The key role of Regional Coordinating Committees in promoting urban resilience

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Asia and Pacific

On 8 February 2023, the Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR) Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) for Asia-Pacific met virtually to review progress made in 2022 and identify priority areas of work for 2023. Among the MCR2030 success stories of 2022 are numerous cities like Kulhuffushi City in the Maldives and Ormoc and Baguio City in the Philippines that are currently developing local disaster risk reduction (DRR) plans, not least thanks to crucial city-to-city mentoring from Resilience Hubs – cities with an established track record in DRR and building resilience. For 2023, in line with the Midterm Review of the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR finding and recommendation that urban resilience needs to be further invested in, RCC members agreed to accelerate support to the MCR2030 cities and focus on increasingly sharing experiences between cities.

An important regional role

In October 2020, MCR2030, an initiative led by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), was launched to improve local resilience through sharing knowledge and experiences and establishing mutually reinforcing city-to-city learning networks. MCR2030 emerged from advocacy and capacity building efforts over ten years that involved more than 4,000 cities around the world.

Regional implementation of MCR2030 was divided into five regions: the Americas and the Caribbean, Europe and Central Asia, Africa, the Arab States, and Asia-Pacific. Overseeing thousands of cities in these regions was seen as a herculean task and consequently, a RCC was formed in each region to coordinate and ensure synergies among regional partners, provide technical support to cities and empower them to progress along the resilience roadmap. The RCC, along with the Global Coordinating Committee (GCC), which is composed of the core partners and supported by the MCR2030 Global Secretariat, became one of the two main bodies at the global level of the MCR2030 initiative.

To date, RCC members have proven to be fundamental to the city network, as one of their key roles in their region is to support the expansion of MCR2030 to as many cities as possible by 2030, promote regional mentorship and peer-to-peer learning, and facilitate effective partnerships for the development and implementation of DRR, resilience strategies and risk-informed development plans.

Extensive capacity building

Since the launch of MCR2030, RCC has organized numerous webinars and workshops in the Asia-Pacific region. In May 2022, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which is one of the 18 RCC members in Asia-Pacific, led an event on making cities heat resilient with more than 550 participants. In June 2022, the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) co-organized a training workshop to help cities and local governments build greater resilience to climate and disaster risk by integrating climate change adaptation and DRR into broader urban development plans and strategies.

United Cities and Local Governments Asia-Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) works closely with UNDRR to organize a series of webinars and training-of-trainers workshops to share cities’ experiences and to encourage cities in Indonesia to sign up to MCR2030. UCLG ASPAC’s Resilience Module helps local governments implement the Sendai Framework to ensure resilience-based sustainable and inclusive development. In November 2022, the first MCR2030 webinar for the Pacific on “Enhancing Local DRR Action through MCR2030’’ was organized to raise awareness of DRR and resilience in the Pacific and highlight the role national municipality associations can play in accelerating local action to promote long-term resilience and collaboration between cities and national municipality associations under the MCR2030 initiative.

Upcoming training opportunities

The next regional MCR2030 activity in Asia-Pacific under RCC leadership will be a webinar on “Capacity Building Models and Tools to Strengthen Cities’ Resilience in Asia and the Pacific” on 23 February 2023 at 2:00 p.m. (Bangkok, Thailand time). Supported by the Ministry of Environment of the Government of Japan, this webinar will shed light on the practical application of resilience building models, tools and methodologies and capacity-building approaches and methodologies used by MCR2030 partner organisations in cities in Asia and the Pacific. The webinar is aimed for cities and local governments, international non- governmental organisations, civil society organisations, urban planners, DRR and adaptation experts and registration is open via this link. This webinar will be followed by an in-person MCR2030 training with the participation of five to six cities from Asia and the Pacific in the second quarter of 2023.

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