With its establishment of extensive organization and coordination mechanism to mitigate the city’s risk from calamities, Australia’s Canberra city has been recognized as one of a group of global cities serving as role models in disaster risk management.
The head of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) Margareta Wahlstrom commended Canberra’s disaster risk reduction efforts and welcomed the city as an official Role Model for the ‘Making Cities Resilient Campaign.’
The campaign is a UN-sponsored initiative which aims to reduce urban risks from climate-related disasters.
‘Making Cities Resilient Campaign’ has now registered over 1,000 members worldwide.
Speaking at the Sixth Session of the World Urban Forum, held in Naples, Italy, Ms. Wahlstrom said Canberra has shown the world how important organizational capacity is when it comes to building resilience against a wide range of natural hazards in the most disaster-prone region of the world.
Canberra is prone to natural hazards such as flash floods, bush fires, severe thunderstorms and snowfalls. To tackle the natural hazards with ease, Canberra has developed the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan.
The initiative has gained international recognition as well. The initiative includes community education and awareness, construction and upgrading of water points, helicopter landing pads, fuel breaks, infrastructure to facilitate grazing and prescribed burning for fuel management.
The initiative also established over 50 Community Fire Units in high bushfire risk areas in the city. Starting with a trial of 8 units in 2003, the initiative provides residents with training, equipment and support.
The World Urban Forum was established by the UN to examine one of the most pressing problems facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies.
The main theme of the Sixth Forum, in Naples, is ‘The Urban Future.’
Convened by UN-Habitat, the United Nations Programme for Human Settlements, the World Urban Forum is the world’s premier conference on urban issues and the theme of this year’s meeting is The Urban Future.
From 1 to 6 September, the city of Naples, Italy will host the 6th Session of the World Urban Forum.