This week’s discussion looked at city level disaster risk reduction strategies, and how the existence, or inexistence, of national DRR strategies can impact upon the development and effectiveness of these. Participants considered which actors were the most pro-active in reducing climate risk in their cities, with a particular focus on the role of the government and local communities. Learning Alliance participants explained that although DRR strategies often exist on paper, formal strategies are largely non-existent in their cities. It was also felt resoundingly that emergency response strategies and actions are much more prominent than prevention and preparation. Participants highlighted key barriers to DRR efforts as a lack of long-term planning, poor political commitment and weak capacity amongst city officials. This echoed the views of the Latin American expert who was interviewed for this, Dr Alberto Maturana Palacios, who chaired the Chilean National Emergency Office for 12 years. Dr Palacios explained that the lack of emergency preparedness in Chile was largely due to the fact that the government had not prioritised the DRR in its development plans.
ELLA. ELLA Learning Alliance on Climate Resilient Cities - Discussion 4: Urban Disaster Risk Reduction. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2014) 9 pp.