Sri Lankan Local Governments Commit to UN/ISDR Resilience Campaign

5 July 2011: The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) has announced that nine Sri Lankan provinces, including 20 urban councils and three municipal councils, have released a joint action plan to tackle hazard risk in Sri Lanka.

According to UN/ISDR the plan is based on the Ten Essentials of the UN disaster reduction campaign “Making Cities Resilient: My City Is Getting Ready!" UN/ISDR has indicated that the Mahinda Chintana plan will be implemented by the Ministry of Disaster Management in coordination with the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Council. The plan includes: developing city hazard maps and building regulation by-laws; and providing training as well as education programmes for government officials and school children on urban disaster risk reduction (DRR). The policy stresses the need to ensure the long term sustainability, environmental sensitivity, and climate resilience of planned cities.

The aim of the Campaign is to enlist over 1,000 local government leaders to invest more in DRR, including: improving urban planning, infrastructure and building safety; reinforcing drainage systems to reduce flood, storm and health threats; installing early warning systems; conducting public preparedness drills; and taking measures to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change. [UN/ISDR Press Release]