The Amazonian city of Barcarena sets the example for disaster risk reduction
Barcarena, a vibrant city nestled in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, received the certificate as Resilience Hub from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) under the Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) initiative on September 27. This recognition stands as a testament to Barcarena's unwavering commitment to disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate action, and sustainable urban development.
"Barcarena sets a pioneering example as a medium-sized city that is progressively enhancing its capabilities for risk-informed development and inclusive disaster resilience. As a Resilience Hub in the MCR2030 initiative, we are confident that the city of Barcarena will leverage its experience and knowledge to assist fellow cities in strengthening their risk readiness and taking steps towards a resilient Amazon region”, said Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDRR, during the accolade ceremony.
Barcarena now stands as the first city in the Amazon, fifth in Brazil, and tenth in the Americas and the Caribbean, to be recognised as a MCR2030 Resilience Hub and takes on a pivotal role in the sub-national resilience movement within Latin America and the Amazon region.
As a designated Resilience Hub, Barcarena assumes a vital responsibility: to serve as a mentor for other cities, sharing its invaluable knowledge and experiences to bolster urban resilience throughout the region. This recognition comes at a moment when the world's focus on environmental protection and sustainability has never been more critical.
In a meeting between Jader Filho, Brazil’s Minister of Cities, and Mizutori, the Brazilian official outlined the country's visionary approach for urban resilience to disasters. He expressed his Ministry’s commitment to connect prevention and DRR with educational programs, recognizing that resilience begins with education. “We stand at a critical juncture where the intersection of disaster risk reduction and sustainable urban development holds the key to our cities' resilience. I firmly believe that by building prevention and DRR, we not only strengthen our communities but also empower future generations with the knowledge to navigate a changing world”, he said.
Barcarena's journey towards becoming a Resilience Hub began over a decade ago when the city embarked on a mission to achieve sustainability. Located at the confluence of several rivers and the Atlantic Ocean, Barcarena faces the looming threats of climate change, including soil erosion and landslides.
"We have prioritized investments in health, education, and social assistance because they are the primary demands of the population. Subsequently, the Municipality began addressing abstract topics for the population such as climate change, risk management, and resilience. I would like to express my gratitude to UNDRR for recognizing our efforts through this certificate but also for involving us in events around the world, enabling us to acquire knowledge for the municipality and providing the opportunity to disseminate this knowledge throughout the region," stated the Mayor of Barcarena, José Renato Ogawa Rodrigues, who received the Resilience Hub certificate from Mizutori.
More than a decade ago, Barcarena took the pioneering step of aligning its public policies with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and institutionalizing the UN development agenda. This paradigm shift strengthened the city's capacity to address real societal demands and foster social participation in decision-making processes. In 2021, Barcarena joined the MCR2030 initiative to align with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Barcarena's recognition as a Resilience Hub is a triumph not only for the city but for the entire Amazon region. It symbolizes the potential for change, resilience, and sustainable development for medium-size cities in the face of mounting challenges just as Brazil takes over the G20 presidency and COP30 hosted by an Amazonia city. Barcarena's journey exemplifies the power of local action and global cooperation, standing as a beacon of hope for a more resilient world.
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