ADB Seminar Calls for Increased Investment in Urban Disaster Risk Management

ADB2 May 2012: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) hosted a seminar titled "Vulnerable cities: Waking up to the need for urban disaster risk management," which outlined ways to build resilient local government units that integrate community participation into decision making, improve construction practices and funding, and better prepare communities for climate change impacts.

Participants at the seminar, which took place on 2 May 2012, in Manila, Philippines, discussed a systematic approach to urban disaster risk management. The seminar was based on the recognition that global dynamics, such as urbanization, climate change, and environmental degradation, are increasing society's disaster risks, and in some locations disasters are undoing development gains. Participants stressed that investing in disaster risk reduction (DRR) rather than only post-disaster reconstruction was financially prudent, and examined ways in which Asian Governments can incorporate urban risk reduction into their national and local development strategies.

Margarita Wahlstrom, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General for Disaster Reduction, facillitated the seminar, stating that "reducing urban disaster risk is the only way to secure development gains and reduce high levels of deaths, livelihood deprivation and maintain our economies in the future." [Asian Development Bank Press Release] [UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Press Release] [Seminar Website]