On 19 November 2020, RRC.AP convened a panel from international organisations for a webinar on the Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) global campaign, and insights on Cities and Partners Engagement in Asia and the Pacific. For 90 minutes, city resilience enthusiasts from 26 countries in the region and beyond joined virtually for insights on efforts and opportunities for collaboration.
The webinar was moderated by Mr. Phurba Lhendup, head of climate change, RRC.AP, and started with a keynote address by Dr. Naoya Tsukamoto, Director of RRC.AP who highlighted the approaches and roadmaps used by different UN agencies and organisations to bring cities in the resilient pathway towards achieving international agreement like the Sendai framework for disaster risk resilience, the new urban agenda, the Paris agreement, and the sustainable development goals. While inviting for innovation to leverage human knowledge and creativity in the context of limited finance for adaptation and resilience, he welcomed the MCR2030 campaign led by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and expressed RRC.AP’s commitment to support the initiative.
Figure: Question and Answer session with all the speakers
Mr. Omar Hussein Amach, External Relations Officer, UNDRR, provided an introduction and overview of the Making Cities Resilient 2030 Campaign including how different stakeholders can participate in the initiative.
Mr. Amach’s presentation was followed by Curt Garrigan, Chief of the Sustainable Urban Development Section, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) who offered insights on Future pathways for cities in building urban resilience. According to Mr Garrigan, key points in building cities’ resilience include scaling up nature-based solutions such as smart green infrastructure, understanding the informal economy, focusing on the urban poor as change agents, strengthening partnership actors at all levels, and improving technological literacy.
Building on the role of Nature-based solutions, Dr. Lis Mullin Bernhardt, Programme Officer and Coordinator of the Global Adaptation Network (GAN), and the Climate Change Adaptation unit of UN Environment Programme (UNEP), shared insights and regional examples of nature-based initiatives supported by UNEP, such as a green infrastructure project in Laos, highlighting the role of Ecosystem-based adaptation projects, and the contributions of networks and knowledge exchange initiatives leveraged by GAN such as the Lima Adaptation Initiative (LAKI) and collaboration efforts with academia.
To discuss the role of academia in resilience-building, Dr. Jessica Barlow, Vice President of the Educational Partnership for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N) introduced “The EPIC Model” as an innovative approach to leveraging resources within universities and local government units to strengthen knowledge-based approaches informing to resilience building initiatives.
Lastly, Mr Armen Rostomyan of RRC.AP provided an overview of RRC.AP’s contribution to the MCR2030 via capacity-building and knowledge and information sharing and their role in bridging collaboration and partnerships in Asia and the Pacific.
Following an open discussion addressing questions from participants, Mr. Phurba Lhendup concluded the webinar by emphasizing the overall consensus on the importance of collaboration and partnerships, and inviting stakeholders to engage with MCR2030. A video recording of the webinar can be accessed HERE.