Suva, Fiji - In a signing ceremony held in Lami on 8th March 2011, Special Administrator Suva/Lami Mr. Chandu Umaria signed Lami’s Certificate of Commitment to Disaster Resilience for the 2010-2011 World Disaster Reduction Campaign “Making Cities Resilient“. Lami is the first Pacific island city to join the global campaign coordinated by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).
“Making Cities Resilient” addresses issues of local governance and urban risk while drawing upon previous ISDR Awareness Campaigns on safer schools and hospitals, as well as on the sustainable urbanizations principles. The campaign has been regionally adapted to: Making the Pacific Resilient – My community is getting ready!
The Campaign objectives are to 1) Know more - Raise the awareness of citizens and governments at all levels of the benefits of reducing urban risks; 2) Invest wisely - Identify budget allocations within local government funding plans to invest in disaster risk reduction activities; and 3) Build more safely – Include disaster risk reduction in participatory urban development planning processes and protect critical infrastructure.
UNISDR encourages Pacific island cities, towns, villages and other urban communities to commit to addressing one or more of the 10 Essentials for Making Cities Resilient – a ten-point checklist to serve as a guide for commitments by local governments to work to reduce disaster risks in their jurisdictions.
“We hope the example of Lami will lead the way for many more cities and local governments in Fiji and other parts of the Pacific to join the campaign so that their experiences and good practices can be shared with the more than 600 cities worldwide which have already signed up.”, says Angelika Planitz, the UNISDR Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Pacific.
The signature of the campaign certificate was part of Lami Town Council’s celebrations of the International Women’s Day organized in the Tikaram Park and attended by Lami’s Catholic Women’s League, Lami Senikau Club, women from the different settlements in Lami, Lami market vendors as well as several business houses in Lami. In addition to Chief Guest Special Administrator for Suva/Lami Mr. Chandu Umaria, guest speakers were invited from UNISDR, the Commonwealth Local Governance Forum (CLGF) and the Catholic Women League.