Slovenia joins UNISDR Cities Campaign

Source
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Europe
(l. to r.) Mr. Marjan Šarec, Mayor of Kamnik and Biljana Markova, Programme Officer, UNISDR at the signing ceremony of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, welcoming Kamnik as the first city in Slovenia to join. (Photo: Municipality of Kamnik)
(l. to r.) Mr. Marjan Šarec, Mayor of Kamnik and Biljana Markova, Programme Officer, UNISDR at the signing ceremony of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, welcoming Kamnik as the first city in Slovenia to join. (Photo: Municipality of Kamnik)

BRUSSELS, 11 December 2014 – Kamnik has become the first town in the Balkan state of Slovenia to join UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient Campaign. An event last week to mark the move brought together representatives from national and local authorities, and dozens of firefighter volunteers.

“Slovenia as well as the municipality of Kamnik are very prone to natural hazards and we learn from each one of them. We learn how to improve our system, which is already at a high level,” said Kamnik Mayor Marjan Šarec at a signing ceremony.

“The municipality of Kamnik can be proud to have such members of the fire brigades, the headquarters of the Civil Protection of the Municipality of Kamnik, and also local residents who are aware of the importance of disaster risk reduction. Being part of UNISDR’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign will help drive forward this cause even more in the future,” he added.

The community of some 30,000 people, which lies in Slovenia’s mountainous north, has to cope with a severe risk of landslides due to heavy precipitation and floods, and storms. With climate change, the severity and frequency of these climate-related risks are expected to increase and thereby challenge to the preservation of the city’s cultural heritage. Besides its picturesque location, tucked in the Kamnik Alps, the town boasts a host of architectural gems.

By signing up to the UNISDR campaign, Kamnik can expect to further raise awareness on the national and international levels, in order to prompt more support and financial investment in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. In this way, better coordination between the national and local levels can be ensured and directly translated into practical implementation.

“We are pleased that with this step the first Slovenian municipality is also actively involved in international network in the field of disaster risk reduction. Disaster resilience is a responsibility at all levels and amongst all stakeholders, which is also a principle that we use to guide us in preparation of the new post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction to be adopted next year in March at the Third UN World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. The conference will be attended by the Slovenian delegation confirming Slovenia’s high commitment to disaster risk reduction,” said Branko Dervodel, Deputy Director General, Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief of the Republic of Slovenia.

Dervodel’s administration houses Slovenia’s National Platform for disaster risk reduction, which was launched last August.

Based on the global agreement on disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient Campaign was launched in 2010. Its aim is to create a global network of communities of different sizes, characteristics, risk profiles and locations, promote media and public awareness activities, and facilitate access to existing knowledge, tools and experience.

By signing up to the campaign, cities commit to adhere to the so-called “10 Essentials” – its guiding principles. Furthermore, the authorities are requested to undertake a self-assessment exercise via the Local Government Self-Assessment Tool, which was developed by UNISDR in 2011 following a pilot study with 23 cities in 16 countries.

More recently, UNISDR also added the City Disaster Resilience Scorecard for use by members of the campaign to check their progress in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation plans and identify gaps in their resilience. The scorecard was developed by IBM and AECOM and is available online, free to all.

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