Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, is the newest member to join Bhutan’s the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) ‘Making Cities Resilient’ campaign.
The Making Cities Resilient campaign addresses local governance and urban risk to promote resilience activities, sustainable development and an understanding of disaster risk.
The campaign seeks to achieve resilient and sustainable urban communities by engaging local governments and building multi-stakeholder partnerships.
This is achieved through the provision of knowledge, tools and resources to support and encourage funding for disaster risk reduction and to raise awareness of citizens.
The campaign was launched in 2010 and has almost 4000 cities and towns participating in the scheme, 700 of which are in Asia.
Bhutan is a country prone to disasters and is located in one of the most seismically active zones in the world. Due to global warming, Bhutan is also at risk from flooding and extreme weather.
In 2011 Bhutan suffered a severe earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9. The quake caused approximately $24.5 million worth of damage.
Ms. Loretta Hieber-Girardet, UNISDR’s Chief for the Asia-Pacific region, commented:
“Bhutan is famous for measuring Gross National Happiness which can only increase further following the decision of the Mayor of Thimphu, Mr. Kinlay Dorjee, to join the Campaign. His commitment to deliver on the Campaign’s checklist to prevent future disasters and reduce the city’s disaster risk is good news for the people of Thimphu.”
Mayor Dorjee, Thimphu’s first elected leader, said:
“In the last five years we’ve improved clean water supplies, fixed parks and open spaces, tackled crime, tidied up litter, and provided better public transport”
“The quality of life is improving for everyone but our neighbour Nepal had a very big earthquake. We’re in the same Himalayas, and we could be hit any time. Through the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, we’ll be stepping up our efforts to protect them, and the economy they rely on, against the threat of disaster.”
As a member of the campaign, Thimphu will have access to the ‘Disaster Resilience Scorecard’ which offers an in-depth analysis of risk. The scorecard assists the city in identifying gaps and to create an action plan in line with the global plan for reducing disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
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