UNDRR leads discussions on accelerating urban resilience in a changing climate at MENA Climate Week 2023

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Arab States
Towards Integrated Planning – Accelerating Urban Resilience in a Changing Climate

Riyadh, 8 October 2023 – The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) spearheaded discussions on accelerating urban resilience in a changing climate at the MENA Climate Week 2023 underway in Riyadh. The week, hosted by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh from 8-12 October 2023, provides a crucial platform for policymakers, practitioners, businesses, and civil society to exchange insights and solutions on climate action.

UNDRR's event, titled "Towards Integrated Planning – Accelerating Urban Resilience in a Changing Climate," focused on strategies to enhance urban resilience and sustainable development, with a specific emphasis on integrated planning and comprehensive risk management in the context of climate change and rapid urbanization.

When talking about the impact of displacement on communities, the panelists pointed out that the MENA region has one of the highest numbers of internally displaced population. Many of these displacements are due to conflicts and the effects of climate change. During the discussion, they shared practical advice and suggestions for creating local plans and strategies that can make cities more resilient. They emphasized the importance of comprehensive risk management in strengthening urban resilience by addressing the challenges caused by displacement. This includes improving data collection and risk governance, fostering partnerships with the private sector, and promoting actions to mitigate the effects of climate change in urban areas.

The event came to emphasize the importance of whole-of-society and multi-disciplinary human settlement planning, aligned with national planning efforts, and to identify opportunities and mechanisms for local authorities to secure the financial resources necessary for effective climate action at the urban level. Innovative approaches and solutions for integrating clean energy technologies into urban infrastructure development were showcased, contributing to both resilience and sustainability.

The event saw the participation of diverse stakeholders, including cities, governments, organizations, and experts, who came together to collaborate, innovate, and share knowledge. Distinguished panelists, including representatives from the UNDP, UNEP, IOM, UAE ARISE and Lebanese Red Cross led panel discussions, interactive sessions, and Q&A segments.
Building urban resilience is a global imperative, and integrated planning is at the heart of this effort. By bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders, UNDRR aimed at catalyzing action and driving positive change in the face of climate change and urbanization challenges.

UNDRR's event at MENA Climate Week 2023 is aligned with the week overall goals, which aimed to provide region-focused contributions to inform the global stock take in four major systems-based tracks: energy systems and industry, cities, urban and rural settlements, infrastructure and transport, land, ocean, food, and water, and societies, health, livelihoods, and economies.

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