'Making cities resilient' campaign partnership meeting

Type: Meeting or Conference

Organizer(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

Date: 01-02 Nov 2011

Location: Geneva (Switzerland)

Venue: Int'l Environment House II – Salle Rhone (ground floor). Also broadcasted online.


  • Description

  • Context

    The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (launched by UN General Assembly in 2000) and the adoption by States of the “Hyogo Framework for Action 2010-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters” (HFA) has provided strong impetus to the overall goal to ‘substantially reduce disaster losses in the social, economic and environmental assets’.

    Biennial national reporting on progress, and analysis in the 2009 and 2011 Global Assessment Reports on Disaster Risk reduction, as well as the findings in the 2011 Hyogo Framework for Action Midterm Review reveal headway in institutionalising risk management - with an increasing number of public policies and legal frameworks that support this. Despite progress, however, the reports also reveal serious gaps in “whole of government approach” to disaster risk reduction and how this is translated into local and decentralized capacities and resource allocations.

    The role of local governments and the challenges of addressing urban risks in an increasingly urbanised world remain a major concern. The “Making Cities Resilient” Campaign, launched in 2010, focused on addressing these issues and filling the existing gaps. Grounded in the “Hyogo Framework for Action”, the campaign aims to get as many local governments ready as possible, to span a global network of fully engaged cities of different sizes, characteristics, risk profiles and locations. To this end, the campaign promotes media and public awareness activities, and facilitates access to existing knowledge, tools and experience that cater for capacity development opportunities.

    A Ten Point Checklist of Essentials to Make Cities Resilient, developed for the campaign, has served as the basis for the commitments towards the above objectives. Local government that sign up to the campaign are requested to undertake a self-assessment in these ten Essentials, for which an online tool has been developed by UNISDR in 2011 (and is currently being tested by 25 local governments).

    UNISDR has served as the coordinator for the campaign and more than 20 partner organizations have actively contributed to implement the strategy in the following areas:
    - Support, the campaign within the capacity of their organization, by designating a campaign focal point, circulating information to their members and linking to the campaign website.
    - Promote the objectives and principles of the campaign through 2011 in local, national, regional and global fora.
    - Share relevant experiences, best practices, tools or resources and technical information related to all aspects of urban resilience.
    - Participate in national, regional and global fora in support of the campaign.

    More than 900 local governments have signed up to the campaign since its launch. 14 Role Model Cities have emerged, offering concrete examples to be shared with other participating cities and local governments. 10 leaders have also been appointed as “Making Cities Resilient” Campaign Champions.

    A number of events, workshops, launches, and conferences have been held and sponsored by partners as part of the campaign process. An Advisory Panel has guided UNISDR throughout the first year of the campaign, and met in Bonn (May 2010), Shanghai (July 2010) and Kobe (January 2011) for this very purpose. Directions for the next phase of the campaign (2012-15) are set out in the Mayors Statement of the 3rd Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction – GP/DRR (May 2011) and the Chengdu Declaration for Action (13th August 2011).

    UNISDR is now calling on its partners to meet in Geneva (or to link up online) to define a joint strategy and potential for cooperation on the campaign for 2012-15.

    Meeting Objectives

    • Review the preliminary outcomes of the campaign and how partners have contributed to such outcomes (what cities have signed up to the campaign and what has this led to, what is the political commitment, the tools and resources available in support of campaign cities).
    • Formulate a shared vision for the "Making Cities Resilient" Campaign for 2012-2015 (revise the existing strategy).
    • Identify leadership and offers by campaign partners towards the implementation of key campaign activities (2012-2015).
    • Agree on the next steps including on coordination, technical capacities, forthcoming events, milestones, etc.

    Expected Outcomes

    1. A shared vision and a revised campaign strategy for 2012-2015, on the basis of recent experience, good practices and lessons learned.
    2. Core activities and priorities for the Campaign implementation in 2012-2015 identified and agreed upon, with initial commitment from partners around these activities.
    3. As a result of this meeting, UNISDR will develop a Campaign Work Plan for 2012-2015, reflecting inputs and contributions from key partners in the process.
    4. A short-term action plan leading to the key events scheduled as of 2012 shall be agreed on during the meeting.

    Tentative Agenda

    • Taking stock of progress (cities)
    - What have cities achieved so far?
    - What has been the added value of the campaign for mayors and local governments?
    - What are the gaps to be filled?

    • A central government perspective: lessons learned from Lebanon

    • A central government perspective: lessons learned from Sweden

    • Overview of Campaign products and deliverables in the pipeline (LG-Sat, Mayors Handbook, Tools and Resources, Website)

    • Taking stock of progress (partners)
    - What has been the contribution of partners to the campaign?
    - What are the lessons learned?
    - What are the gaps to be filled?

    • The role of the private sector in making cities resilient – opportunities for collaboration.

    • The Way Forward
    - How can we fill the existing gaps?
    - What should be the focus of the campaign?
    - How to leverage on existing opportunities?
    - Leadership and coordination
    - Financing and resource mobilisation

  • How to register

  • UNISDR is approaching all the partners that have worked in specific areas so far for them to revise and confirm their commitment to the “Making Cities Resilient” Campaign.

    Each participant should be ready to present a brief progress report on achievements and commitment up to date, as well as lessons learned, and potential for future collaboration.

    Participants are encouraged to reflect on the “Chengdu Declaration for Action” (13th August 2011) and the “Mayors’ Statement on Resilient Cities” at the 3rd GP/DRR before the meeting. This will allow for efficient use of time and will contribute to more informed and productive discussions.

    The test version of the Local Government Self Assessment tool, and the campaign website visual design will be shared during the meeting, along with a draft version of Mayors’ Handbook on “Making Cities Resilient”.