Resilience ‘a necessity’ for better future

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Dubai Police United Arab Emirates - government Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030)
Kenyan environmentalist Ms Nzambi Mate
Photo: UNDRR
'It is important to say that I see hope' - Kenyan environmentalist Ms Nzambi Mate captued on the video she presented on stage at the forum describing her innovative enterprise to make housing bricks from plastic waste

Resilience is the foundation for a more prosperous and sustainable future in the face of escalating climate risk, a major conference on urban development heard today. 

H.E. Ms Razan Al Mubarak, United Nations Climate Change High-Level Champion and President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, said reducing urban climate risk represented a major opportunity for resilient and sustainable development. 

‘Climate risk is becoming more frequent. In this context, resilience is not just a nice thing to have it is a necessity,’ H.E. Ms Al Mubarak said. H.E. Ms Al Mubarak said greater collaboration was also critical: ‘The reality is resilience and climate change extend beyond individual cities and nations.’ 

The UN Climate Change High-Level Champion was speaking at the first Global Urban Resilience Forum in Dubai which brought together 450 participants from more than 20 countries. Mayors and local leaders were joined by representatives from national government, the private sector, academia and development partners. 

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), Ms Mami Mizutori, said: ‘This Forum represents an opportunity to bridge the gap between global policy recommendations and local action and the pivotal role of mayors and city leaders in leading that action.’

The event, organized as part of the Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) global partnership, is due to agree a Call for Action: Scaling Up Urban Resilience for a Changing Climate as part of efforts to elevate the issue at the upcoming COP28, also in Dubai. 

H. E. Major General Khaled Fouda, Governor of South Sinai, which includes the city of Sharm El-Sheikh, reiterated the commitment of the COP27 host to share its experience of reducing disaster risk. The Governor praised the ongoing leadership of Dubai on climate resilience as it prepares to host COP28 beginning 30 November. 

Both Sharm El-Sheikh and Dubai have been recognized as MCR2030 Resilience Hubs, global leaders in disaster and climate resilience. Both have committed to sharing their experience to support other local governments keen on scaling up their own ambitions and actions. Dubai was the first local government in the world to be accorded Hub status. In addition to Sharm El-Sheikh and Dubai, 10 other MCR2030 Hubs contributed to the forum. 

The Opening Ceremony also featured an inspiring example of sustainability from Kenyan environmentalist Ms Nzambi Mate, who has created an enterprise employing 250 people that turns plastic waste into housing bricks. ‘There is so much doom and gloom around that it is important to say that I see hope. Let us build a better future, literally brick by brick,’ Ms Mate said. 

MCR2030 is a United Nations-led global partnership that has mobilized 30 national governments, 10 national municipality associations, and more than 1,600 local governments, committed to strengthening local disaster and climate resilience. 

The 1st Global Urban Resilience Forum was co-organized by UNDRR and Dubai Police (Resilience Center), in Dubai.

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