Potenza community members who were recognised today for their efforts in championing disaster risk reduction (Photo: Province of Potenza)
By Biljana Markova
BRUSSELS, 13 October 2015 – Today, one of Europe’s most vulnerable earthquake zones, the Italian Province of Potenza, was recognized as a champion of disaster risk reduction for the creation of a “Network of Resilience” among 100 municipalities.
“We are proud to be home to the Network for Resilience because each community group has its specificity both in terms of experience and cultural background, and all of them are linked to local traditional culture. They clearly express this during our many discussions and proposals in our joint work,” said Nicola Valuzzi, President of the Province of Potenza, in a message to mark International Day for Disaster Reduction.
This year’s International Day celebrates the role of local, traditional and indigenous knowledge in disaster risk management which is a key theme of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, adopted in March this year, as the new global blueprint for reducing disaster losses.
The Network for Resilience is a key partner to the Province of Potenza, whose institutional role as a local authority includes bringing together the community and all social groups in the decision-making and implementation processes necessary to build resilience to disasters at the local level.
The news was shared at the joint UNISDR and EU Committee of the Regions event on “Building resilience to disasters” in Brussels which brought together policy makers, practitioners and experts to discuss the local dimension of disaster risk reduction.
Committee of the Regions President, Markku Markkula, said: “The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient Campaign – both of which were influenced by stakeholders at the local level and last year’s Committee of the Regions’ report – demonstrate that building resilience to disasters must closely involve the local level.
Antonio Papaleo, president of volunteers’ associations working with older persons, called the Network for Resilience a “blessing” because this coordinated and inclusive approach is the “best method for ensuring inclusive territorial policy-making and implementation.”
The Province of Potenza is also part of UNISDR’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign Role Model for Inclusive Resilience and Territorial Safety, has been fully engaged in disaster risk reduction and its integration with climate and sustainable development policies through its Territorial Coordination Master Plan (TCP). The master plan promotes an inclusive approach, which includes the active involvement of the local communities and stakeholders for resilience building.
The Network is composed of representatives of the local civil society major groups, including older people, women, youth and children, farmers, persons with disabilities, migrants and ethnic minorities, social volunteers groups and associations, and civil protection volunteers groups and associations, all of which are actively engaged in the development and implementation of local sustainability and resilience policies that complement the Province of Potenza’s institutional actions.