Latin American Local Leaders Discuss Disaster Risk Reduction

4 April 2012: The sixth Latin-American Congress of Cities and Local Authorities convened under the theme of “Stronger local governments.” At the meeting, organized by the Latin American Federation of Cities, Municipalities and Associations of Local Governments (FLACMA) and hosted by the Chilean Association of Municipalities, participants discussed disaster risk reduction (DRR) in development planning.

According to the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), 15 Chilian cities and two Ecuadorian cities joined UNISDR's “Making Cities Resilient” Campaign during the Congress. In addition, the UN/ISDR-developed Local Government Self-Assessment Tool was introduced to Congress participants. The Tool allows cities to assess where their DRR activities are meeting goals or falling short, helping to provide a complete picture of how different sectors of government can contribute to DRR.

The “Making Cities Resilient” Campaign, launched in 2010, demonstrates local leadership and raises awareness of how efforts to reduce disaster risk are making cities safer and more resilient. The Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient include: organization and coordination of risk management; budget assignation; preparation of risk assessments; investment and maintenance of infrastructure that reduces risk; safe schools and health facilities; risk compliant building regulations and land use planning; education and training in disaster reduction; protection of ecosystems and natural buffers; early warning systems and emergency management; and the needs of survivors.

The sixth Latin-American Congress of Cities and Local Authorities convened in Santiago, Chile, from 20-23 March 2012. [UNISDR Press Release]