NEDA says 50 provinces to have risk reduction dev’t plan 2011

The DRR Guidelines was developed by NEDA in 2008 to enhance natural disaster risk reduction efforts in the local development planning process. It introduced a disaster risk assessment methodology that enables LGUs to identify areas at risk to natural disaster and the appropriate mitigation measures.

The DRR Guidelines were piloted in the Surigao del Norte and in the Ilocos and CARAGA Regions, whose Physical Framework Plans are already enhanced with DRR principles. NEDA has been promoting the use to LGUs in various regional fora.

The NEDA has been rolling out the DRR Guidelines through its “Integrating DRR/Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) Project,” which is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Australian Aid for International Development (AusAID). The Project incorporates climate change adaptations and sectoral impact parameters into the DRR Guidelines.

“We expect at least 50 provinces throughout the country to complete their DRR/CCA-enhanced Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plans by the end of 2011,” said Director Susan Jose of the NEDA-Regional Development Coordination Staff.

source: gov.ph

UN official: Reducing risk of cities to disaster "extremely important" to achieving MDGs

UN official: Reducing risk of cities to disaster “extremely important” to achieving MDGs
from Xinhua News Agency

Mobilizing local governments to invest in making their cities resilient to disasters is “extremely important” to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the UN secretary-general’s special representative for disaster risk reduction, Margareta Wahlstrom, said on Monday.

Wahlstrom, who also serves as assistant secretary-general, made the remarks at a press conference here on the 2010-2011 “Making Cities Resilient” campaign, coordinated by the UN Secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).

Launched in May, the UNISDR campaign aims to engage city leaders and local governments in strengthening their urban critical infrastructure and emergency management systems, in order to reduce the level of vulnerability to a disaster.

At present, 58 cities have committed to the campaign’s 10 essential steps for risk reduction. These include installing early warning systems, improving risk assessment, and protecting ecosystems.

“All the cities that are now engaged in this conversation are sharing their considerable experiences and their resources, their expertise,” she said. “The global risk has to be reduced at the local level, otherwise we will have no sustained improvement in the current risk environment.”

With over 70 more cities expected to sign up for the campaign, Wahlstrom said progress in reducing risks to disaster can be achieved.

At the same time, however, “risk is increasing,” she added.

The rapid growth of informal settlements or “slums” due to high population density, poses one of the “major challenges facing cities today,” Wahlstrom noted.

According to a 2010 report by the UN agency on human settlement (UNHABITAT), over half a billion people around the world live in slums and the number is expected to increase by 25 million more each year.

The “Making Cities Resilient” campaign draws particular attention to the issue, indicating that “most of the urban poor are more exposed to hazards and disasters because they live in informal settlements on unsafe sites where basic services are often lacking.”

“Much more focus is needed in that area,” Wahlstrom said.

The campaign’s efforts carry a direct impact on the United Nation’s anti-poverty targets, known as MDGs. Progress made in reducing the risk of the world’s cities to disaster, results in progress towards achieving the development goals, said Wahstrom.

“All the MDGs in fact can be even stronger, safer if risk reduction (and) risk lenses apply to the way they are implemented, ” she said.