on response and allocating resources to cover the damages and economic losses after a disaster strikes.
“It is important for Pristina to be part of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign. We need to act before a disaster happens and consider resources spent in disaster risk reduction as a wise investment for our future generations rather than a cost”, said Pristina Mayor Mr. Shpend Ahmeti.
The UN Development Coordinator in Kosovo, Mr. Andrew Russel, stated: "Pristina should serve as a model to encourage other cities in Kosovo to join the Making Cities Resilient Campaign. This will help to raise public awareness on the importance of the disaster risk reduction and climate change agenda all over the region".
Co-organized by the Pristina Municipality, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNISDR, the event brought together over 50 representatives from local authorities, specialized centres, non-governmental organizations and international organizations involved in disaster risk reduction and celebrated Pristina’s achievements in increasing citizen awareness on the importance of disaster resilience.
Based on the global agreement on disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient Campaign was launched in 2010. Its aim is to create a global network of cities of different sizes, characteristics, risk profiles and locations, promote media and public awareness activities, and facilitate access to existing knowledge, tools and experience.
By signing up to the Campaign, cities commit to adhere to the so-called “10 Essentials” – the guiding principles of the Campaign. Furthermore, local governments are requested to undertake a self-assessment exercise via the Local Government Self-Assessment Tool (LGSAT), which was developed by UNISDR in 2011 following a pilot study with 23 cities in 16 countries.
More recently, UNISDR also added the City Disaster Resilience Scorecard for use by members of the Campaign to check their progress in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation plans and identify gaps in their resilience. The scorecard was developed by IBM and AECOM and is available online, free to all.
The event in Pristina was supported by the project “Building Resilience to Disasters in Western Balkans and Turkey” co-financed by the European Commission through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance and co-implemented by UNISDR together with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).