High Level Forum Agrees on Actions to Increase Urban Resilience
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Ministers, government officials, mayors and UN representatives have agreed on actions that will make cities more resilient against disasters.

The High Level Forum on 'Implementing the Sendai Framework For Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) at the Local Level' marked the first time that mayors and representatives of municipalities came together to discuss how to implement the Framework.

The meeting resulted in an outcome document titled 'The Florence Way Forward,' which recognizes the importance of coherence at the local level to complement overall implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

UNISDR17 June 2016: Ministers, government officials, mayors and UN representatives have agreed on actions that will make cities more resilient against disasters. The High Level Forum on ‘Implementing the Sendai Framework For Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) at the Local Level’ marked the first time that mayors and representatives of municipalities came together to discuss how to implement the Framework. The meeting resulted in an outcome document titled ‘The Florence Way Forward,’ which recognizes the importance of coherence at the local level to complement overall implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Robert Glasser, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for DRR and Head of UN Office for DRR (UNISDR), said mayors and local partners are not only at the frontlines of disasters, they also implement budgets that can reduce or increase disaster risks.

‘The Florence Way Forward’ on the implementation of the Sendai Framework at the local level includes subsections on coherence, flooding, financing, governance, cooperation with the private sector, promoting resilience in cultural heritage and building back better. It was adopted by national government officials, mayors, UN representatives, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the EU Committee of the Regions, the private sector, United Cities and Local Government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international agencies.

In ‘The Florence Way Forward,’ signatories agree to, inter alia: share good practices on flood prevention and mitigation; improve drainage and early warning systems; and use mobile technology to better communicate on disaster risk. They recommend, among other things: allocating adequate financial resources for prevention; increasing the availability of risk information to improve planning and to better engage the private sector to understand local risks; and increasing resilience of heritage buildings.

‘The Florence Way Forward’ was forwarded as input to the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) to be held in Quito, Ecuador, in October and the next Global Platform on DRR in Mexico in May 2017. The Forum also aimed to provide input to the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC in Marrakesh, Morocco, in November 2016. Also during the Forum, the UN Trust Fund for Human Security announced its support for a project focusing on cities in Mauritania and Tunisia, as human security is one of the core principles of the Sendai Framework.

The Forum contributed to the implementation of SDG 11 (Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable), in particular its targets 6 (By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations) and 11 (By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels).

The Forum, which convened from 16-17 June 2016, in Florence, Italy, was organized by the City of Florence, the Italian Civil Protection Department and UNISDR, with UN-Habitat as partner. [UNISDR Press Release] [The Florence Way Forward] [Meeting Website]

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