Author: Risk Management Directorate of the Municipality of Dosquebradas MCR2030 Initiative team for the Americas and the Caribbean

Dosquebradas: inclusive and participatory strategies build the city's path to resilience

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean
Dosquebradas, Colombia

Dosquebradas is a Colombian municipality belonging to the department of Risaralda, in Colombia. The municipality owes its name to the two streams that cross it: Santa Teresita and Las Garzas, mountains through which are born large streams that run along the town. The strategic location of the city makes it part of one of the most important land corridors of the country, making it one of the main industrial centers of the Coffee Axis of Colombia. It also has a great natural wealth, a wide diversity of flora and fauna and a variety of natural parks.

Moving towards climate change-related disaster risk management

While Dosquebradas' tropical climate makes the city highly attractive to tourists and investors, Dosquebradas is constantly threatened by the high amount of rainfall that occurs throughout the year, especially between the months of April, May, October and November. In order to mitigate the impacts of these events, the municipality has been carrying out mitigation works on hillsides and rivers based on projects driven by long-term financial commitments in cooperation with national entities, in order to reduce the risk of disaster in the municipality in scenarios identified by recurrent events due to floods and landslides.

With the objective of advancing towards urban resilience, for some years, Dosquebradas has been working on the care of water sources and the strengthening of its environmental legislative framework, as well as on the recovery of forest relicts and biological corridors in the urban expansion zone for adaptation to climate variability and change. 

Right now, Dosquebradas is in a process of updating territorial planning instruments as part of prospective interventions in risk reduction processes, which requires the harmonization of economic and social dynamics with the natural conditions and capacities of its territory. To overcome these challenges, Dosquebradas intends to carry out political decisions based on technical analysis, which will allow an integral understanding of the territory including the participation of communities, public and private entities.

The city's vision is to build efforts from the communities with a responsibility of local and national institutions that is more friendly to the environment, focused on reducing vulnerability to disaster risks and climate change, as well as modernizing and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of its institutional actions and the mission of the entities.


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Source: Dosquebradas Risk Management Direction (DIGER)

Building resilience in an inclusive, cross-cutting and high-impact manner

Dosquebradas has focused its efforts on building resilience on three axes. The first, participatory inclusion of the community. After three years of working with the citizens and, despite affectations linked to natural and anthropic phenomena that have cost lives and caused damages to the city's assets, the Risk Management Directorate of Dosquebradas (DIGER) has worked and will continue to work hand in hand with the communities to articulate the Community Risk Management Plans to the municipal planning tools.

Secondly, the municipality seeks to achieve the transversality of risk management at all levels of public administration. Dosquebradas recognizes that it is necessary for public and private entities, as well as citizens, to recognize risk management as a cross-cutting activity in their work, in order to guide their actions and responsibilities in the city and thus achieve better community resilience.

Finally, Dosquebradas seeks to focus on risk reduction projects that generate large impacts. In this sense, DIGER has set as a goal to advance in the formulation and implementation of risk reduction projects through civil engineering works with conventional materials and bioengineering works as a combination of civil and natural materials. To date, these activities have yielded positive results and the municipality seeks to continue with more projects of this type.

MCR2030 to strengthen local resilience before disasters

Since 2011, Dosquebradas has been suffering a considerable number of affectations by natural phenomena as one of the main factors of origin of affectations of our communities, which has led the municipality to establish mechanisms such as declarations of emergencies, necessary to establish the tools of assistance from emergency care, early recovery of spaces, social coverage, reconstruction of areas and rehabilitation of spaces.

In order to strengthen such actions and, as a recognition for the emergency management activities undertaken by the municipality in the recovery of the affected community, Dosquebradas was invited by the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) of Colombia to enroll in the MCR2030 initiative in order to work towards a better formulation and implementation of disaster risk reduction and resilience projects.

For Dosquebradas, this experience means opening an opportunity to put its risk management experiences in national and international scenarios, having the possibility of exchanging experiences with neighboring municipalities, receiving technical support linked to urban resilience, and accessing training on financial tools that will allow it to execute its civil engineering and bioengineering projects.

The city expects that, together with MCR2030, it will be able to apply efficient, agile, and flexible planning procedures based on technical criteria adjusted to each community; create community agreements that facilitate the execution of works by generating coexistence environments and safe surroundings; improve the neighborhood with appropriate intervention patterns; and recover and stabilize natural environments.

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Country and region Colombia
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